The Indian Relay Riders Project is an on-going self-funded Photo Documentary project ,Started In July 2018 in Wyoming,Sheridan.
Teams from the Native American reservations compete against each other riding bareback around a track and after one lap they leap from their Horse and run and leap onto another horse
this is called the exchange and they have the Mugger who catches the incoming horse as the Rider leaps onto the waiting horse and they complete one more lap- and do it again.Teams compete for money but more importantly for Pride .
Its a truely an amazing spectacle with a special kind of people involved and i will be continuing this project over the next 2-3 years .I wish to Document the races and stories of these Riders and will do with empathy and openness of intent and style .This is the project that will be a showcase for my Documentary Art and the start of similar in depth projects.
Amateur Photojournalism Nominee Award
A Young relay rider after leaping from one horse runs as fast as possible to a waiting horse to continue whilst his team ,the Mugger desperately tries to catch slow down the horse he just leapt from.
After an exchange two riders chase after the group leader
All Relay riders are bareback experts,as this image shows its in perfect graceful unison of Rider and Horse.
I took this image just before a race,a young Rider gets into his Zone wearing war-paint and is a perfect representation of a Warrior people.
After the race ,young members of the race teams have fun cooling down the horses
A Relay Rider steadies his mount and gets some last minute advice from his team member
Rider,Horse and Mugger all wait for the race to be announced
A Horse and a Handler wait before the race start
Here we see two slightly differing styles of Relay Riding the Rider on the White Horse using knee strength and leaning back a little and the Rider on the Brown Horse with legs out stretched and leaning into the ride…
Horse and Handler wait for the Relay exchange,notice how the Handler leans into the horse ever so slightly in order to calm the horse down
The Indian Relay Riders often dress in traditional Warrior headdress and paint and true throwback to times of a different century.,Horsepainting,Headdress,warpaint,riding without saddle all strong connections to a proud History of a Warrior race.
A Young relay rider in perfect unison with Horse against a blurred Bokeh to emphasize movement.One of my Standout images so far from the early stages of this on-going project.
A young Boy walks and cools off one of his teams horses just after a hard race.
After the races young members of the teams walk the horses to cool them down.
a Young Rider Micah Falls Down proudly displays his championship outfit
After each race Riders and their teams wash and walk the horses
a black and White shot of the riders team members cooling down the horses
Each Team has a crew of people who work hard behind the scenes to support horses and teams
as Horse and Mugger wait for a Lap to be finished before a mad exchange there is a moment of unexpected tranquility between horse and team member.
Before each race young Girls paint horses to represent their team,a true throwback to centuries past where horses would be painted before battle.
Amateur Sports journalism Award winning Nominee
a Young Relay Rider leans heavily into the track curve to gain a few feet from the pursuing pack
i was struck by the clear dichotomy of this image of past and present together .
This is one of my personal favorites from this project so far…more of a Fine Art Image than Documentary because i enhanced the saturation in light-room to make the colors pop and increase the feeling of movement…and when i include this in the final project i will tone down these light-room actions but as a singular image and when printed on a fine art paper this is truely sublime this edit.
A couple of elders from the riders community sit back after the races ,catching a moment of serenity.
The Mugger tries to control horse as his Rider leaps on
After the races young members of the Riders community ride the hgorses for a while cooling them down before washing and feeding them..