Successful Buffalo Days Indian Relay Race
Buffalo, Wyoming: The first sanctioned Indian Relay Races of the season were held in Buffalo, Wyoming this weekend in front of a capacity crowd. Exciting action, great sportsmanship and competition, a beautiful setting, and cool temperatures all set the stage for a successful event.
Teams from throughout the northern plains Indian country entered this important opening race in Buffalo for a purse of $50,000 and points earned towards the championships in Billings in September.
Officials of the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) have announced the winners of the Indian Relay Races:
- Relay Champion-Silver Mountain Team with owner/rider Dustin Kruger representing the Crow Nation from Lodge Grass, Montana
- Relay 2nd Place-Young Money with owner/rider Myles Murray representing the Blackfeet Nation from Browning, Montana
- Relay 3rd Place-Real Bird Bucking Horse with rider Darrin Charges Strong and owner Richard Real Bird from Garryowen, Montana representing the Crow Nation.
- Relay 4th Place-Lakota War Path with rider Tyler Coultier and owner Cubby Ghost Bear representing the Oglala Lakota Sioux nation from Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
- Relay 5th Place-Medicine Tail with rider Hamley Real Bird and owner James Real Bird representing the Crow Nation from Garryowen, Montana.
- Consolation – Crow Team Warman with rider J’ree Old Bull and team owner Robert He Does It.
- Consolation 1 – Plain Feather with rider Dusty Manual and owner Benita Plain Feather representing the Nakota and Crow Nations.
- Consolation 2 –Brew Crew Team with rider Hermes Tall representing the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation.
- Charmayne Weed representing the Eastern Shoshone won the Ladies Race amongst a very strong ladies field.
In addition to the relay races, the audience was treated to Kids Relay Races, Junior Relays, Warriors and Ladies Races. Teams dressed in full regalia, paint their horses with distinctive team colors and symbols to give spectators 2 ½ hours each day of non-stop excitement.
Up to date information about the 2016 Relay Race Schedule is available on their Facebook page at this link: https://www.facebook.com/Professional-Indian-Horse-Racing-Association-476531622450149/?fref=ts. Tickets for the 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships are already on sale via www.letsrelay.com or the MetraPark ticket office at 800-366-8538.
# # #
High Resolution images at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0yefvfns2qe5qp8/CrowdIMG_0236.jpg?dl=0
Photo credit to Diana Volk
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.
About Indian 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 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, its 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 flying onto another, defying fear and gravity. Displaying the ultimate bond of horse and rider, when the two become one.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 13, 2016
Media Contact: Nancy Harrison