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Skijoring: A hybrid winter activity for thrill-seekers
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 6:38PM CST
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 11:58AM CST
Update: The event has been cancelled. Organizers say recent warm temperatures have melted much of the snow at Grasswood Horse Park, and that they’ll try again next winter.
It’s a combination of equestrian sport and skiing, known as skijoring; and if the snow holds up, it’ll be debuting just minutes south of Saskatoon this weekend.
“You need to give it a try because it’s a tonne of fun and if you like animals and being outside you’re going to have a great time,” said Shannon Christensen.
Christensen and a team of volunteers at the Grasswood Horse Park south of Saskatoon have been poring over plans for the past four months, laying out a course, shaping bumps and jumps all in preparation for Sunday’s Skijor Ride n’ Slide 2019.
Skijoring is Norweigan for “ski-driving” and across the globe the variations have skiers being pulled by horses, all-terrain vehicles, and cars.
For Christensen it brings together her passion for animals and her love for winter sports.
“It’s getting to be a really popular sport,” Christensen said.
However the spring melt could prove difficult come race day.
“We hope to have enough snow. We have plus temperatures for the next few days so hopefully we won’t lose all of our snow and all of our hard work.”
Open to the public, anyone looking to give skijoring a try needs to come equipped with skis or a snowboard. The park said it’s able to provide horses but riders can also bring their own horse to tow them along. If being pulled at full speed isn’t your cup of tea, you can ask for a slow sprint that’s much easier to navigate, organizers said.
The price for a ride varies from $10 to $50 and there is a competitive tournament pinning skijorers against each other for a grand prize.
The event begins at 10 a.m. on March 17 and the park will also have a pony ring, sleighrides, campfires and entertainment.
The Grasswood Horse Park is located just south of Baker Road between Clarence and Preston Avenues.