OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Heber Valley to host skijoring race

Jan 8, 2024, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:58 pm

A person rides a brown horse while a skier is pulled behind....

Competitors participate in the 2017 Heber Valley Skijoring Competition. (Go Heber Valley)

(Go Heber Valley)

HEBER CITY, Utah — The Wasatch County Events Center will host its annual skijoring race on February 16 and 17, 2024. 

During the event, horses and riders will be paired with skiers as they race through the snow-covered rodeo grounds.

The teams will compete for buckles, cash, and other prizes, according to the press release. 

“Skijoring Utah is back, combining the speed of skis with the power of horses. It’s a celebration of Utah’s ski legacy and cowboy lifestyle in one event.,” Joe Loveridge, the owner of RMO Horses and the co-founder of Skijoring Utah. 

Heber Valley’s website said that their competition combines Utah’s ski history with western, cowboy heritage. It creates “a wild but spectacular event,” according to the website. 

“We love hosting it in Heber Valley,” said Loveridge. 

But, what is skijoring? 

According to Heber Valley’s website, skijoring involves a skier wearing cross-country skis being pulled by an animal or motor vehicle. Often, horses or dogs participate.

The name of the sport came from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning “ski driving,” per Heber Valley’s website. 

According to the Humane Society, any dog can skijor, however, you may have to modify the speed or distance to fit the breed. Most commonly, larger breeds such as German shepherds and huskies participate in the activity. If you are interested in skijoring with your dog, the Humane Society recommends talking to your dog’s veterinarian before training. Additionally, you can begin teaching them basic commands before training them. 

Those who are interested in spectating can purchase tickets at Utah Skijoring’s website. The press release advised purchasing tickets early, as they sell out quickly. 

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Heber Valley to host skijoring race