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Horse track back in use

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Jayden Ironeyes leans forward with his horse

Jayden Ironeyes, the rider for Redman Relay’s youth team representing the Northern Arapaho, leans his horse forward as the trio of riders in the youth consolation relay leave the starting line on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Ironeyes finished in a narrow second place, crossing immediately behind the champion Cliff Kemmer Jr. for the Blackfoot team Little Buffalo Runners.

The Horse Nations Indian Relay Races returned to Buffalo last weekend for their annual race at the fairgrounds. The races travel around the western United States with teams representing tribes from around the region. The teams compete in a variety of events ranging from one horse sprints to three horse relays. 

The Horse Nations Indian Relay Races returned to Buffalo

The Horse Nations Indian Relay Races returned to Buffalo for their annual weekend trip to town including on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The second day included the finals of the consolation and championship races of the weekend.

Kallie Washakie narrowly misses a collision with the rider

Kallie Washakie, riding for the Ooo Vee Dah team from Ft. Washakie, Wy., narrowly misses a collision with the rider for Old Sun as she races out of the post after transitioning off her first horse and onto the second on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Washakie won the Women’s Relay Race, which includes riding two horses one lap each around the half-mile long track.

Elijah DuBray pulls his final horse to a stop

Elijah DuBray, representing the Oglala Nation in South Dakota for team Blue Moon Relay, pulls his final horse to a stop after winning the kids relay on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The event included ages 12 and under and featured miniature ponies with this being the largest of the animals used to run around a set of barrels in front of the grandstands.

Desmond Archuleta races forward

Desmond Archuleta, riding for the Crow S/M Relay team, races forward as he begins his second lap of the youth championship relay on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Archuleta won the all-Crow event - competing against two other teams from the Crow Reservation in southern Montana.

The riders complete a half mile lap with each of their horses

In the relay races, the riders complete a half mile lap with each of their horses, two for the women’s race and three for the mens on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The riders jump off the horses often before they have fully stopped running as a teammate catches the previous horse so it doesn’t continue around the track for another lap - although a few were able to wander lose for some extra running.

Dreamer Best takes off on his final horse of the relay

Dreamer Best, representing team Thunder Wolfe Express and the Colville tribe based in Washington, takes off on his final horse of the relay on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Each lap is a half mile long and is rides with a different horse.

Eddie Means stretches his arms forward

Eddie Means, representing team Blue Moon and the Oglala Nation, stretches his arms forward as he attempts to catch the group from his outside starting position on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Means raced in the consolation youth relay.

Jon Marc Skunkcap, center, pushes forward

Jon Marc Skunkcap, center, pushes forward during the start of the Chiefs Championship Race, a single lap around track with a mounted start on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Skunkcap rode for the War Chiefs team.

Cody Carlson pulls himself up and forward as his final relay horse

Cody Carlson pulls himself up and forward as his final relay horse takes off during the Mens Championship Relay on Sunday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Carlson rode for the Blackfoot Two Medicine team out of Montana. The mens relay includes three full laps around the track on three different horses.

Maiden’s Race Champion Chenoa Erickson rides across the finish line

Maiden’s Race Champion Chenoa Erickson rides across the finish line with an arm raised and looking straight up on Sunday. Seymour was riding for the Arrow Lakes Express team for the Coville tribe based out of Washington.

Photojournalist

Jessi Dodge joined the Bulletin as a photojournalist and a Report for America corp member in 2020. If you have ideas or comments, reach out at jessi@buffalobulletin.com.

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