Calgary – Get ready for more teams over more nights! The Calgary Stampede Relay Races are set to return as a showcase sport at Stampede 2018, and will be bigger and better than ever. The Relay Races are expanding by an additional team and an extra night, to feature five of the very best Indigenous racing teams in North America, showcasing their horsemanship skills in a high adrenalin competition over four nights of racing.
“We know our guests loved the thrill and speed of the Relay Races in their first appearance at the Stampede last year,” says Kynan Vine, Calgary Stampede Manager of Western Events. “We also heard they wanted more – and that’s what we’re delivering.”
As a showcase event, Relay Racing will take place July 9-12, immediately following the GMC Rangeland Derby. A growing sport in Canada and the United States, it is a high-adrenalin event that requires a powerful combination of teamwork, precision and horsemanship. It also honours the connection of Indigenous peoples to the horse.
“We are so proud to showcase this traditional sport at the Calgary Stampede,” says Tyrone Potts, Event Liaison. “Not only does it continue to strengthen the relationship between Indigenous people and the Stampede, it also provides the younger generation with a very special group of role models.”
This year’s Calgary Stampede Relay Races will feature two teams from Treaty 7 territories, Lone Wolf of the Piikani Nation and Old Sun of the Siksika Nation. New in 2018 is team Star School, joining Young Money and the Carlson Team in representing the Blackfoot Confederacy in Montana.
How Relay Racing works:
- Each team has four members and three high-powered thoroughbred race horses.
- Team members all have a role. There is one rider, two horse holders and one ‘mugger’ who catches the horse during an exchange. All teams and their horses make their way onto the track at the same time, and remain on the track for the entire race.
- Teams stand off to the side while the five riders, riding bareback (without a saddle) prepare for a standing start.
- When the horn sounds, riders urge their horses into a full out gallop and race a lap of the track.
- Once the first lap is completed, it’s time for the relay exchange. Think of the rider as the baton, being passed from horse to horse. The rider jumps off his horse and passes it to the mugger. He then leaps onto a new horse and takes off for another lap.
- This cycle continues for three laps.
- The fastest team wins!
Experience the Calgary Stampede Relay Races by purchasing your ticket to the Evening Show for July 9-12 at CalgaryStampede.com.
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager, Western Events and Agriculture