The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Big Sandy O-Mok-See is Saturday August 4th


August 1, 2018

No one really knows how long the O-Mok-See has existed. It is believed to originate with the Blackfoot Tribe and means "riding the big dance." Although it may have originated there, what it is now more resembles the Spanish-American word for "rodeo". In the state of Montana, it was formally organized in 1947. It is a sport of pattern horse racing. Every O-Mok-See event alternates the races from the event before using a wide variety of skills. There are over 79 skilled races. The next O-Mok-See in Big Sandy will be this Saturday Aug. 4th. With a full concession area, it would be a great weekend activity for the entire family to experience. It usually starts around 10:00 and lasts for 4-5 hours depending on the number of riders.

The state O-Mok-See is always over Labor Day Weekend this year it will be held in Cut Bank. It's quite a family affair with over 300 riders.

But, when asked why has O-Mok-See lasted for so many years the answer is simple-- it's a fun day for the entire family! Everyone in the family participates in the races. On this day, the youngest was 2 years old. Everyone laughed when I asked who was the oldest, "No one wants to give you that information!" But then out of the corner some one yells, " 71!" There were 45 competitors this Saturday from all over the Hi-Line; Big Sandy, Fort Benton, Havre, Rudyard, and Chinook.

"It keeps the kids busy, teaches responsibilities, and team work."

"My kids got in trouble and I needed ground them. I let them choose between no electronic, TV, I-pad for a week or one day at the O-Mok-See. They chose to go to the O-Mok-See."

"I'm horse crazy. I've been doing it for 20 years"

Clara Allderdice remembers when she was a little girl that her family, including all eight children would race the O-Mok-see. At the time, there was a strict dress code, which included cowboy boots. They couldn't afford eight pairs of boots, so after one race they would pass the boots on down to the next sibling.

After the grand entrance and the Pledge of Allegiance was the O-Mok-See prayer which sums up their whole purpose. "Dear Lord, we pause, mindful of the many blessings you have lain along our path. We don't ask for special favors, nor do we ask that the blessings granted our opponents be diminished. Instead, we thank you for allowing us to experience friendship in one of its truest forms. To be able to gather with friends and loved ones to pay tribute to the great sport of O-Mok-See.

We ask that you guide us up the greatest lane of all, and that you as our final judge, will allow us to ride once more, where the sun never sets and where happiness rides beside us and never behind.

For this dear Lord, we thank you."


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