LINCOLN, Mont.– Sunday brought some heavy snow to Lincoln, but that was no obstacle for the third annual Skijor Lincoln.
Skijoring is a team sport, in which a horse and rider pull a skier along a specially-built snow course. The skier must contend with jumps and obstacles, and competitors say strategy and teamwork are key.
“You have to stay close enough to the track where your skier has a chance, but far enough away that your horse doesn’t run as far so you can get a faster time than everybody else.” says Richard Weber, a skijoring rider. “So it’s really tricky on a round track, but it’s fun, it’s a challenge.”
About 75 rider and skier teams signed up to compete in Lincoln over the weekend. On the curved track, some of the teams could reach speeds of up to 30 miles an hour. Thankfully, there is a race for every speed, and every skill level.
Skijor Lincoln began when Skijoring America contacted the Lincoln Valley Chamber of Commerce and suggested they hold a race.
“We had never heard of it,” says Laurie Richards, Lincoln Valley Chamber of Commerce President. “And so we went online and Youtubed it and watched it, and thought, ‘This would be a great winter sport for Lincoln.”
Since then, organizers say the event has thrived.
According to Skijoring America President Adams Rys-Sikora, “Just the amount of people coming to these races seems like it’s doubled every year.”
Leaders say the event is a big boost for the community.
There wasn’t as much snow as some years at the track, so volunteers collected snow from the parking lots of Lincoln businesses and trucked it in.
It is that kind of community support that makes Skijor Lincoln possible.
-Reported by Jonathon Ambarian/MTN News