Whitefish hosts the annual Whitefish Ski Joring World Invitationals in conjunction with the long running Whitefish Winter Carnival. Ski joring has been a part of Whitefish's Winter Carnival since the 1960's, combining Whitefish's rich ski racing heritage with Big Sky cowboy traditions. Ski joring originated as a method of winter travel with a skier pulled behind a horse, but today has become a competitive sport. In 2003, the high speed event was moved from downtown Whitefish to its current location and has become the premiere ski joring event offering the largest cash purse (approximately $20,000 plus awards) on the race circuit, entertaining competition and a party that can't be missed.
Course Description: This year, two race courses will be offered. A straight course allowing the horse to run at top speed as the skier navigates slalom gates and jumps ranging from three to nine feet high. A horseshoe-shaped course allowing for horse to run on inside of course while skier navigates slalom gates and jumps ranging from four to six feet high. New this year is Murdoch's Long Jump.
Open Class- most experienced skiers (including some former U.S. Ski Team competitors) & fastest horses for largest cash purse
Sport Class- next level of competitors (typically largest division)
Great Northern Novice Class
Black Star Mule Class- mules ears will be measured prior to race to qualify
Refreshments: To keep spectators and riders/skiers fueled, local food and beverage vendors will be available, including a beer garden hosted by Great Northern Brewery.
For more event information visit: www.whitefishskijoring.com.