Indian horse racing excites and delights in Maskwacis during the World Indigenous Nations Games

Athletes around the world converged on Alberta to take part in the World Indigenous Nations Games

When it comes to Indian Horse Racing the key is knowing you’ll be in for one wild ride.

Maskwacis shared the role of host for the World Indigenous Nations Games 2017, which were held in different areas of Alberta from July 1 to 9 and Indian Relay Horse Racing was among the many events.

The many sports included were: two person canoeing, swimming, soccer, basketball, bow and arrow, log race, spear throwing, tug of strength and lacrosse. Sporting demonstrations included the horse racing, Denesuline hand games, strongman games and Inuit games.

The week was a celebration of Indigenous cultures and sports from around the world and drew international press and acclaim.

On the horse racing side of things, the demonstration was hosted by the Canadian Indian Relay Racing Association July 7 and 8. The association hopes to garner further interest in the Indigenous sport.

President Dexter Bruisedhead said the event is starting to see growth in Canada and is fairly strong in the United States. “We’re pushing it a lot further north,” said Bruisedhead.

He was excited to share the sport with attendees pointing out that the relay races haven’t been this far north in many years. Indeed, the Calgary Stampede held an exhibition of the races this year, another aspect that Bruisedhead was pleased to see.

“Next year these very teams that have raced here, you may see those teams at the Calgary Stampede, competing there for who knows how much money,” said Bruisedhead.

[gps-image name=”7698207_web1_170712-PON-indian-horse-relay_2.jpg”]

The horse races and relays are as real and wild as it gets with a team preparing a race horse for a rider. When that rider completes the track, they mount a fresh horse and run it again for a total of three runs.

The element of an excited crowd and spirited horses made it so some riders would be in the lead and when they got onto their next horse they would end up falling behind due to a variety of factors. Sometimes the horse would want to go in another direction or the rider would lose his grip on the reins.

This was just another addition that made the event an exciting one. It’s all about balance, skill and a love for horses, said Bruisedhead.

[gps-image name=”7698207_web1_170712-PON-indian-horse-relay_3.jpg”]

“You’ve gotta really love horses and be able to ride well.”

His hope for the sport is to see riders competing for big dollars at the Calgary Stampede and to have enough athletes to make it a day long racing event. “What it does is it really brings back the culture.”

“If you’ve ever rode horses it is therapy,” he added.

[gps-image name=”7698207_web1_170712-PON-indian-horse-relay_6.jpg”]

He feels there’s a few other rodeos, like the Ponoka Stampede that would be able to enhance their wild west experience with the relay races. Bruisedhead says the group is working on developing its website and Facebook page in the hopes of growing the sport in the area.

 

The Indian Horse Relay Racing held July 7 and 8 in Maskwacis was an exciting event as part of the World Indigenous Nations Games 2017. Here a team readies a spirited horse for their rider. Photos by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

First Nations athletes go neck and neck July 7 in Maskwacis during the Indian Horse Racing event held at the Panee Agriplex over two days. It’s a wild event that had attendees excited for more.

Wild horse racing Athletes ride these horses bareback July 7 as part of the World Indigenous Nations Games held in part in Maskwacis. The Indian Horse Racing event was one of the many indigenous games held over the busy week. Please see our story on page 2. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Just Posted

Local musician releases new country single

Alecia Aichelle released “Get Gone” on Nov. 1

Lakers wash out Eagles

The two Atom A teams played Nov.18 at NexSource Centre

New library facility not on the horizon

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library Board met for a regular meeting on Nov. 15

Scott Woods and band bring Christmas concert to Red Deer

The band will play Nov. 22 in Red Deer at Sunnybrook United Church

Red Deer Royals see over 1,000 letters of support for funding

MP Blaine Calkins to make an appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip celebrate 70th anniversary

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary

Charles Manson, leader of murderous ’60s cult, dead at 83

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Metis flag raised at B.C. legislature

Today has been proclaimed as Louis Riel Day in British Columbia.

Most Read