Leadville Ski Joring
Ski joring, which entails a horse and rider pulling a skier down a snow-packed road over jumps while spearing rings in a timed competition, has been an annual event in Leadville since 1949. This captivating winter sport is as much fun to watch as it is to participate in!
Events include three classes: the Open Class, for experienced competitive teams; the Sport Class, for beginners; and the Legends Class, for experienced teams who are getting a little long in the tooth for the Open Class. The event draws teams from all over the country. In years past, there have been as many as 64 teams competing in the Open Class.
The competitions take place the first weekend in March. A variety of winter activities round out the weekend, including Nordic sprints, a winter mountain bike race and a paintball biathlon. Visitors can also enjoy winter fun at the nearby sledding hill, ice skating rink, Nordic and snowshoeing trails and Ski Cooper / Chicago Ridge.
Please note, this is a dog-free event. Call 719-486-2014 for information about dog daycare and boarding.
The 2014 Ski Joring Weekend will be held March 1 - 2.
The History of Ski Joring
The sport of ski joring began several hundred years ago in Scandinavian countries as a way to travel during the long winters. Laplanders skied on Nordic skis holding the reins attached to reindeer. Ski joring found its way to North America, where ranchers attached a long rope to the saddle horn of a horse that was ridden at high speeds down a long straight-away. Currently, the sport of equestrian ski joring has become a highly specialized competitive sport, where competitors must navigate a course of jumps, gates and sometimes spear rings. Competitive ski joring competitions are currently taking place in more than five states in the USA, and in several countries worldwide. In some parts of the world, skiers are pulled behind dogs, mules and snowmobiles. Whatever the means, the sport of ski joring is growing rapidly, and is just as much fun for spectators as it is for competitors. Courtesy of the North American Ski Joring Association.