Photography of Al Camp, Stu Levy, Ken Smith, Pat Morrissey,
Paul Roark, Lynn Radeka

hitting with riding crops
Suicide Race: Follow a photo essay about Omak's World Famous Suicide Race. Find out how George Marchand, right, and Tony Desautel found themselves swatting each other with riding crops in 1997.

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Omak's World Famous Suicide Race follows each of four performances of the Omak Stampede Rodeo. The rodeo is held the second weekend, Thursday through Sunday, in August.

Up to 20 riders speed a short distance before plummeting over a steep hill that leads to the swollen Okanogan River. Jockeys, most being members of the Colville Confederated Tribes, struggle across the river before entering the rodeo arena. The entire race is over in a matter of a couple minutes, cheered on by thousands who line the banks of the river.

Starting in 1996 the race and rodeo expanded to four days, with the first three races held at night and the final race held Sunday afternoon. Prior to that, the races were held Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

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Photos courtesy The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle
Copyright © 1996-2002 by Al Camp/The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle. All Rights Reserved.

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