The Rocky Mountain Turf Club(RMTC) will kick off a season of horse races this weekend after a challenging two years dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been tough. Our business was closed nine out of 24 months – that’s always a struggle but we are back and we are good. Everything appears to be as good as we have ever been,” said Max Gibb Ceo of Rocky Mountain Turf Club.
Gibb said the club plans to host 33 race days this year. He added RMTC is a driver of the Lethbridge and Southern Alberta economy. According to the club, it has contributed $370 million annually to the region — supporting tourism, agriculture and employment.
One event Gibb is particularly excited about is Warrior Relay racing, which involves riders racing bareback and jumping from one horse to another in each lap.
“It’s organized chaos, that’s for sure,” said Dwight Crazy Boy, Warrior relay racer. “You have to be half crazy to jump on those thoroughbreds bareback. It’s like Nascar racing but on a horse racing track.”
Crazy Boy said he got into the sport when a friend signed up for a race without a jockey and he agreed to ride. He said he grew up around horses and racing is meaningful for him.
“Horses are a big part of our culture and I like to keep it up and promote it as much as I could and I’d like to see a lot more teams out here, a lot more races and bigger tracks,” he said.