The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will present the Indian Horse Relays Aug. 22-25 at Canterbury Park. Indian horse relays are one of the rarest sporting events in the country, Canterbury spokesman Jeff Maday said. The sport involves four Native American riders and three horses racing bareback around the race track, exchanging horses at high speeds.
Indian horse relays used to be activities that would test the horse, rider and team in Native American culture. They date back more than 400 years, when horses became an integral part of the cultures of the Indian nations who lived on the Great Plain. Tribes depended on horses for hunting, transportation, and safety. Nations and individuals measured their wealth in terms of horses, Maday said. Unlike their ancestors, today’s Indian relay warriors ride primarily for competition.
Canterbury has hosted the event each summer since 2013. General admission is $7 for adults, and kids 17 and younger are free. The relays will occur between thoroughbred horse races.