Whitefish Winter Carnival Ski Joring Jan. 24-26, 2014
The Ski Joring Championships are coming back to Whitefish, Montana as the signature Winter Carnival event that combines a Montana-style winter extreme sport mix of two of Big Sky Country’s favorites: horses and skiing
The spectator-friendly event scheduled for the weekend of January 24-26, 2014 is now in its 11th year, and will feature an exciting combination of horses, (and mules), riders, and skiers mixed with speed, jumps, and of course, snow, as competitors vie for an estimated purse of $20,000. There’s a lot of money at stake and skiers, horse-men, and women will all be racing for their share of it, in four separate classes, plus the Murdoch’s Long Jump.
This year’s Ski Joring Championships will have four divisions: the Open Class for the most experienced skiers (including some former U.S. Ski Team competitors) and fastest horses vying for the biggest cash purse; a Sport Class for the next level of competitors, which is typically the largest division), and the Great Northern Novice Class. There will also be a special Black Star Mule Class, with mules being required to have their extra-long ears measured prior to the race, to determine the qualified Mules. The occasional unpredictability of mules may make running for the “Best Ass in the World” trophy extra-challenging.
In addition, at the end of competition each day, the Murdoch’s Long Jump combines a team of horse, rider & skier who can land a straightaway jump for the longest distance requiring the skier lands standing upright. 2011 winner, Brady Smedsrud of Bozeman flew an astonishing 52 feet and stuck the landing.
There will be prizes for each class including cash awards for winners based on the event’s entry fee purse plus an estimated $20,000 added money.
The public is invited to the evening events as well. The Registration Party will be Friday, January 25th, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Location to be announced.)
On Saturday evening the public can get into the big money competition at the Calcutta, overseen by professional rodeo announcer Joe Warner, who auctions off all the teams based on Sunday’s results, with an 80% payback to those winning the bidding. The Calcutta starts off at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 25th. (Location to be announced.)
Cabins for contestants are at a reduced rate at Gaynor’s Ranch and Cabins just west of Whitefish. . . 406-862-3802