Indian Horse Relay

Experience America’s First Extreme Sport

The annual Indian Horse Relay at Canterbury Park is an event rich with Native American culture. The event provides an avenue for excitement, passion, and history to come together for a weekend of family fun.

Indian Relay Racing

An Indian Horse Relay team is made up of four members: a rider, a mugger, two holders, and three horses. Riders mount their first horses bareback at the stall while the holders restrain the other two horses. After rounding the track, the rider hops off of the first horse—nearly at full speed—and mounts the second horse. It is the mugger’s job to catch the first horse. After repeating the process once more, the third and final lap ends at the finish line in front of the grandstand, where thousands of spectators are cheering.

History of the Event

The Indian Horse Relay at Canterbury Park began in 2013, when the SMSC was invited to the Apsaalooke Crow Nation to see their Native American horse racing event.

The SMSC’s Mystic Lake Casino Hotel partnered with Canterbury Park in 2012, creating A Winning Combination, which presented the perfect opportunity to bring this sport to life in the area’s largest horse racing venue. Since the inception of the event, the annual Indian Horse Relay has celebrated great success and brings together racers and spectators from across the country every year.

Cultural Significance

The horse has long been sacred in Native American culture. Referred to as the Horse Nation, horses, like the drum, have a way of bringing Native people from all walks of life together. These majestic animals have the power to heal and comfort. Spending time around them is good for the heart and good for the spirit.

Indian Market

At the Indian Market, you can find handmade Native American crafts and jewelry, as well as traditional beading, carvings, and art. There are also many food vendors, including Native-inspired foods, such as fry bread and Indian tacos. Traditional flute music can also be heard throughout the market during the event.


On the final day of the event, Native American music and dancing can be seen and heard in front of the grandstand between races. These performances include the SMSC Royalty, a traditional Native American drum group, and others.

2019 Indian Horse Relay

August 22, 23 & 24

Indian Horse Relay brings together the best Indian relay racers from across the country for a weekend of excitement at Canterbury Park.

Find Out More

Explore Past Races

View past Indian Horse Relay race results and videos in our event gallery.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

2330 Sioux Trail NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372
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