The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association
PIHRA is an organization of Indian relay teams, Indian relay event organizers, sponsors and individuals who support Indian relay and who work to see Indian relay grow as a positive, culturally and historically important event and economic force on the reservations and in cities around the country. The PIHRA organization represents almost 50 Indian relay teams from over 15 Indian nations. PIHRA is run by volunteer directors representing different teams, individuals and nations. It also represented by a spiritual advisory board representing spiritual leaders from different Indian nations who provide a spiritual base and compass for the organization.
PIHRA is first and foremost concerned about the safety of the horse, rider, teams members and spectators at its events. PIRHA seeks to become the conduit to funnel national sponsorships into teams, regional and local Indian relay events thru revenue sharing models used by other national sports effectively. PIHRA seeks to share the cultural and historical importance of the horse and the horse nations cultures with persons from all backgrounds and ethnicities through its activities.
PIHRA sanctions or authorizes all major relay competitions and awards points to team members based upon their performance at sanctioned events. Based upon point standing member teams qualify to compete in the “All Nations Indian Relay Championships,” the largest gathering of competing Indian Relay teams, held each year. The 30 top teams on the year-end point standings are invited to gather from all over the country to compete for the “All Nations Champion” Belts and Jackets and over $75,000 in cash, travel, advance and prizes. In addition yearly point standings count for cash and prize awards that are awarded annually at the “All Nations Indian Relay Championships”. These standings are also used to secure an invitation for the new Florida Indian Relay Circuit under development. The authorized or sanctioned events included currently and in previous years are Emerald Downs-Auburn, WA, North American Indian Days & Blackfeet/Glacier Park Relay-Browning, MT, Run with the Warriors & Oglala Veteran’s Memorial Relay-Pineridge, SD, Lower Brule Relay-Lower Brule, SD, Crow Native Days and Crow Fair-Crow Agency, MT, Will James Roundup-Hardin, MT, Kalispell Relay, Kalispell, MT, Waterville Relay and Ferry Crossing Pony Express Relay-Republic, WA, Pendleton Round Up Relay-Pendleton, OR, Blackfoot Warrior Party-Alberta, Canada, and additional relays will be added. A sanctioned event becomes an official event on the PIHRA schedule.
PIHRA also organizes Indian Warrior Races, Ladies Races and Kids Relay Races. These cultural horse activities are often run as part of tribal relay competitions and are run in conjunction with the “All Nations Indian Relay Championships.” The “All Nations Indian Relay Championship” event is a celebration of the horse culture of the Horse Nations of the Northern Plains. Native American arts and crafts gathering, championship drumming and dancing are planned around the race schedule. Relay and cultural enthusiasts are invited to camp or lodge in the numerous fine and varied hotel and motel accommodations.
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) is to support Indian Horse Relay and Racing and to make it easier and safer for contestants to compete in Indian relay and racing competition. PIHRA will support individual teams and events that promote and encourage Indian Racing in any and all forms and venues. Our guiding principles are safety for the horses and riders, sharing the excitement of Indian Racing with as many as possible, providing economic opportunity on the reservations, and encouraging those involved to reconnect to their traditional culture and relationship with the horse. 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 initial focus of the association is on Indian Relay but all of the above disciplines are important and will be encouraged and promoted. The members of the PIHRA commit themselves to promoting Indian Relay and Indian Racing in a safe, professional, and responsible manner