Sunday was a beautiful day in the Vail Valley. Blue skies, a slight breeze and enough sun to tan my pale face. What better way to enjoy it than to visit Minturn, Colorado. In the winter, I would typically do so by means of the Minturn Mile. But this day I was intrigued to attend a new event, Skijoring. Now Wikipedia defines Skijoring as:
Skijoring (pronounced /ˈskiːʃɜrɪŋ/) is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.
In this case it was a grown adult pulled by a Kentucky Derby bred race horse. Ok, the horse may not have been bred to race in the Derby but I think you know where I am going with this. They were FAST!!! Well to be correct, some were fast and others not as fast, but fast none the less.
We arrived and the kids took the stage. It was cute and gave me a glimpse as to what to expect. The kids were pulled by a snowmobile, one at a time. They had to maneuver the course, which was a ton of snow covering a straight away behind the Minturn Turntable.
The adults took the stage and right off the bat the first competitor flew, literally, right by me. The adult is holding on to a rope that they wrap around their arm and hold on for dear life as the 1500 lb beast takes off running with a rider commanding the quarter horse to go faster. The object is for the skier to get the fastest time by collecting rings in a jousting fashion while navigating the 1/4 mile stretch which included three 6+ foot jumps all as this thoroughbred reached speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. A very fun, alternative ski event to attend in the Vail Valley.
We finished up the afternoon with a small walk around the quaint town of Minturn. What a great gem. The Weston Snowboard shop is a local must see as it is building a local following and building great backcountry equipment. We also had to stop by the Minturn Saloon and have an awesome margarita, just because. Of course my girlfriend had to stop by Holy Toledo to see what was on the consignment racks.
Holy cow! It was an impressive event and I can honestly say that I was happy that I was not one of those competitors.
Can’t wait for next year!