Indian Relay-America’s First Extreme Sport
Indian relay is America’s oldest sport. It dates back over 400 years to when the horse was first re-introduced to the native cultures of the America’s. Lakota culture insists that this was in fact the second coming of the horse and its reintroduction and in fact the relationship to the plains cultures and the horse is perhaps much older than that is realized. Archeology seems to support that view.
It appears that Indian relay developed independently amongst the Indian nations. Different cultures have different oral histories of its origins and most likely they are all true representations. To one tribe relay was used as war games, to another a relay to hunt the buffalo, to another a way to outrun the wild horses to enable their capture. Whatever the origins of relay the importance of it and of the horse to the plains cultures cannot be understated. The horse was transportation, it provided sustenance, it provided protection. The horse was considered sacred by many native cultures and revered by all. It was a major source of status and a most sought after prize. Relay provided the measure to test the horse, the rider, and the team.
Indian Relay is also America’s oldest competition, it’s first and most exciting test of skill. Today Indian relay is resurging as America’s newest extreme sport. Warriors racing at lightning speed, leaping from one galloping horse flying onto another, defying fear and gravity. Displaying the ultimate bond of horse and rider, when the two become one.