Rapid City Hosts Indian Relay This Week-end!

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BILLINGS, Mont. – This weekend an exciting professional relay is going to take place at the Black Hills speedway in Rapid City South Dakota. The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) will host the first-ever PIHRA sanctioned relay races in the State. PIHRA and Black Hills Speedway have partnered to develop Indian Relay into a major event in Rapid City. The first race will take place October 7-9, 2016 and will be held in conjunction with the Black Hills PowWow a major attraction for Rapid City which draws thousands to their convention center.

16 select teams will be running head to head for significant purse money. Teams from Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, the Crow nation, Blackfeet, Gross Ventre, Assiniboine Sioux and Northern Arapahoe will be in attendance.

This will be the first time a relay has been held at Black Hills Speedway and the track has been especially prepared to accommodate horse racing. Racing starts 5pm on Friday, 4pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com and are reasonable for the whole family. General Admission, select seating and VIP restaurant seats are available. The event is conveniently scheduled to work in conjunction with the Pow Wow.

The popularity of Indian Relay is growing with the completion of the 2016 All Nations Indian Relay Championships held in front of record crowds in Billings, MT September 22-15. Over 50 teams qualified for payouts of more than $100,000 in prize money. Rapid City is a center of commerce to many of the Sioux nation and the Black Hills PowWow is an important event which resulted in PIHRA’s director’s decision to feature Indian Relay Races. Black Hills PowWow and PIHRA have agreed to coordinate and support each other’s events which results in a great opportunity for visitors and locals alike.

PIHRA attracts a broad crowd of Native Americans and all cultures who marvel at the athleticism of these Native warriors as they race bareback, in native regalia, leaping from one horse at a full gallop and flying onto another. Each team consists of one rider, two holders and a mugger and three race horses who can obtain speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Many call Indian relay the world’s first extreme sport and certainly it is universally acclaimed as one of the most exciting and challenging competitions.

For more information about PIHRA and Indian Relay Racing, visit www.LetsRelay.com, follow “Professional Indian Horse Racing Association” on Facebook or checkout Indian Relay videos on www.letsrelay.com..
For press information, visit www.adventuremedianews.com or call Nancy Harrison at 307-421-4473.
For event information go to www.LetsRelay.com
·         For Information call 844-Relay77
·         For tickets Eventbrite.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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PIHRA MISSION
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
nharrison@adventuremedianews.com
307.421.4473

High resolution photos available for media use

Photo credit: Diana Volk

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