National Indian Relay Championship winners, Teton team with rider Teland Brunette after receiving the championship title awards at the Eastern Idaho State Fair on Saturday, September 9 in Blackfoot.
By LORI ANN EDMO
BLACKFOOT — At just 16 years of age, Teland Brunette won a National Indian Relay Championship September 9, for the Teton Team who repeated as champions at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.
Teland said he just brought his horses in good, got a good pace, jumped off early and that was the key. “Just hitting your exchanges on the first one.”
Brunette discusses the championship win.
When asked how it felt to win he said it felt good, he’s young, “I’m only 16 and got the job done.” He hopes to ride for the Teton Team next year but their rider Miaus Teton may return after an injury.
Teland rode for Putnam Relay for a while this year but the Tetons asked him to ride so he hopped on and started practicing.
Brunette comes in for an exchange minutes before winning the championship race.
Clarence Teton, team owner, said it started from a wreck at the Evanston, Wyo. races when Miaus was hurt and they lost a horse. They decided to try Teland in riding for them in the single races but it bugged him to not be in the relay races. So they started practicing with Teland a week before the fair. He started exercising their horses and a sponsor – Johnson Grain from Ririe stepped up for the EISF races.
Clarence said they also went into the EISF hurting for horses as they only had four. “I thought as long as we get our entrance fee back, we’re good.”
“I was totally shocked today, I didn’t expect it,” he continued. “To see him come in the way he did, jumped on – he came in flawless, it was so awesome.”
Teland Brunette crosses the finish line in the championship race
Prior to the race he advised Teland on how it could go, either the team messes up because they’re running against veteran riders — they come running hard, so don’t expect to win, but he did.
Clarence said they’re very proud of Teland, “I didn’t expect him to do this good – we did alright – we had to defend the title.”
He said their horses are getting old but they’re very experienced. “We take care of them so they can get out there and run. I give a lot of credit to the horses, we are doctoring them now and will give them some rest.”