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Cowboys and Horses Team Up with Skiers and Snowboarders for Fast Action Ski Joring Fun in the Wood River Valley

Published online: Jan 24, 2024 Events
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Winter in Idaho’s Wood River Valley offers plenty of ways to enjoy the snow, including unique events like the annual Wood River Extreme Ski Joring Races, set to take place February 17-18, 2024, in Bellevue, Idaho.

Produced by the Wood Extreme Ski Joring Association (WRESJA), the event features cowboys with their fast horses racing with brave skiers and snowboarders and promises a weekend of fast-action fun that the whole family will enjoy. Ski Joring is a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning “ski driving”. In the Wood River Valley horses are used. 

A successful run of this race means crossing the finish line of the 600-900-foot course with the skier having executed one to three jumps ranging from three to six feet high and grabbing from three to nine rings. The rider must also grab a ring. Points are deducted for missed or dropped rings and missed jumps. Speed – which often reaches 40 miles per hour – is a factor. Winners are based on the combined overall score for both days. This year the WRESJA races will also feature a couple’s division and stick horse races for 10 & under.

The WRESJA races will take place at 81 Browning Lane in Bellevue on Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18, starting at 12noon each day.  There is an admission fee of $10 per spectator, with children 12 and under free, and a portion of the fees with be donated to the Wood River High School Rodeo Team. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs but dogs are not allowed. This family-friendly weekend event will also feature concessions at the races, a raffle to support a local area non-profit and evening events that include a team auction on Saturday night, 6:30 p.m. at Mahoney’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue and awards party on Sunday night, 5:30 p.m. at 7 Fuego restaurant in Gannett.

For those interested in competing, sign-ups will take place Friday night at Mahoney’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. There is also a team-up page on Facebook for those seeking a partner to compete with. www.facebook.com/groups/wresja.teamup/

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