Over 5,000 fans witnessed the exciting thrills of Championship Sunday of Indian Relay Racing at Emerald Downs.
Carlson Relay from the Blackfeet Nation in Montana won the championship race, with rider Chazz Racine and his team receiving belt buckles, jackets, and the Muckleshoot Gold Cup trophy for their efforts.
Finishing second was Grizzly Mountain from the Colville Tribe in Washington, and finishing third was Little Badger from the Blackfeet Nation in Montana. Completing the championship results were Marchand Relay from Colville, Starr School from the Blackfeet Nation and AwaSapsii Express from the Blackfeet Nation.
Eighteen of the nation’s best Indian Relay teams from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington competed over the weekend for their share of $50,000 in cash prizes.
Earlier in the day Mountain River from the Nakota-White Clay Tribe in Montana won the first consolation race. In the day’s most exciting finish Abrahamson Relay from Colville came from behind rail and edged out Pikuni Express from the Blackfoot Nation to capture the second consolation race.
Emerald Downs Vice President Jack Hodge presented the winning check and Muckleshoot Tribe Chairwoman Virginia Cross presented the Gold Cup trophy to Carlson Relay.
“It was an amazing weekend of competition, everyone had a blast,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “We’re already looking forward to next year’s Gold Cup.”
Indian Relay is the Nation’s oldest sport with a history that goes back 500 years by many accounts.
Teams raced twice around the Emerald Downs one-mile track and exchanged horses every half-mile. Each team’s rider had to leap from one galloping horse to another in their assigned exchange box while other team members assisted in handling the horses.
Replays of all Relay races from the weekend are on the track’s YouTube channel.