Twenty-three teams from Montana, Idaho, Washington and Alberta, Canada, entered the three days of Indian Relay Racing in Kalispell on Aug. 15-17. The family of LeRoy Skunkcap, the Northwest Montana Fair (NWMF) manager, Mark Campbell, and the NWMF Board were pleased with the biggest turnout of Indian Relay teams at the Northwest Montana Fair who entered in hopes of winning the championship race held on Saturday, Aug. 17.
On Thursday, Aug. 15, two teams vied for qualification into the championship race. Heat #1 qualifiers were 1. Lil Badger Boys, 2. Abrahamson; Heat #2 Grizzly Mountain Express, 2. Aims Back. On Friday, Aug. 16, the qualifiers of Heat #3 were 1.Black Rock, 2. Pikunii Express.
With six qualifying Indian Relay teams entering the championship race, the Black Rock team ended up with the victory and received many prizes including the prize money, belt buckles and jackets awarded by the NWMF Board, saddles by the Skunkcap family. The rider, Blayne DeRoche, received a braided rawhide whip donated by Denny Teton of Fort Hall, Idaho, and a horse blanket donated by the Rose Wild Gun family and eagle feathers from the Penny Mad Plume family. In keeping with Blackfeet tradition, other family members of LeRoy Skunkcap generously honored their own family members by sponsoring prizes to the winning teams, including the Rueben, Joe and Rattler families, Penny Mad Plume family, Rose Wild Gun and family for their Boss Rib parents/grandparents. All Indian Relay teams earned points towards an aluminum horse trailer that will be awarded to the highest points accumulated over the next four years.