Leadville Ski Joring Championships

This weekend was the 2010 Annual Leadville Ski Joring Competition. The Leadville ski joring event has been going on in since 1949 and is considered the premier event of its kind in the country.

The sport it is a timed race with skiers being pulled by horses on a track with large jumps and flat landings. In between the jumps the skier must try to spear small circular rings while swinging from one side of the track to the other – at speeds in excess of 40 mile per hour. Missed rings add 2 seconds each to your time. With average times of less than twenty seconds a single missed ring, with skiers of this caliber, will cost you the event. The winner will have the most rings and fastest time. Ski joring is no simple feat – particularly the Leadville race.

Last year, for the 60th annual race, I had the good fortune of making the draw and was able to compete. I wiped out on the first jump. My apologies to the rider and the man who wagered $250 on me. Video evidence below.

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My wipe out was nothing compared to Chris Anthony’s (former Alaskan Extreme Skiing Champion, veteran of 9 World Extreme Skiing Championships and 20 Warren Miller films) fall in the 2007 races. He didn’t walk away from his. Video evidence below.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/wipeout.flv height=390 width=500 /]

To get a real idea of the sense of speed, tradition, and community this ski joring event brings to Leadville watch this documentary by Foresight Multimedia. To get a sense of what the skier is seeing watch this first person video on youtube. To get a sense of my attitude before the race, read my interview in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

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