Wyoming Welcomes Season Opening #IndianRelay

Wyoming Welcomes Season Opening #IndianRelay

Opening Race will be one of the seasons largest!

Buffalo, WYO: Twenty adult teams plus kids and juniors are descending upon the small quaint western town of Buffalo Wyoming in the season opener of the Professional PIHRA Indian Relay races. Buffalo Days Indian Relay is taking over the Johnson County Fairgrounds this week-end, June 11 and 12.

Teams from throughout the nation have entered into this important race including some of the nation’s finest - White Calf and Young Money representing the Blackfeet; Warman and Plainfeather representing the Crow’s, and Lakota War Path and Brew Crew from the Lakota Sioux are elite relay teams. There are also some exciting new teams to watch anchored by veteran relay racers who are always a threat - Eagle Star Express with Clarence McNabb, second year team Medicine Tail, Garrell Snell and Gina Medicine Horse with Medicine Horse and Dustin Krugers of Silver Mountain will be some to keep a keen eye on who could easily rise to the top.

Says Calvin Ghost Bear one of the PIHRA directors and race organizers, “Buffalo is a great spot for our opener. It is a great facility, in an idyllic country setting, with a super 1/2 mile track perfect for relay. The teams have a great place to camp under the cottonwoods and the town of Buffalo has sincerely and openly welcomed us. We hope this is the start of an annual tradition”

Buffalo is so important because of the points it awards to the winners that will choose who goes to the All Nations Relay Race Championships in Billings.

Twenty adult Indian relay teams are expected to compete at the Buffalo Days Indian Relay; in addition, there will be kids’ relay races, junior relay races, Warriors races and Ladies races. The event will last 2 ½ hours each day and will begin Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at 1 p.m. Large crowds are expected, so spectators are encouraged to arrive at least one hour before the event. Gates will open two hours before the event each day. The races will take place rain or shine. Parking for the event is free. Day sheets with schedule and team descriptions will be available for $3.

In addition it is the start of the filming of the new documentary being created “The Road to Billings-The story of the 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships

Three levels of tickets are available. Box Seats are available at $30 per day or two days for $50. General Admission Adult $20 per day or two days for $30; Kids under 12 General Admission are $12.50 per day or two days for $20. Infield tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Seating is limited in the infield and spectators may bring chairs.

Tickets are available now online at www.letsrelay.com and at the following locations in Buffalo: Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, Sagewood Gifts and Café, and Sports Lure; in Sheridan, at Shipton’s Big R; and in Kaycee, at the Invasion Bar and the Kaycee Sinclair Deli/Store/Motel. Ticket sales will close at these outlets in the afternoon of Thursday, June 9. Tickets will be available for sale at the event.

On Saturday, June 11, spectators are especially encouraged to arrive early to attend the 14th Annual Pig Wrestling Championships to benefit Summit Gymnastics of Buffalo. This event starts at 5pm and ends at 7pm. Admission is $5 for this event. The relay races start promptly at 7pm. Tickets are sold separately.

A special ticket sale will be held at the Buffalo Days Indian Relay, tickets for the 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships to be held on September 22-25 in Billings, will be for sale. The four-day pass will be fifty percent off. For general information about the event, call (844) 735-2977 or go to www.LetsRelay.com.

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Photo credit to Diana Volk. High resolution photos available for media use.

Photo at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ymcg1yqo2r8rf3d/OmakExpressWinIMG_0886.jpg?dl=0

About PIHRA:

The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) was founded to promote Indian Relay, horsemanship and safety. PIHRA has developed a season-long championship series, culminating with the All Nations Indian Relay Championships. There were 17 founding teams in 2013; three years later, PIHRA membership is expected to exceed 50 teams. 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 PIHRA is an association of teams, individuals, and sponsors who participate in the sport of Indian relay racing, Indian flat track racing, ladies Indian flat track racing, and Cowboy and Indian flat track racing. 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.

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.

Media Contact: Nancy Harrison

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