Thrills of Indian Relays and Wind Blows Fans Away

Coming around the last turn these ladies were all pushing for the good strong finish in the Indian Relays at Healing Horse Ranch track

By Logan J. Davis

The thundering hooves kicked up the dust as much as the stiff breeze last Saturday afternoon but that did not diminish the excitement of the racing going on at the Healing Horse Ranch outdoor track. The Indian Relays and Races attracted many fans of the highly popular horsemanship competitions. Organizers of the Healing Horse Indian Jackpot Relays last Saturday were surprised by the huge turnout, but they will certainly be ready next time, said Trina Thomas, who serves as secretary for Northern Plains Indian Relay Organization. 

“It’s such an amazing and awesome sport that is sometimes dangerous and exciting – especially when my grandchildren are competing,” said Thomas. “I can hardly wait for the next one and we appreciate this facility that is open to organizations who want to host races when the track is open. It’s great that they trust us with taking care of the track and clean up afterwards. But Healing Horse is also great in maintaining the track. We get a really great deal all the way around from the Healing Horse management.” 

White Tail Express spokesperson Serena White Tail made a statement about the event at Healing Horse Ranch. 

“Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the jackpot relay this weekend at Healing Horse Ranch. It was a great turn out. Thanks to Richard White Tail for sponsoring the event. Thank you to Lloyd “Charlie” Vigen for paying the security and starting all the races. Thank you to Nelson Heart for announcing, Cierra Thomas for working the gate and Tannah Houle and Wanda Harris for doing concessions! Thank you to Jim Baker for track maintenance! We hope everyone enjoyed the day. We threw everything together last minute, but a lot of people were more than willing to help! I appreciate you all, very much!! 

Congrats to Mountain Crow on winning Jackpot Men’s Relay Championship!”

Other place finishers in the various categories are as follows. 

2nd: Young Bear Express 

3rd: Fast Horse Relay, 

4th: White Tail Express2

Consolation Relay Winner: Awa Daa Hey

2nd: Front Line 3rd: White Tail Express1 

Women’s Relay Champions: Awa Daa Hey

2nd: Red Nation Racing

Maidens Race Champion: White Tail Express

2nd: Young Bear Express 3rd: Blue Blossom 

4th: Awa Daa Hey 

 

Jessee Vigen makes the switch to her next horse with help from her sister Hailey in the womens relay race
Jessee Vigen won the championship of the Maidens Race last Saturday at the Healing Horse track
Charlie Vigen (right) was happy with the performance of the mens Awa Daa Hey rider and team winning the consolation prize
This young rider took a hard tumble from her mount but was helped off the track by a young dude who was close by
This young lady won the Indian Relays for the womens category in a very competetive battle to the finish for Awa Daa Hey
These two riders were going strong for a photo finish at Healing Horse Ranch in one of many exciting Indian Relay races

Chief Race Champion: White Tail Express

2nd: Fast Horse Relay

3rd: Front Line Relay

4th: Young Bear Express

Warrior Race Champion: Fast Horse Relay

2nd: White Tail Express

Kids Shetland Pony Relay

Champion: Dakota Coup Counters JRZ 1

2nd: White Tail Express (Kasen White Tail)

3rd: Dakota Coup Counters 2

4th: Front Line

5th: Red Nation Racing

6-year-old Kasen White Tail who placed second in the Shetland Race for is the youngest relay rider in the Indian Relay world circuit who actually competes in relays and switches Shetland ponies. The MHA Nation/Turtle Mountain Chippewa youngster goes up against other youth in relays who are much older up to 12 years old. He is the grandson of Trina Thomas.

As Secretary of the Northern Plains Indian Relay Organization, Thomas will answer any questions about NPIRO that the public has regarding events and sponsorships at (701) 421-9873.