Fourth annual PIHRA #IndianRelay Championships

Fourth annual PIHRA #IndianRelay Championships

The 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships Dates Announced
Fourth annual PIHRA Indian Relay Championships, America’s oldest and most exciting extreme sport

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) announced today that the 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships will be held in Billings, Montana at the historic MetraPark Grandstands September 22-25, 2016. This year marks the fourth annual PIHRA Championships. Teams from all major Horse Nations are expected to compete for the biggest purse ever offered for an Indian relay event drawing record-breaking crowds.

The All Nations Indian Relay Championships event is a combination of the World Series and Super Bowl for Indian Horse Relay. As America’s oldest known competition, Indian Relay is currently exploding onto the scene as the world’s newest and most exciting extreme sport! The Championships are the culmination of 17 grueling competitions held June through September in Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Canada. During these races, PIHRA member teams compete to earn points towards the coveted invitation to the Championships.

The 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships will be the largest gathering to ever witness Indian Horse Relay, with the best inter-tribal competition ever assembled competing for the largest purse ever offered. More than 30,000 fans are expected to attend this standing room only event.

For reservations and tickets contact the MetraPark box office at 800-366-8538 or go to For press information or images, contact Nancy Harrison at 307-421-4473 or  For event information and Karen Galanaugh –  “Get Ready To Relay!”

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The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) was founded to promote Indian Relay, horsemanship and safety. PIHRA has developed a season-long series of sanctioned relay races that culminate in the annual All Nations Indian Relay Championships. PIHRA is an association of teams, individuals, and sponsors who participate in the sport of Indian relay racing. There about 50 teams from the northern plains Indian country that participate. Only the top 30 teams are selected to attend three days of qualifying rounds to determine the six teams that will advance to the finals. The mission of PIHRA is to bring the fun, excitement, passion and heritage of Indian Horse Racing to a broader audience. Through this process, PIHRA will strive to provide a safe and fair environment for the team participants, their horses, and the event spectators. The PIHRA vision is that Indian Relay can provide a positive economic and cultural model for Native American relay teams and their families moving forward into today’s world while preserving the past.


Indian relay is America’s oldest sport. It dates back over 400 years to when the horse was first re-introduced to the native cultures of the America’s. Lakota culture insists that this was in fact the second coming of the horse and its reintroduction and in fact the relationship to the plains cultures and the horse is perhaps much older than that is realized. Archeology seems to support that view.

It appears that Indian relay developed independently amongst the Indian nations. Different cultures have different oral histories of its origins and most likely they are all true representations. To one tribe, relay was used as war games, to another, a relay strategy to hunt the buffalo, to another, a way to outrun the wild horses to enable their capture. Whatever the origins of relay the importance of it and of the horse to the plains cultures cannot be understated. The horse was transportation, it provided sustenance, it provided protection. The horse was considered sacred by many native cultures and revered by all. It was a major source of status and a most sought after prize. Relay provided the measure to test the horse, the rider, and the team.

Indian Relay is also America’s oldest competition, it’s first and most exciting test of skill. Today Indian relay is resurging as America’s newest extreme sport. Warriors racing at lightning speed, leaping from one galloping horse and flying onto another, defying fear and gravity; displaying the ultimate bond of horse and rider, when the two become one.

Photo Credit: Diana Volk


Professional Indian Horse Racing Association
CONTACT: Nancy Harrison
TEL: 307.421.4473

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