FORT PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a different kind of horse racing glory up for grabs this weekend at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre.
Bareback riders from tribes in South Dakota and across the west are competing in the Indian Relay Races Championship of Champions.
The Horse Nations Indian Relay Council puts on the event as the finale of its season.
The main grandstand filled with spectators for Friday’s action. Governor Kristi Noem and Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden were there as well. The state of South Dakota contributed $50,000 to the event.
Day two of the three-day contest starts Saturday at 2 p.m.
The top men’s competition features five or six teams on the track at one time. The riders have to mount their horses from the ground and go around the half-mile track three times, using a new horse for each lap.
There are youth and female races as well. Those contestants start on their horses. Altogether 66 riders and their teams competed in 15 heats Friday.
The five fastest men’s teams from the first two days will compete in Sunday’s 2 p.m. championship round.
Tickets at the gate are $30.
Fort Pierre hosts its annual horse racing meet next weekend on October 1 and 2.