The Race to Billings turns North to Canada
Indian Relay teams from all over the nation face serious competition to secure a place in the “All Nations Indian Relay Championships” in Billings on September 22-25th, 2016 sponsored by the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA).
Following the past weeks’ race at North American Indian Days (NAID) in Browning, MT, hosted by the Blackfeet Indian Nation, Montana PIHRA member teams picked up some serious points due to the high number of teams entered. Placing first was Awasapsii Express from Browning, one of last year’s top teams, in second was Omak Express the defending “All Nations Champion”, and in third was Pikuni Boys with rider Chris Carlson and captained by Dale Carlson. The consolation was won by current PIHRA high point leader Myles Murray of the Young Money team also from Browning which should keep him in the top spot. Results will be updated later this week.
This weekend the Blood Reserve of Canada hosts the next PIHRA-Sanctioned Indian Relay Race as part of the 50th anniversary of Kainai Fair & Rodeo at Red Crow Park in Standoff, Alberta, Canada. With a $20,000 purse it’s an important race and will be attracting top teams. This year’s Kainai Fair features a huge Pow Wow event – largest in North America. The rodeo will be largest Indian rodeo in North American because of prize money and prizes. Organizer Dexter Bruised Head said they have been doing Indian Relay Races at the Kainai event for 5 years. “We added PIHRA to the event this year because we want to see better representation at the All Nations Championships in Billings.” There are four Indian Relay Events in Canada in 2016 including Blackfoot Warrior Party, Strathmore Rodeo Grounds, Calgary, Canada, August 27-28, 2016. Check out www.letsrelay.com for additional information
Dexter Bruised Head sponsors Team Quarter Moon Express which is a real family affair. The extreme relay team consists of Dexter’s brothers Bill, Byron and Marcel. Niece Patty Jo races in the Women’s Race; son Marty competes in the Warrior Race and rides in the 11-15 pony relay race; son Ryker races in the 10 and under category.
Teams are under extra pressure this year because the PIHRA board has announced they may take only 24 teams to the championships in Billings. The last two years the board took the top 30 teams. This year they can go 24, 30 or 36. A final decision will be made by the board closer to the championships.
PIHRA member teams are also working for a spot in the important spring race scheduled for Palm Beach in March. PIHRA is expected to take the top 20 teams to race in a significant event currently being planned for Palm Beach.
Tickets are on sale for the 4th Annual All Nations Indian Relay Championships. For more information about PIHRA and the Championships, visit www.letsrelay.com, follow “Professional Indian Horse Racing Association” on Facebook or checkout Indian Relay videos on YouTube.
For reservations and tickets, contact the MetraPark Grandstands box office at 800-366-8538 or go to www.indianrelay.com. For press information and media kit, visit www.adventuremedianews.com or call Nancy Harrison at 307-421-4473.
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Photo credit to Diana Volk