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Teamwork is critical at the All-Nations Indian Relay Championshi - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Teamwork is critical at the All-Nations Indian Relay Championships

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BILLINGS -

The four-day All-Nations Indian Relay Championships finished at the MetraPark race track in Billings on Sunday.

The event features energy, contact, and athleticism.

"It's pretty intense," said Don Roy Ghost Bear, a "mugger" on Lakota Warparth.  "You can see the horses coming down the front stretch, hear them galloping in.  The crowd's yelling , just try to keep calm and go do what i do in practice."

"Try to keep the horse calm while he's standing there," said Scott Osborne, captain of White Calf from the Blackfeet reservation.

All the team work on the track starts in the barns before the races.

"Painting our horses up getting our war paint on them designs that go with our nation," Ghost Bear said. "Our overall nation. Getting on the horses is getting one with them. Try to keep them calm, keep me calm, you know."

"It's the biggest part of it, it's team preparation," said Osborne. "You got some horses that are sore. You've got to know what's going on with each one of your horses."

"Trying to get the horse ready for a race, so they're sound and they come back sound," said Ashton Old Elk, a rider on Old Elk Relay from the Crow reservation. gets everything ready before the race.

And the team spends a lot of time with the horses.

"Exchanges are where you win it or lose it," Said Osborne. "Could have fastest horse in the world, if don't stop and stand can't be a relay horse."

"They know it's game time," Ghost Bear said about the horses. "They know it's on they know it's a big race, they know they're ready to run."

The goal of the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association is to make this an event that will attract fans from all over the country.

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