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Photo Courtesy of Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum © All Rights Reserved

Skijoring Race down Broadway in front of the Wort Hotel site, Jackson, Wyoming late 1930's

SKIJORING has been a tradition in Jackson Hole for over 75 years.  As evidenced in the photograph above, skijoring competitions were first held down the main streets of town and racers often competed side by side "drag race" style.  Skijoring came to the United States as early as 1915 and was offered at resorts such as Lake Placid, New York. It also was a regular practice at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival as early as the 1920’s. In the 1930’s a more competitive side of skijoring emerged and continued to grow through the 1940’s and 1950’s. It is possible that after WWII when the 10th Mountain Division soldiers returned home and ski lifts were still unknown to resorts, these "soldiers on skis" asked their cowboy friends to pull them from behind their horses for fun as they had seen practiced in countries like France and Switzerland. Thus, the Western Style of equine skijoring was born.    In the 80's and 90's, skijoring races were held down Broadway in front of The Virginian Lodge and in more recent years at The Melody Ranch.  In 2016, the race was held at the base of Teton Village at the Snake River Ranch. In 2019, it will be held in town at the Teton County Fairgrounds.

by Loren Zhimanskova

As a result of a robust circuit of races developing, the year 1999  represented a time when two very formidable regional traveling teams were formed.  The Jackson Hole traveling team consisted of rider Lane Hutchings and skiers Aaron Cisco and Pete Karns.  The Rocky Mountain Ski Joring traveling team consisted of folks entirely from Colorado including riders Dana Stiles, Erica Dube, Lynn Knarcik, Tami Richardson and Jeff Dahl with skiers Tony Fox, Jason Dahl, Howard Mallette, Bruce Stott and Kevin Sisti.  Between these two traveling teams, a bulk of the prize money was divided up throughout the circuit for several years, with the exception of the Red Lodge race, where every year it was up for grabs with so many entrants.  

by Tony Fox

 

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