Cowboys and horses team up with skiers and snowboarders for some one-of-a-kind racing action February 19-20 in Bellevue, Idaho.
Winter in Idaho’s Wood River Valley means lots of snow and plenty of ways to enjoy it, including unique events like the annual Wood River Extreme Skijoring races.
Produced by the Wood River Extreme Skijoring Association (WRESJA), this happening features cowboys with their galloping horses racing with brave skiers and snowboarders and promises a weekend of fast-action excitement that the whole family will enjoy. Skijoring 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-ft. course with the skier having executed one to three jumps ranging from three to six feet high and grabbing from three to nine rings dangling from poles. 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 kids ten & under.
The WRESJA races will take place at 81 Browning Lane in Bellevue on Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20, starting at noon each day. There is an admission fee of $10 per spectator, children 12 and under are free, and a portion of the fees with be donated to the Wood River High School Rodeo Team. Please bring lawn chairs but no dogs. 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 pm at Mahoney’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue and awards party on Sunday night, 5:30 pm at 7 Fuego restaurant in Bellevue.