Be a part of history as the Sioux Tribes band together for the first annual Sioux Nation Challenge Indian Relay Race in Fort Pierre June 29-30. If you’ve never seen Indian relay racing, visualize this: one rider, bareback, three horses, three laps, switching horses each lap. The excitement of the fierce competition has everyone on their feet as the chaos of having 12-18 horses on the track at one time is both dangerous and exciting.

Watch daring horse changes that date back in history to Native Americans’ exchange to fresh horses in hunts and battle. Horses have always been prized possessions among the tribes of the Horse Nations. To them the horses are wealth — a good buffalo horse or battle horse were greatly prized and sacred. The skills of riding these great horses is today showcased in Indian relay races, the first extreme sport in America.

The Sioux people, after thousands of years of freely roaming their vast buffalo hunting land, were required to settle on eleven reservations — nine are located in South Dakota. Today they make up the Great Sioux Nation. Opening ceremonies will provide you with the Sioux Nation culture of dancers, drummers, color guard, and spiritual leaders. The Sioux Nation Challenge is bringing together the bands of Sioux to host teams from across the United States and Canada with one team taking home bragging rights, prizes and cash.

The champion of the Sioux Nation Challenge will go on to compete at the most coveted Indian Relay Race, the Championship of Champions, hosted by the Confederated Tribes of Colville, in Walla Walla, Wa., Sept. 20-22.

The Sioux Nation Challenge Relay Races is a family-oriented event and will have vendors, full concessions and adult beverages. Bring your family and friends to the first annual Sioux Nation Challenge, at the Stanley County Fairgrounds, Fort Pierre, June 29-30. Buy your tickets at the gate, so come early to get a good seat and browse the vendors. Gates open at noon, races start at 2:00 p.m. both days.

For more information, and a list of more upcoming races, check out Horse Nations Indian Relay Council website www.horsenationsrelay.com.

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