Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

WHITEFISH — With snow on the bottom all over the place nearly all outside sports activities are on maintain for the winter however one uniquely Montana sport is simply getting began as skijoring is getting ready for its first large occasion of 12 months on the finish of this January.

“I’d say it’s rodeo, meets water snowboarding, meets downhill ski-racing, all mixed into one,” stated ten-year skijoring competitor Leah Mitchell. “And we name it the Montana excessive winter occasion.”

An excessive occasion that continues to develop 12 months in and 12 months out.

“You recognize I believe it began as like type of a yard factor, seize the horses out of the paddock that you’ve got which are path horses, which are western horses and go and run,” stated Mitchell. “[Now] It’s to the place individuals are really buying off the monitor thoroughbred race horses to only elevate the bar of the competitors greater and better.”

And whereas the snowboarding and using the horses gives all the fun, there’s way more to the game.

“To be trustworthy the primary factor for me is the folks, we have now such a decent knit household in skijoring,” stated fellow competitor Kristen Macasek. “You go to at least one race, you see the identical folks, but it surely’s such as you haven’t seen them in a 12 months and also you simply need to catch up another time, it’s simply a lot enjoyable.”

Skijoring means neighborhood, however much more than that…household.

“I ended up racing behind my mother,” stated 27-year-old Dave Rizzolo. “She was the one which acquired began doing it after which the subsequent 12 months she was like, ‘I don’t have skier so would you be all the way down to ski,’ in order that’s how I acquired into it and me and her have been doing it ever since.”

And after competing for the previous eight years Rizzolo solely continues to see the neighborhood develop each season.

“Extra, extra, extra, and extra folks, and it’s simply nice to see it proper,” stated Rizzolo with a smile. “You wanna get increasingly folks concerned as a lot as you’ll be able to to develop the game and we love doing it.”

Whereas the extremeness of the game can appear intimidating, Scott Ping, usually referred to as the godfather of skijoring, is adamant anybody can take part.

“I’ve had folks come out right here which have by no means achieved the game earlier than and win the novice division and so they simply acquired into it,” stated Ping. “They like it, they will’t cease doing it similar to me, and so they find yourself being profitable.”

And rivals of all ranges can have the possibility to race on the finish of this month for the annual Whitefish skijoring occasion.

“We now have world class skiers coming, we have now world class horsemen coming, and it’ll actually be one thing to look at,” stated an excited Ping. “When you haven’t seen skijoring earlier than, it’s one thing that you simply’ll keep in mind for the remainder of your life.”

By Admin

Leave a Reply