Lakota Warpath Team at 2014 Indian Relay Championships.
Spectators will enjoy the main relay event, plus an Indian Warriors’ Race, Indian Ladies’ Race and Kids’ Indian Relay daily
Published August 28, 2015
BILLINGS, MONTANA – The All Nations Indian Relay Championships will take Billings by storm in three weeks time! Indian Relay fans will converge at the MetraPark Grandstands September 17-20, 2015, for four days of relay excitement as well as fun, cultural activities for the entire family. In addition to the featured Indian Relay races, audiences will experience three bonus races each day, all leading up to the championship relay races on Sunday.
The top 30 teams representing 15 Indian nations will compete for more than $75,000 in money, prizes and the coveted Champions’ jackets and belt buckles. Each team invited to compete accumulated enough points during the 2015 Indian Relay season – 15 sanctioned races in all – to be considered one of the top relay teams in the country. Now these elite teams must fight to earn a spot in the season-ending Championship race on Sunday, Sept. 20.
In addition to the thrilling main event, spectators will also get to watch three other exciting and entertaining races every day – Indian Warriors’ Race, Indian Ladies’ Race and Kids’ Indian Relay – each culminating with its own Championship race on Sunday.
The Indian Warriors’ Race is a great test of athleticism and horsemanship requiring one rider, one holder and one war pony. During each race, riders start out on foot, running a 100-yard dash to leap onto their bareback ponies and gallop a full lap around the half-mile track, competing for the fastest time. A purse of $6,000 in cash and prizes will be offered. Warriors’ Race teams cannot use Indian Relay team horses.
Indian Ladies’ Races are equally exciting and challenging. This race series features a mounted start, with Indian ladies racing bareback around the half-mile track, vying for first place. No saddles are allowed and the field is limited to eight racers. A purse of $6,000 in cash and prizes will be offered. Ladies’ Race teams cannot use Indian Relay team horses.
As his horse applies the brakes, a rider in the Indian relay race on the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ reservation begins his flying dismount. Each bareback rider has to make three laps, leaping on a new horse at the end of each one. © Erika Larsen/National Geographic
The Kids’ Indian Relay is the crowd favorite. Just like adult relay, the Kids’ Relay consists of one rider, two holders, one mugger and three ponies. Kids race bareback around the track three times, exchanging ponies after each lap just like their adult counterparts. A purse of $6,000 in cash and prizes will be offered. Kids’ Relay is limited to six teams and three ponies per team. All kids’ team members must not exceed 10 years of age and ponies must not exceed 42-inches in height.
Teams are invited to register for these races, but slots are limited so signup now. Applications are available at www.letsrelay.com.
As if the relay races are not exciting enough, the All Nations Indian Relay Championships will also highlight the Native American culture through traditional food, artisan booths as well as a dancing and drumming introduction to each race event and during intermissions. This is an exciting cultural and sporting event second to none. Get ready to experience America’s first extreme sport as the Horse Nations of the Northern Plains have practiced for centuries.