The 75th Leadville Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival will kick off on the first weekend of March.
Ski joring is essentially being pulled on skis over snow or ice by a horse, dog, or motor vehicle. Traditionally a horse does the pulling and that’s how they like it in Leadville, Colorado, where they ride through the heart of downtown on the historic Harrison Avenue.
Leadville Ski Joring says this on how they score the competition:
“The skier is timed through the course, and penalties are assessed by missing gates or jumps, and by missing or dropping the baton or any of the rings. The competitors race for cash prizes, and teams are made up by a random draw before the start.”
- Check out its website for the full list of rules.
Penalties are added to the running times as follows:
- Missed Jump (5 seconds)
- Missed Gate (5 seconds)
- Missed (or dropped) ring – 2 seconds per ring
- Dropped baton (or no baton) before (at) finish – 2 seconds
- Rings knocked off by rider – 2 seconds per ring
75 years is a long time. In 1949, two friends were discussing the upcoming winter festivities for the Crystal Carnival in Leadville. After running out of ideas, the two decided to head up to Steamboat Springs and gather some inspiration from their carnival. This is when they witnessed ski joring for the first time and realized the potential of what event they could create. They went back to Leadville, where one of them raised horses, and hopped on skis, and the rest was history.
Along with the horse-powered ski joring, the competition will allow snowmobiles into the event this year.
A little bonus content:
Yours truly participated in ski (snowboarding) joring last year. When you don’t have mountains near, you must adapt.