History of Montana horse racing shared | Entertainment – Montana Standard

The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives will continue its Brown Bag Lunch series at noon Wednesday, July 24, with a presentation and reading by Brenda Wahler as she discusses her new book, “Montana Horse Racing: A History.

For centuries, on prairie grasslands, dusty streets and racing ovals, everyday Montanans participated in the sport of kings. Over a century after horses arrived in the region, Lewis and Clark’s Nez Perce guides staged horse races at Traveler’s Rest in 1806. Helena led the way to respectable racing with Madam Coady’s one-mile track hosting the first territorial fair in 1868. 

In response to hazardous street races, Montana Territory’s legislature granted communities authority to ban “immoderate riding or driving”. Consequently, leading citizens like Marcus Daly built oval tracks and glitzy grandstands. 

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