June 14th, 2024

Rocky Mountain Turf Club rides into the fall season


By Dale Woodard on September 2, 2021.

The Rocky Mountain Turf Club is ready to Whoop it up to start the fall season.

In the spirit of getting the horse racing off on the right foot, the RMTC charges from the gate the same weekend as Whoop-Up Days, offering a day at the races right next to the annual festival.

Those festivities will continue at the race track right into October with the Warrior Relay Races later this month and the Alberta Bred Stakes races.

“We’re enthused for our 26th year of starting the Fall meet,” said Max Gibb, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club.

“It’s a big industry and creates a lot of economic development for Lethbridge and southern Alberta. There are lots of trainers and lots of owners, there’s jockeys, fans and children that love coming here and we’re pleased it’s happening again.

“It opens Sunday as part of Whoop-Up Days with the Alberta Bred Stakes races, seven stakes races with all ages of the champions of Alberta bred. That’s important because Alberta breds create tremendous economic benefit. There are farms that employ people and this is a race for the best Alberta breds.”

Three weeks later is the Alberta B Stakes races.

“Which are our two biggest events,” said Gibb.

“You’ve heard of the Breeders Cup, we hold the Alberta B Championships and invite anybody from the B world to compete.”

The racing continues right through to the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Two days every weekend,” said Gibb.

“We’re excited with the jockeys and riders who have come in. It’s the best group of horses we think we’ve ever had. Its going to be a fun event.”

The races are free of charge to attend.

The exception is the Warrior Relay Races weekend.

The Warriors Relay Races is over 400 years old, said June Many Grey Horses, Invitational Warrior Relay Racing Coordinator.

“The race have been on Turtle Island for that long. But in today’s world we have races and our team has been the first to get Paramutual World betting on warrior relay racing.

The Warrior Relay Races go Sept. 25 and 26 at the RMTC.

“I would like for the community to come and participate and to come and see the action. It’s amazing and once you see it you’ll keep coming back for more,” said Many Grey Horses, who summed up the races in one word.

“Action,” she said. “This is an extreme sport. It’s in-your-face action. It’s so exciting. What happens is there are three mounts. The jockey – the Warrior – has to go around the track on three different horses. So he’ll start off with one horse, come back into the box and exchange and that’s where all the action happens, in that exchange. It’s so amazing. It’s at the exchange where the extreme racing happens. You never know who is going to win, (but) it always happens in that exchange. There’s very talented horsemanship. It’s amazing to see.”

“We’re going to be very supportive and helpful to what we think is great reconciliation with Warrior Relay Racing,” added Gibb. “It’s going to be fun fall meet. We’re excited and enthused about it. The history of horse racing goes back over 100 years. The greatest jockeys in the world come out of this community.”

Post time Sunday is 1:15 p.m.

For races times and other information visit http://www.rockymountainturfclub.com.

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