Imagine what it would look like if mountain men and ladies started jousting; now strap these mountaineers on skis, trailing a horse and tell them it’s a race. Welcome to the wonderful sport of Ski Joring.
Every year the quaint town of Leadville, Colorado transforms it’s Main Street into a world class Ski Joring course. Ski Joring consists of a three-man team, a horse and a rider towing a skier behind them. Each team flies down the snow packed Main Street weaving thru gates, launching over jumps and spearing rings in this timed competition. This wild event has been taking place in Leadville since 1949.
The sport of Ski Joring hails from Scandinavian countries, hundreds of years ago. Originally the sport began as a convenient method of transportation between high mountain towns, with the rider pulled behind an unmanned reindeer. The sport made it’s way to the states with ranchers and mountaineers. Currently equestrian Ski Joring is a highly specialized competitive sport; and today Ski Joring competitions are held in more that five states in the US, and in several countries worldwide.
The Leadville Ski Joring Event has three classes; the Open Class, for experienced competitive teams; the Sport Class, for beginners; and the Legends Class, for experienced teams who may be slightly weathered for the Open Class. The event draws teams from all over the country. Skiers must prequalify to compete in the Open Class. Bring your kids along for the ride; on Saturday and Sunday mornings around 10 a.m., they can also try their luck at Ski Joring behind a snowmobile for just $5 a ride.
Each skier is timed through the course; the skiers need to be agile because penalties are given for missing gates, jumps, or by dropping any of the rings. Competitors race for cash prizes and teams are selected by a random draw before the start of the event. Competing is truly an experience you won’t soon forget, but the excitement and entertainment of the event from the sidelines is fantastic. Either way this is a Colorado event that you definitely do not want to miss.
- Leadville, Colorado: Main Street
- February 28, 2014 – March 2, 2014
- 103 Miles west of Denver, take I-70 West to CO 91 at Exit 195
- Please note that this is a dog-free event. No dogs allowed for the protection of competitors and horses.
Saturday March 1st & Sunday March 2nd:
- 8-10:30 AM: Ski Joring Registration at the Elks Lodge, 123 West 5th Street
- 10:00 AM: Kids Ski Joring, registration at Harrison Ave & 8th Street
- 11:00 AM: Ski Joring Draw
- 1:30 PM: Ski Joring Competition
- Ski Cooper & Chicago Ridge
- Harrison Avenue Knock-Out Nordic Sprints
- Free sledding on Dutch Henri Sledding Hill
- Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Advocates of Lake County
- Mineral Belt Mayhem Winter Mountain Bike Race