Prairie First Nations hit the ground running with Indian relay races

Action-packed horse races wow crowd in Enoch Cree Nation, Alta.

Papaschase First Nation treated a large crowd over the weekend as it hosted its first Indian relay races, in which 18 teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan took part in the exciting horse-racing sporting event held at Enoch Cree Nation.

Papaschase Chief Calvin Bruneau hoped to continue their winning ways from the summer’s previous events.

“In Poundmaker (Cree Nation), we took first in the relay and the chief’s race. So, we are doing pretty good,” he said.

The crowd saw women’s, youth, warrior, chief and relay bareback races.

“The best part is when they are coming around and going really fast,” one audience member said. “I think the women racing, that was so cool.”

“I follow them around from Saskatchewan, Onion Lake,” said another. “I’ve been all around with them: Saddle Lake, Enoch, Hobbema.”

Alayah Poitras won the women’s event, while Cody Jackson won the chief’s race and Steven Wolftail took the victory in the warrior race.

In a close finish, Tyrone Jackson and his team won the three-lap relay.

“It was perfect. It was really good honestly,” he said. “I didn’t really think it would come down to us, but I was proud of my team. For myself, I really committed to my exchanges and my horses ran really fast today.”

Bruneau says the event will be back.

“I’m already thinking of next year. This is exciting. This is fun. It’s also good for the youth. That’s why I really enjoy this sport. It gives us something positive to do.”

Saskatchewan’s Onion Lake Cree nation hosts the next rally slated to begin Saturday.

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