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"Indian Relay"

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  • "Indian Relay"

    Check this out on PBS tomorrow:
    http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/indian-relay/

    Has anyone heard of this, or seen a race like this in person?

  • #2
    No, never heard of this before. Thanks for the link, I will try to catch it tomorrow. Looks interesting. Lot of Native American things happening, that are mostly known only to locals and the various Indian Tribes themselves. May be wrong, but I think they have a whole Rodeo Circuit that is just for NA's, apart from the other Pro Rodeo Circuts that are more visible.

    Comment


    • #3
      Many times, at the Eastern Idaho State Fair when I was growing up. I believe they still do it.
      It's a bit of a cross between horror and amazement.
      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
      www.dleestudio.com

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yes, they must be doing this still since this was filmed probably only two seasons ago. If you're missing it (it's on air now on the East coast), you can watch it online on the PBS website for a while, I believe.

        Comment


        • #5
          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/sp...elay.html?_r=0

          And here is a link for a NY Times article. The video on PBS included some pretty cool slow motion footage.

          When it works out right, the rider pops off of one horse, taps the ground for a few strides, then springs right up onto another horse and off they go. It's awful pretty when it works out. I imagine it's equally as gnarly when it don't.
          "Friend" me !

          http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/sp...elay.html?_r=0

            And here is a link for a NY Times article. The video on PBS included some pretty cool slow motion footage.

            When it works out right, the rider pops off of one horse, taps the ground for a few strides, then springs right up onto another horse and off they go. It's awful pretty when it works out. I imagine it's equally as gnarly when it don't.
            Yes, just finished watching it on PBS. Some wonderful camera work. Like you say, poetry in motion when it goes right, but some near catastrophes when it doesn't.

            The docu was more about the people and bit light on the horses. Well worth watching though.
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            Comment


            • #7
              Pendleton Roundup has a full slate of Indian races, including bareback and relay. The bareback races are usually ridden in a backward seat, usually holding on for dear life, not in a jockey posture. There is a women's race, too. The races may overlap with the riding events in the arena (the racers are using a quarter-mile track on the outside, cordoned off with pvc pipe rails at about 18" high), and at least one bronc has decided to join the races instead of bucking.
              "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

              Comment


              • #8
                CFD doesn't have Indian races per se, but the best Wild Horse teams are generally all Indian. And unfortunately it is a bit of a standing joke that the sponsor of the team gets them all out of jail before the racing season starts. Lot of truth to it, they are often tough customers.
                Originally posted by The Saddle
                Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We watched the PBS show last night. I thought that some of those guys had one hell of a seat, and should probably be pursuing a career at a real racetrack. Some of them were athletes, that's for sure. Yet another route for off the track TBs too, an alternative to other possibilities.

                  I am the hardhat and vest police, it made me cringe to watch those guys. Very risky "sport" to get involved in. Made me laugh to see the fella using the vest after being hurt, but no helmet. Shoulda used the vest before being hurt LOL.
                  www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/sp...elay.html?_r=0
                    It's awful pretty when it works out. I imagine it's equally as gnarly when it don't.
                    Very ugly when it doesn't.
                    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                    www.dleestudio.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I kind of liked it...the horses looked like they had a pretty good life and were loved. And smudged! And painted......
                      Just curious, are they quarter horses? Or are they getting thoroughbreds?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I ended up watching this by accident last night. I was pretty impressed. Dead run around track bareback, leap off horse, leap on, repeat four times. And, I agree, they looked like pretty happy horses who got to run fast and do cool things and live on the open range. They all looked like TBs to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I thought they looked like TBs too. I did cringe about the lack of safety gear, but to each his own... although I was spooked by the little ones riding w/o helmets! Those riders are definitely athletic. The handlers looked pretty horse savvy too, athough some looked on the verge of getting killed!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I will not make blanket statements because of course some owners are better than others, but in general the horses I saw were always VERY thin. They were all TB's, many off the track. I hate to see them earred down while being held for the rider, I get it, but I don't like it.

                            It is exciting to watch, but the wrecks can be very bad. "Happy" was not a word that would easily come to mind watching them, on the track or at the trailers.
                            We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                            www.dleestudio.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DLee View Post
                              I will not make blanket statements because of course some owners are better than others, but in general the horses I saw were always VERY thin. They were all TB's, many off the track. I hate to see them earred down while being held for the rider, I get it, but I don't like it.

                              It is exciting to watch, but the wrecks can be very bad. "Happy" was not a word that would easily come to mind watching them, on the track or at the trailers.
                              True, but at least the Indian Relays are somewhat surveyed and inspected by animal control in the area. Down here in NM there are several illegal horse races all over the place and what takes place is horrible!! I'm always calling animal control or the sheriffs whenever I come across it. Unfortunately many of these events are secret, sponsored by dubious sources (and you all know what I mean), and held in really remote places.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                One race breeder that I bought a horse from years ago told us that they sold horses to one of the Indian relay teams, and because they were race-bred instead of res-bred, they won all the races. I don't know what the situation is now, as I haven't been to Pendleton since the 70's.

                                As to general horse care, it's pretty minimal for some, with little or no feed. They are eared down for mounting because they're wild as deer as well as being jacked up by all the excitement.

                                Rustbreeches is absolutely right about the wild horse racing teams (not really much of a race, just a survivor-fest) retrieving their members from jail. I think it's more every week than at the start of the season. We went to an event that was multiple classes of wild horse races, and the most interesting was the youth division. Most were boys, but there were some very gritty girls. They would be attempting to ride yearlings or very small older horses, and it would be won by whichever kid managed to actually claw his way onto the horse.
                                "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Our school competes against Browning and I can tell you that they are excellent athletes, from childhood. I don't think it's any secret that the rez is a tough place to make a good life but these races are part of people trying to do that. So what if they've been drying up in jail? Go get them, maybe they'll connect with one of the teams that is trying harder and maybe it will make a positive difference to a young person that could use a positive turn.

                                  I drive through the Blackfeet reservation on my way back and forth from where we're moving and those horses are nearly all out on huge pastures, even right by town I haven't seen any horse pens smaller than a few acres. They have hundreds of horses, all in herds out over the prairie and they're all in good shape and they're nice, well-built, happy horses.

                                  I don't think (and don't SEE) that these races have any tougher (in a moral way) characters than any other edgy fast sport. I think it's good for them to have it and stay connected to the horse-they still have living ancestors that can tell them how important the horse was to them, it's very much a core of their culture and I think they need it. It's good for them, it's good for young men. And those horses are just fine and just as happy or happier than most stalled horses. In a world with TB racing, eventing, steeple chasing, and rodeo I hardly think anyone needs to try to judge this from the vantage point of any moral high ground.
                                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                    ...

                                    It's good for them, it's good for young men. And those horses are just fine and just as happy or happier than most stalled horses. In a world with TB racing, eventing, steeple chasing, and rodeo I hardly think anyone needs to try to judge this from the vantage point of any moral high ground.
                                    Well said Cowboymom - and you can add to that some of those poor horses owned by DQ's with lofty goals or QH princesses who barrel race the living crap out of their animals all in the name of a few ribbons or prize $$

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