BILLINGS, Mont. – The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) 2016 season of sanctioned Indian Relay Races are well underway with a great schedule. August finds teams competing every weekend starting with “Run with the Warriors” in Pine Ridge, SD this past weekend.
- Crow Fair, Crow Agency, MT August 18-20, 2016
- Fallon County Fair and Indian Relay, Baker, MT, August 19-21, 2016
- Northwest Montana Fair at Kalispell Indian Relay, Kalispell, MT, August 19-21, 2016
- Blackfoot Warrior Party, Calgary, Canada, August 27-28, 2016
- North Central Washington District Fair and Relay, Waterville, WA, August 27-28, 2016
Winning teams from Pine Ridge competition are:
1st Young Money, Blackfeet
2nd Lakota Warpath, Oglala Lakota
3rd Mountain River
4th DQ Brew Crew
5th DQ River Road
Overall standings as of August 8 are #1: Young Money, Blackfeet Tribe, #2: Lakota Warpath, Oglala Lakota, #3: Starr School, Blackfeet, #4: Mountain River, Assiniboine Sioux; #5: Real Bird Bucking Horse, Crow and #6: Plain Feather, Nakota.
This year, the All Nations Indian Relay Championships will be held Sept 22-25 at the historic MetraPark Grandstands in Billings, Mont. More than 30 elite teams representing 15 Indian nations will compete at the 2016 All Nations Championships for more than $75,000 in money, prizes, expenses, and the coveted Champions’ Jackets and Belt Buckles. The teams come from Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, South Dakota, and Canada. The tribes represented in relay include Oglala Lakota Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Eagle Butte Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Crow, Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Nez Perce, Nakota, the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Umatilla Confederated Tribes. The vision of the teams and the entire membership is for relay to become a viable cultural and economic entity.
For more information about PIHRA and the All Nations Indian Relay Championships, visit www.LetsRelay.com, follow “Professional Indian Horse Racing Association” on Facebook or check out Indian Relay videos on www.letsrelay.com.
- For reservations and tickets, contact the MetraPark Grandstands box office at 800-366-8538 or 406-256-2422 or go to www.indianrelay.com.
- For press information, visit www.adventuremedianews.com or call Nancy Harrison at 307-421-4473.
- For event information go to www.LetsRelay.com
- Sponsorships and advertising: contact Karen Galanaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit www.letsrelay.com and follow the Relay Race Season on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Professional-Indian-Horse-Racing-Association/476531622450149.
# # #
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.
ORIGINS OF RELAY
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.
Professional Indian Horse Racing Association
Media Contact: Nancy Harrison
High resolution photos available for media use
Photo credit: Diana Volk