Tickets for the Championship pf Champions are now on sale. This season finale Indian Relay Race is being held at Sept. 21-23. Teams from around the West have competed all summer to qualify for an invitation to the Championships. It promises non-stop action as teams compete for the ultimate win – 2018 Champion!
Each Indian horse relay team is made up of three horses and four warriors, one of whom is the rider. The riders are in full regalia, riding bareback and exchanging horses right in front of the grandstands. After each lap, riders dismount from one galloping horse to mount another, defying fear and gravity. Three teammates stand at the edge of the track, holding the other two horses while the “mugger” waits to catch the incoming horse as the rider dismounts at a full gallop. During the exchange, horses may rear up, flip or getaway and the incoming horse may or may not stop – it often becomes a classic case of organized mayhem, where one minor error can drastically change the outcome of the race. Once spectators witness this, they feel an intense excitement they never get with any other sport; this is why Indian Relay fans come back year after year.
Teams wear different colors and designs to represent their various tribes. These designs are very meaningful and may be interpretations from a dream or an old song. In the old days the designs were intended to guarantee victory in war – to intimidate the enemy. The race team is thinking about this history as they paint themselves and their horses for Indian Relay Racing.
is sponsored by the Horse Nations Indian Relay Council (HNIRC) and will feature teams representing 15 Indian nations. The teams come from Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canada. The tribes represented in relay include Oglala Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Crow, Chippewa, Mandan Arikara (MHA), Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone and the Colville Confederated Tribes.
“We look forward to the competition to be 2018 Champion,” says HNIRC Chairman Calvin Ghost Bear. ” It’s been a great year so far and this is the culmination of all the hard work that goes in to these events.”