Exciting Start to Indian Relay Race Championships

Foggy Weather, Light Rain Made Great Environment for the opening day of Indian Relay.

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) report opening day of the All Nations Indian Relay Championship was a huge success. Several thousand people witnessed an incredible display of athleticism and courage on a very fast and good track. The brief showers didn’t interrupt the show and spectators were comfortable under the covered Yellowstone Downs Grandstands. VIP ticket holders enjoyed great food and beverages in The Painted Pony Club compliments of the Texas Road House.

Results of the first night are as follows;
Heat One
1.    Young Money, Browning, MT, Blackfeet
2.    Real Bird Bucking Horse
3.    Pikuni Express, Starr School, MT, Blackfeet
Heat Two
1.    GM Express, Omak, WA, Colville
2.    Abrahamson Relay, Omak, WA, Colville
3.    Whitecalf, Browning, MT, Blackfeet
Heat Three
1.    Mountain River, Lodgepole, MT, Nakota White Clay
2.    Okan Ranch, Siksiska, Alberta, Canada, North Blackfoot
3.    Willow Creek, Eagle Butte, SD, Cheyenne River Sioux
Heat Four:
1.    River Road, Crow Agency, MT, Crow
2.    Fast Horse Relay, Eagle Butte, SD, Cheyenne River Sioux
3.    Fast Travelers, Lodge Pole, MT, Nakota White Clay
Heat Five:
1.    Silver Mountain Express, Crow Agency, MT, Crow
2.    Starr School, Browning, MT, Crow
3.    Teepee Service, Wyola, MT, Crow
Heat Six:
1.    Grizzly Mountain Express, Colville
2.    Da Boys, Browning, MT, Blackfeet
3.    Medicine Tail, Garryowen, MT, Crow
Warrior’s Race
1.    Rico Cortez, Lakota Warpath
2.    Travis McGuire, Okan Ranch
3.    Ian Hugs, Eagle Starr
Maiden’s Race:
1.    Autumn Charges Strong, Sage Creek
2.    Vanessa Horn, Rides a Pretty Horse
3.    Ann Pretty on Top, Holds the Enemy
Junior Relay
1.    Crazy Pony
2.    River Road Juniors
3.    Bull That Shows
Chief’s Race
1.    Darren Charges Strong, Sage Creek Vets
2.    Rico Cortez, Lakota Warpath
3.    Scott Abrahamson, Abrahamson Relay

The All Nations Indian Relay Championships will be held this week-end 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 checkout 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 Gary Fellers – sponsors@letsrelay.com
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.

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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.

Professional Indian Horse Racing Association
Media Contact: Nancy Harrison

Images available to media at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukxtfce3jlthihl/determination.jpg?dl=0

Photo Credit to Diana Volk

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