The 2014 Rocky Boy All Nation Ultimate Warrior Challenge sent the teams through a grueling relay-style race around Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation Friday. The men, however, had to take the entire course by themselves.
First, they were sent on a 2.5-mile run to their horse, which they then had to ride bareback for 4.5 miles. After they completed their ride, they had to run to an archery range, where they had to hit a target or spend 10 arrows trying. Once they were out of arrows or hit the target, they strapped on a life jacket and ran down to Bonneau Reservoir for a 300-yard swim. Once they were out of the water, they had to run up the hill to the dam in a 100-yard sprint to the finish line.
David Dobbs, 23, of New Town, on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Reservation, was the winner of the men's division.
"It feels good, man," Dobbs said while trying to catch his breath at the finish line. "All that hard work back home paid off."
Dobbs said he competes in events similar to Ultimate Warrior fairly often, and he had been doing them since he was a kid. This was his first time competing in the Rocky Boy challenge.
"I've been training for this all summer," Dobbs said. "Running, lifting weights, a lot of cardio."
Dobbs said the run up the hill was the hardest part of the challenge.
"That hill killed me," he said. "The horses weren't too bad. The water felt great."
Dustin White of the Chippewa Cree Tribe's Water Resources Department was one of the main organizers of the challenge.
"It's been a lot of fun," White said as he and a group of others waited for the men's division competitors to ride over the last hill of the bareback horseriding portion of the race. "It's been a huge success."
There were five youth teams competing Friday morning, but only one women's team. The one women's team was set to race alongside the men due to lack of competition.
There were seven competitors from Rocky Boy and nearby reservations in the men's division.
White said he was pleased with the turnout of the event with both the competitors and the spectators.
"There's a lot of people out here tonight at the edge of the Bonneau Dam," White said.
The changes made to the challenge helped, White said. Last year, the competition was set during Native American week at the end of September and the competitors struggled to make it across the considerably colder water and crosswinds.
"We thought we'd move it up to powwow week," White said. "There'd be a warmer water temperature and a lot warmer weather."
Dobbs won $1,000 for his first-place prize, which came from a purse of $5,000 that the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation helped supplement.
First — David Dobbs
Wyatt MadPlume races on horseback with David Dobbs chasing behind in Friday's All Nations Ultimate Warrior Challenge at Rocky Boy.
Second — Narsis Rebis
Third — Wyatt Madplume
Youth team category
First — Brandon The Boy, John Henry and Maddy Reichert
Second — Isiah Murie, Jailynne Day Child and Skylar Parisian
Third — Shane Ketchum, Lauren Four Colors and Jerrod Four Colors
Women team category
First — Priscilla Friede, Jailynne Day Child and Jayce Crowley