Indian Relay Racing This Weekend!

Carlson Relay and Cody Carlson take the 2023 Muckleshoot Gold Cup


Auburn, Wash. – Twenty-one of the nation’s fastest Indian Relay teams have been confirmed for the eighth annual Muckleshoot Gold Cup at Emerald Downs. The three-day event—worth $67,000 in purses—will be held Friday, June 14, Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16.

Teams representing eight Indian Nations from four states and two provinces will be competing in 2024. Two Medicine of the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Mont., will be defending its 2023 Gold Cup championship.

The subject of a recent 60 Minutes profile, Indian Relay Racing is surging in popularity, according to publicist Gayle Skunkcap Jr. “It’s America’s original extreme sport, it’s history stretches back 500 years,” Skunkcap said.

In Indian Relay, teams race twice around Emerald Downs’ one-mile oval, exchanging horses each half-mile,

“We have the best teams in North America here this weekend,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “The competition is going to be intense.”

The Muckleshoot Tribe will host the event as the owners and operators of Emerald Downs, with the Muckleshoot Casino sponsoring the competition. There will be three relay races each day along with full cards of live Thoroughbred races. The fastest qualifiers from Friday and Saturday advance to Sunday’s Muckleshoot Gold Cup.

First post is 7 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday also feature the first two Thoroughbred stakes of the season with 3-year-old fillies contesting the $50,000 Seattle Stakes on Saturday and 3-year-old colts & geldings meeting in the $50,000 Auburn Stakes on Sunday.

Emerald Downs’ admission is just $10 for adults, and ages 17 and under admitted free.

2024 Muckleshoot Gold Cup

Abrahamson Relay- Omak, WA • Colville

Amskapi Pikuni- Browning, MT • Blackfeet

Arrow Lakes- Inchelium, WA • Colville

Birdinground Relay-Crow Agency, MT • Crow

Buffalo Jump Express-Browning, MT • Blackfeet

Carlson- Browning, MT • Blackfeet

Cedar Ridge-Fort Hall, ID • Shoshone Bannock

Dancing Warrior-Pine Ridge, SD • Oglala Sioux

Grizzly Mountain-Omak, WA • Colville

Mountain Crow-Crow Agency, MT • Crow

Old Sun-Siksika, Alberta • Siksika Nation

Omak Express-Omak, WA • Colville

Poitras Relay- Meadowlake, Saskatchewan • Saulteaux Nation

River Road Relay-Crow Agency, MT • Crow

Rock Relay-Hardin, MT • Crow

Sp’q’n’i Relay-Wellpinit, WA • Spokane

Starr School- Browning, MT • Blackfeet

Strong Horse Relay-Nespelem, WA • Colville

Teton-Lincoln Creek, ID Shoshone • Bannock

Tissidimit-Fort Hall, ID Shoshone • Bannock

Two Medicine-Browning, MT • Blackfeet

Scott Abrahamson

Muckleshoot Gold Cup Winners
2023: Two Medicine (Cody Carlson rider)
2022: Omak Express (Tyler Peasly)
2021: Amskapi Pikunii (Chris Carlson)
2019: River Road Relay (Darren Charges Strong Jr.)
2018: Abrahamson (Scott Abrahamson)
2017: Starr School (Isaiah Cross Guns)
2016: Carlson (Chazz Racine)