Warrior Relay Racing teams from across Western Canada and the United States will compete in the Rocky Mountain Turf Clubs Jason Goodstriker Memorial Championship Weekend in Lethbridge. This is the third year the event is being held at the RMTC, honouring the former Alberta Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations and Blood Tribe Councilor, who passed away in January 2020.
In a statement from Goodstriker’s family and friends, he is said to have often spoken about owning a relay team one day. Goodstriker was raised on a ranch and had a love for not only the lifestyle but also the equine residents on the property.
“He was a well-known master of ceremonies, always encouraging young and old to be proud of their heritage and culture and to never forget who you are and where you come from.”
Sixteen teams are participating in the two-day championship competition over the weekend, with four heats of four teams competing each day. Each team comprises three horses and four members, including the rider, catcher, exchange holder and back holder. Before the races start, the rider must have both feet on the ground with the catcher holding the horse; the remaining team members will stay in the designated boxes painted on the ground in front of the grandstand. When the horn goes, the rider will jump on the horse and go around the track once before dismounting the horse and jumping on the team’s next horse in front of the grandstand.
This year’s winning team will receive championship bronze, belt buckles, personalized hoodies custom-designed by Godstriker’s sister, and the championship purse. James and Marie Mcneely, members of the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana, have also donated three horse blankets for the memorial championship, which were custom-designed by Juanita Cole Crasco from the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana, one for each horse on the winning team.