Silverton Skijoring

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  • Silverton Skijoring 2019 - Photography by Ray Dileo (Drone Shot, 2016)
  • Skijoring 2016

Silverton Skijoring Rides Again with our biggest added purse yet........$10,000!! In addition to the prize money, there are championship buckles (thank you Tres Rios) and other prizes. In addition to our traditional Open, Sport and Novice classes, we are adding a wild "Fat Boy" class this year for slightly older and slower horses, riders, and skiers. Come out and bring your "oldies but goodies" and ride for some bragging rights along with the jackpot prize. Entry fees are $50.00 per entry, per day for Open, Sport and Novice and $10.00 per day per team for the "Fat Boy".
Races begin at High Noon each day. Early Registration along with live entertainment by Lacey Black will be held Friday February 15th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Grand Imperial Hotel. Race day registration will be held Saturday and Sunday from 7:30am to 9:00 am at the SAGE HEN CAFE adjacent to Blair Street on 12th Street. Sign up for one or both days. There will be other fun activities, food and shopping available so come early, stay late and check out the fun. Horses and Skiers may sign up as a team or sign up individually and we will try to match teams if available. First come, first matched, so plan to sign up early.
Admission for spectators is free, but donations are always welcome.
For more information call 970-744-9446.

Skijoring (ski driving) is comprised of a single horse, generally guided by a rider, pulling a person on skis who simply hangs onto a tow rope in a manner similar to water skiing. Skiing behind a horse originated as a method of winter transportation, Skijoring used as transportation but today skijoring is a competitive sport. Skijoring horses have to be trained to remain calm in racing conditions and accept the presence of ropes and skiers being towed behind them.

Skijoring's roots are in Norway and Sweden. It was included on the program of the Nordic Games in 1901, 1905, and 1909. Skijoring was also a demonstration sport held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, 1928. The competition in St. Moritz was held on a frozen lake. Unlike modern equestrian skijoring in North America, there were no riders on the horses, no jumps on the course, and athletes competed simultaneously. Although the sport was included as a demonstration sport in 1928, it would never again appear as either a demonstration or medal sport.

The North American Ski Joring Association holds competitions in which a rider guides the horse while the skier navigates a series of jumps and obstacles. More informal competitions are held on flat ground over short courses, often as simple sprint races on a straightaway, St. Moritz 1928 Olympics Skijoring Demosometimes with turns on the course. Competitors often use short skis and modified water skiing towing equipment, though often this is as simple as a single tow rope looped around the horn or attached to the back of a western saddle. Some variants in equipment attach two towing lines to either the back of a saddle or the breastplate on the horse. Timing is typically electronic, with top competitions decided by hundredths of seconds.

The World Skijoring Championships have been held in Whitefish, Montana since 2009, as a part of the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival. The 2011 World Skijoring Championships had an actual purse of $19,580 and 91 teams. Skiers are required to land upright.

The city of Leadville, Colorado, has organized an equestrian competition since 1949, which has a much higher emphasis on speed. The Leadville version is normally spelled as two words: "Ski Joring". A horse and rider pull a skier at a fast pace through a course that has gates, jumps and rings. The skier is timed through the course, and penalties are assessed by missing gates or jumps, and by missing or dropping any of the rings (two seconds each). The competitors race for cash prizes, and teams are made up by a random draw before the start.

Silverton residents, Pete Maisel and Rob Conaty, brought this great annual event to Silverton in 2010. The event drew riders, skiers and audience from Durango, Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Montrose, Ridgway and Grand Junction, as well as from the Red Mountain Pass communities of Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose and beyond.

During the first year the audience was around 300 people and has been showing substantial growth every year with 2016 being the biggest most successful Skijoring to date. From all appearances, there was well over 2,500 spectators attending the 2016 races. The 2018 event promises to show even more growth, as it's popularity increases.

Silverton' Skijoring would like to thank the great volunteers that help with crowd control, race judging, course maintenance, and so much more.

Please remember this is a "dog-free event".
Dogs and horses simply do not mix at this type of event.

Town of Silverton

Silverton Skijoring would not be possible without these great Sponsors:

(Click on Sponsor Banners to Visit Their Websites.)

Maisel Excavation, Silverton  Durango to Silverton Train  Kisz Country Radio
Quiet Bear ArtCarol Wilkins Designs  Creative Cracker Jack  Creative Cracker Jack - Outdoor World
The Bent Elbow Hotel & Restaurant  Silverton Groceries & More!  Prospector Motel
3D Corporation  Hotter Construction  Citizens State Bank of Ouray  San Juan Development Association
La Fleur Victorienne  Coca Cola
Coldwell Banker, Silverton  Avalanche Brewing  Acme Healing Center  Community Foundation of Southwest Colorado
Silverton Mountain, Extreme Skiing  Sage Hen Cafe  Tres Rios Silver

Silverton Church of Christ  Golden Block Brewery and Pizza  Grand Imperial Hotel
Brown Bear Cafe`  Silverton, Colorado Chamber of Commerce  Route 550 Gifts  Rudy's Teller House Restaurant & Cantina
Silverado House Vacation Rental  Bearded Wonder Automotive Services  Silver Summit RV Park
San Juan County, Colorado  Pickle Barrel Restaurant  Fetch's T-Shirt & Souvenir Shop  San Miguel Power Company  Silverton Web Works
Oilfield Specialists - New & used Industrial Engines  Oilfield products and services from MAGNEY GRANDE in Bayfield, Colorado  Brennan Stations, Durango
Kelly's Cowboy Company, Durango  Durango Painting  Durango Tractor Supply  Ice Pirates
Avalanche Brewing  Silverton Green Works, Recreational Marijuana  AATCO Transmissions
 Ariat  Avon Hotel  Black Canyon Builders
Shangri-La Soaking Pools  Canna Farmer • Silverton  Notorious Blair Street, Silverton  Native Sun Construction - Preservation Specialists of Lake City

Additional Sponsors:
Alma House at Inn of the RockiesCanyon View Motel
San Juan ServicesSilverton-San Juan Ambulance Association

This is a "dog-free event".
Dogs and horses simply do not mix at this type of event.