June 12, 2017 – Twenty-one of the nation’s best Indian Relay teams competed at Emerald Downs for the three-day Muckleshoot Gold Cup on June 9-11, 2017.
The Muckleshoot Gold Cup Indian Relay concluded on June 11th. with two consolation heats and the championship that was the final race of the day. The teams in the championship are: Northwest Express, Lakota War Path, Carlson Relay, Starr School, Lil’ Badger, Grizzly Mountain, and Abrahamson. Emerald Downs reports “This might be one of the best race fields in relay history!”
Isiah Crossguns, Starr School, a member of Blackfeet of Browing, MT, won the Muckleshoot Gold Cup. Carlson Relay also of Browing, MT., the 2016 Muckleshoot Gold Cup Champion, finished second, with Abrahamson Relay of Omak finishing third. Click to view the 2017 race and award ceremony video replay.
The field was expanded from last year by three teams and purses have been increased. $55,000 in purses will be awarded. With travel allowances and participation payments the total payout for the teams will be over $75,000.
Tribes from Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Oregon and Washington are represented. Carlson Relay from Browning, Montana, will be looking to defend their championship from last year.
Indian Relay—the nation’s oldest sport with a history that goes back 500 years—teams race twice around the Emerald Downs one-mile track and exchange horses every half-mile. Each team’s rider must leap from one galloping horse to another in their assigned exchange box while other team members assist in handling the horses.
2017 Muckleshoot Gold Cup
Abrahamson Relay, Omak, Wash; Blanket Bull, Garryowen, Mont; Carlson Relay, Browning Mont; Coby Team, Blackfoot, Id; DeRoche Relay, Browning, Mont; Grizzly Mountain, Omak, Wash; Lakota Warpath, Oglala SD; Little Badger, Browning, Mont; Mountain Crow Relay, Hardin, Mont; Mountain River, Hays, Mont; Northwest Express, Omak; Wash; Omak Express, Omak, Wash; Pikuni Express, Browning, Mont; Werk N Plain Feather, Hays, Mont; Rides A Pretty Horse, Billings, Mont; River Road Relay, Crow Agency, Mont; Starr School, Browning, Mont; Teton Team, Blackfoot, Id; Two-Tone, Pocatello, Id; Umatilla Express, Pendleton Ore; Wolf Mountain Express, Lodge Grass/Lodge Pole, Mont.
Click to read the story from Auburn-Reporter.
Click to see more of Emerald Downs Racetrack, follow them on Facebook.
Photo by Diana Volk Photography – “For those of you not following the Horse Nations Indian Relay Council page I thought I would share the Champion at Emerald Downs as he crosses the finish line and the emotion he was feeling.”
Click to see more of Diana Volk Photography