Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Smart Stuff aka Ski Joring

Some pioneering moments of preparation for introducing the sport of Ski Joring to  Sandpoint occurred three years ago at the home of Matt and  his wife, Dr. Chrissy Smart, up Rapid Lightning Creek.  In this photo, Matt gives boarder Justin Pickford a few pointers before Chrissy takes off  to pull Pickford around the practice course. 

It worked out okay for Justin in his first-ever attempt at Ski Joring. 

I heard from my friend and former elephant trainer,  Matt Smart,  overnight.  He and his helpers are gearing up for the third year of Ski Joring in Sandpoint.

Matt, who runs the summer trail-riding concession at Schweitzer, came up with the idea, started practices with just a few folks at his home up Rapid Lightning Creek, then set up the fairgrounds venue in cold, blustery and icy weather, got the word out AND they came.

Hundreds of people from throughout the region showed up to watch and dozens came with horses or skis/snowboards to compete.

Ski Joring caught on bigtime during its first year here in Sandpoint.  Since then, Matt and his crew have honed the operation and its organization.  

The timed sport, pitting fast horses pulling fearless skiers or boarders over a specifically designed course continues to grow in popularity, locally, serving as an integral part of Sandpoint's local Winter Carnival. 

So, here’s the word from the local Ski Joring Master Matt Smart:

It’s that time of year for Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival and SKI JORING!!

We are happy to announce the third annual Ski Joring event taking place at the Bonner County Fairgrounds February 16th and 17th.

Last year we saw more 2, 500 people attending the event with 23 teams participating.

This is where we need your help.  We want this to be a bigger event than previous years,  and we need participants. We will have more than $3,000 in cash and prizes this year!!

Need practice??

We have our first practice at a new, easily accessible location, Sunday (starting at noon)  Jan 20 in Kootenai ID.  

The practice venue  is two miles off Hwy 200 at 1759 North Kootenai Road.

Call or email us for details 208-263-2161 or 208-610-2025

Matt Smart,
Race Director.

So, with that said, I encourage you to spread the word to all your horse-owner friends to check out the possibilities.  Horses perform better with special shoes and some winter conditioning. 

It's turned into a fun event for this area. 


JanisKPC said...

When are you going to give it a try, MA? Puz

Marianne Love said...

It will be a cold day in Palm Desert, Janis! :)