A unique and exciting event in the Great American West is South Dakota’s Indian Horse Relay Races! Leading riders and teams from seven Nations covering Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming and Canada battle it out on the racetrack.
Indian relays began approximately 400 years ago, when the sacred horse was introduced to the Plains. Today’s Indian Relay competition is an organized sport with governing associations, rules and prize money. Races are broken into heats, with four to six teams lined up on a racetrack. Each team has three horses, one rider, two horse holders and a horse mugger. The mugger is responsible for catching incoming horses in between exchanges, while the holders calm the horses before and after runs.
You can find an annual tour of Indian Relays organized by the Horse Nation Indian Relay Council (HNIRC), headquartered in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
- May 20-21 (Fort Pierre, South Dakota)
- June 24-25 (Crow Agency, Montana)
- July 29-30 (Evanston, Wyoming)
- August 5-6, 2023 (Pine Ridge, South Dakota)
- August 12 -13, 2023 (Lower Brule, South Dakota)
- August 18-20 (Crow Agency, Montana)
- September 22-24 (Casper, Wyoming)
Check back here for the 2024 event schedule.
For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.