About Ski Joring
In North America, the North American Ski Joring Association holds competitions in which a rider guides the horse while the skier navigates a series of jumps and obstacles. More informal competitions are held on flat ground over short courses, often as simple sprint races on a straightaway, sometimes with turns on the course. Competitors often use short skis and modified water skiing towing equipment, though often this is as simple as a single tow rope looped around the horn or attached to the back of a western saddle. Some variants in equipment attach two towing lines to either the back of a saddle or the breastplate on the horse.
The city of Leadville, Colorado has organized an equestrian competition since 1949, which has a much higher emphasis on speed. The Leadville version is normally spelled as two words: “Ski Joring”. A horse and rider pull a skier at a fast pace through a course that has gates, jumps and rings. The skier is timed through the course, and penalties are assessed by missing gates or jumps, and by missing or dropping any of the rings (two seconds each). The competitors race for cash prizes, and teams are made up by a random draw before the start.