All Nations Indian Relay Championships A Great Success
BILLINGS, Mont.— Record crowds, cultural celebration, patriotic ceremonies, fun food, great sponsors, thrilling relay races, and honored champions all were celebrated under the beautiful Montana skies in Billings, Mont. This event marked the Third Annual All Nations Relay Race Championships this past weekend, September 17-20.
Four days of Indian Relay Races culminated in the final heat on Sunday afternoon, during which Omak Express of Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington State won top honors. 28 Relay teams from 15 Horse Nations qualified to compete for more than $85,000 in cash, travel, advance and prizes, and the coveted Champions’ jackets and buckles. These elite teams battled each day to earn a spot in the season-ending Championship race on Sunday, September, 20.
The tribes from many nations were represented, and leading the groups were the Blackfeet, Crows, Sioux and Colville Confederated tribes. The vision of the teams, along with that of entire membership, is for relay to become a viable economic and cultural entity for the reservations.
Spectators cheered for three 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. Veteran Indian Relay announcers Kennard Real Bird and Randy Taylor elevated this event with running commentary for all relay races.
The Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) was founded to promote Indian Relay, horsemanship and safety. PIHRA has developed a season-long championship series, culminating with the All Nations Indian Relay Championships. There were 17 founding teams in 2013; two years later, PIHRA membership is growing rapidly with more teams coming on-board constantly. Only the top teams are selected to attend three days of qualifying rounds to determine the six teams that will advance to the finals. Those not in the top six will battle it out during the first, second and third consolation races prior to the championship race on the final day of the Championships.
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 YouTube.
For press information, please see the media kit, or call Nancy Harrison at 307.421.4473; for event information and sponsorships, contact Kris Keck at 908.303.5137. “Let’s Relay!”