Neighborhood NewsLewistown and Fergus County


Skijoring competition at Montana Winter Fair

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jan 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-28 01:24:25-05

LEWISTOWN — If you like skiing and you like horseback riding, then you might be interested in the world of skijoring.

“It is a competition where a horse and rider pull a skier or a snowboarder through a course with jumps and gates,” Jennifer Saunders, Superintendent for the skijoring competition at the Montana Winter Fair said.

Saunders is the main person running the event and wears many hats, organizing volunteers and equipment for skijoring throughout the year. On race day, she keeps track of entries, teams, and run sheets. Even though she is making sure it all runs smoothly, she’s quick to direct the thanks to the guests and volunteers at the Winter Fair.

“I just want to thank all of those volunteers that you see out there working not only with Skijoring, but all over the fairgrounds with all of the events with Montana Winter Fair,” Saunders said, “Things like this just don't happen without those people willing to step up and help and volunteer.”

An incredibly unique sport, skijoring is a fever dream of outdoor activities combined into one wild idea. This year, the Winter Fair competition received a ton of entries from in and around Montana.

“You've got to have some crazy friends with horses,” Drew Crain, a novice skijorer said.

Crain is a part of Wild West Skijoring, a group out of the Bozeman area. While he is a lifelong skier, he’s still brand new to the sport of skijoring.

The lack of snowfall this winter has resulted in an icy course, meaning the skiers have to focus extra on controlling themselves on the uber slick surface.

“The conditions are a little tough out here,” Crain said, “I mean, track's running pretty fast and icy, but we're just lucky to have a course, and glad we got a nice snowstorm in right before the competition.”

This is the fourth year Skijoring has been a part of the Montana Winter Fair. The sub-categories of racers included Youth, Novice, and Sport.

Drew Crain and Wild West Skijoring can be found on Instagram @wildwestskijoring