2013 Crazy Horse Ride June 3-7
by Bamm Brewer
Crazy Horse photo courtesy of nativetime.blogspot.com
Hello Crazy Horse Ride support brotherhood. First of all we would really like to thank you for all of your help; without your help and support the ride would not be possible. We are now getting ready for the 2013 Crazy Horse ride which will be from June 3rd to June 7th . As we all know the purpose and main three factors that influence the ride are:
- Crazy Horse and the historical area we are surrounded by, and what Crazy Horse stood for, “The Lakota way of life”. We do this ride for the Great War Leader Crazy Horse “Ta Sunke Witko” who is taken very seriously in Lakota country and within the riders and support.
- The Veterans who are the closest warriors we have today to Crazy Horse. The veterans are the only warriors we have today who know the smell of a battle field and can lead the people through tough times and teach our youth to persevere.
- The third and most important purpose of the ride is our youth, the future generation of our people. The Lakota are in some ways over the past century losing a way of life and the language is dying also. The good news is the Ride has been a way back for the people. The people are once again on horses and camping and learning the traditional ways throughout the journey of the ride. In the long run a culture is being reborn today through the Crazy Horse ride.
- If there was a forth purpose for the ride it would be of the Unity within all the communities involved. The ride has been a Cultural Bridge and Friendships and brotherhoods have been created. We have you to thank for helping keep the ride going and being a part of saving our culture. May you know this now! The Big picture is we are very thankful to have this rare honor to be able to have this sacred horseback ride and thank you for your support.
The ride has brought back to life the old ways. The Riders are making plans to ride again and what a great event we have created for the youth. As we all know the ride has been “In honor of our Veterans”, our countries greatest heroes. The ride has a huge following where over 200 riders participate each year. It can now be said that the Crazy Horse ride is no doubt the biggest horseback journey in the Great Plains region of Nebraska and South Dakota. Of all the rides the Lakota organize, the Crazy Horse Ride is the official big one.
In the beginning we were given guidance by the Grey Eagles society (a Lakota Elders society) and the Red Feather Society (a wounded Veterans Society) to do the ride 4 years, as that is a sacred number for the Lakota people. After we were done with the four years, bonds were created and the ride had such a great impact on the riders, support and the two communities from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Nebraska area, it was decided to become an annual event. Through the years the ride has seen many people involved throughout both communities and even international level also. The ride has seen guests from as far away as Germany, New York, and Chicago. Many riders have been a part of the ride and many people have taken part in some way or another all the way from the Ft. Robinson State park super intendant, to Lakota elders, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans, to the Governor of Nebraska. There has been a very positive impact on the communities because of this sacred ride.
Ceremony and Honoring on the day of rest
A Sacred Place to the Lakota
The Ride has also shown the importance of history to the area. The riders travel the last trail of Crazy Horse in a reversed direction. A route that takes riders from Ft. Robinson to the Lakota Nation Veterans Pow-wow on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The reason has been the same since the start of the ride 15 years ago. “Crazy Horse never got to ride out of Ft. Robinson so we go over there and ride out of there for him.” Ft. Robinson is the starting point for the ride which then trails easterly to the city of Chadron, a layover way point. Then the next day it is on to the historically known Crazy Horse camp where it was said Crazy Horse’s family took his body and laid his body to rest in a burial tree. The burial site remains unknown. The camp is also known to be the site of the last free roaming Sundance ceremonial grounds. The camp is considered a sacred area to this day to the Lakota. The Kadlecek family has been the private owner and keeper of the sacred camp in the new modern world times. It is great to visit the family each year. It was also sure neat to have the Governor of Nebraska there with us at Ft. Robinson to dedicate the Highway and kick start the ride in 2011. Wow, how we have grown! I think it was about 150 riders who rode out of Ft. Robinson State Park in the year 2011. What a neat dedication of that highway to Crazy Horse country all around us. Thank you State of Nebraska and city of Chadron! It is also great to have Dave Kadlecek, a big part of our journey and one of our ride historians.
Horses relaxing at the Kadlecek ranch on the day of rest
The date of this year’s ride has been set for June 3rd through the 7th, 2013. It will be the 16th annual ride and it’s hard to believe we have been riding this long. We owe a big “Thank you” to all of you who have supported this ride and without your support we wouldn’t be able to make it happen. I am proud to say I feel very thankful and proud for all who help by sponsoring a meal or donate some funding to the ride. No matter how big or small of a contribution it is very much appreciated. We all have Veterans in our families and we do want to remember them and the precious sacrifice they have made. The ride has recognized the area veterans from surrounding communities and the entire country. In a part of the country were the warrior heritage is the most historically strong nowhere else do you see such a neat of honoring for our veterans alongside Crazy Horse, the greatest warrior of the plains.
Crazy Horse Ride scouts
There is a lot that goes into the organization of the ride starting with setting up camps, collecting wood, talking to cooks who are the true life line of the entire ride, Logo design and T-shirts, hauling water, hauling horses, making sure all the gear and tack is good for all the kids, and then making sure we have water at each camp. It is good to go out and meet officials, Land owners, cooks and everyone involved each year. This is our way to scout the trail ahead. We use a semi-truck and trailer to haul about 70 horses over to Ft. Robinson. The logistics of what it takes to actually make the ride happen are a huge chore but a do able chore. Most meals are traditionally prepared and that means that a buffalo is harvested. The buffalo harvest happens in the winter, sometimes in the spring. Long before the ride dates are even decided and set, we are harvesting the meat for the ride. There is also the operation of water hauling that is a whole subject by itself. We are talking about making sure everyone of 200 riders and their horses have enough water during the trip. Last year the first day a 30 miler was 98 degrees hot and there was a situation we fell into where there was no water break in the middle of that day. That problem will be fixed this year. We all know that won’t happen again. We will find a water guy with a truck and tank just for that day this year.
On Sacred Ground
Horses corralled at Ft. Robinson before the Ride
The Great Plains area is rich in the history of the early western way of the plains Indians and the pioneers who also settled in the area. The area right here in our front yard is very historical to the importance of today’s most revered Lakota War Leader Crazy Horse. In a way we are so lucky to live right here in the heart of the “Land of Crazy Horse”. When you really think about it in that sense it is very special and no one else can really say that but all of us right here in northwestern Nebraska and the Southern South Dakota region. Although Crazy Horse’s Lands and Territory were in fact spread out much farther. It was this historical area from Ft. Robinson through Chadron and on over north of Hay Springs on the Kadlecek Land in Beaver Valley that are the true historical land marks of Crazy Horse and his people. The Crazy Horse Ride has been a reflection of the ancestors that once were here years before.
Special Invitation to your sponsorship
You are invited to be one of our proud sponsors and also be present at our event in the 2013 Crazy Horse Ride. We appreciate any and all help that can make the ride happen. We ask that you feel free to join in on the sponsorship and be a part of the history today. It would be also an honor to have you riding with us. It would be an honor to have you as sponsor and a part of preserving history with us. If you are already in on the preserving of history part it would be great to jump in on the other two main purposes of the ride; our youth and the veterans of today. You can support the youth by sponsoring and you can support our “Honoring of our veterans” by becoming a sponsor also. It has been a many great fun years for our youth some of who actually grew up on the ride.
Sponsorship details and address
If you are ready to be a contributing part of the Crazy Horse Ride, now is the time to act. No amount is too little; any help is greatly appreciated and we are looking forward for you to not only be a sponsor but a part of the Ride.
501c3 Non Profit information
Should you decide you would like to support the youth of the Crazy Horse Ride, your donation is fully tax deductible. You can donate through the ONE Spirit organization who is a 501c3 and supports the Crazy Horse Ride.
As seen on YouTube (2011, 14th annual Crazy Horse Ride)
If you are a new sponsor and you would like to see what the Ride looks like finishing up check it out on the YouTube video below. There is a nice video on there that shows the grand finale as we ride into Pine Ridge South Dakota to the Veterans Pow-Wow where you‘ll see over 200 riders. When I saw this video I thought, “We are getting ready now!” Wow! It’s a big gathering of the famous horse culture and proof that the warrior spirit is still alive today in the Land of Crazy Horse. Please feel free to join in on this great spiritual adventure coming each spring. Thank you for taking the time to read all the above Crazy Horse Ride Information.
Thank you (Wopila)
16 Year Crazy Horse Ride Organizer,Charles “Bamm” Brewer