Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ski-Joring Coming to Sandpoint

I read in this morning's paper that Sandpoint has once again received the attention of Sunset Magazine as one of the West's best winter destinations.

Well, the best should get even better here because a new and exciting event will inject some more excitement into next month's Sandpoint Winter Carnival. 

Matt Smart, former elephant trainer at the New Orleans Audubon Zoo,  and current owner of Mountain Horse Adventures out of Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Rapid Lightning Creek,  is putting together a two-day ski-joring competition, as you can see in the poster.  

He's looking for sponsors, and, I'm sure, volunteers to help him pull it off.
Matt told me he's hoping to bring in some pros at ski joring to give Sandpoint's inaugural event a great boost. 

We've talked briefly about this event, and I'll be learning more while gathering information for my next River Journal column. 

(By the way, you can read ALL about triplets with a local touch by visiting or by picking up a copy of the print edition at its drops around the area).

When I said ski-joring will be a new event, that meant for Sandpoint.  Matt tells me that the sport is about as old as skiing itself.  It's made its way to America from Scandinavian countries, and Leadville, Colorado, has been hosting an annual event for more than 50 years.

Generally, teams of horses with riders and skiers or boarders are matched up through a drawing at the beginning of the event.

Horses have to be willing to race like the wind with a 50-foot tow rope and a skier/boarder behind them.

Generally, the course runs about 600 feet, and skiers/boarders must master obstacles/jumps along the way. 

Several sites online have more information about the event.  So, check it out. 

This should be a fun addition to the 2011 Winter Carnival and, with luck, for years ahead.  

So, stay tuned as information unfolds.   Also, if you're local and want to participate or to help in any way, you can call the numbers on the poster above.  

Good luck to Matt and to all who help pull off a successful Ski-Joring competition in January.


Today is a "hurry up and get it done" day.  Gotta clean out clutter, gotta bake some more cookies, gotta do some more Christmas cards, gotta get ready to decorate and gotta get ready to watch the ZAGS in their match-up against Notre Dame this afternoon.  

They've got a challenge ahead.  Let's hope they can rise to it and shake off the losing blues. 

So, that's it for this Saturday.  If you're local, start thinking ski-joring and start planning to enjoy its introduction to Sandpoint in January.

Happy Saturday. 

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