The sport of equestrian skijoring – where a skier is pulled through the snow at high speed by a galloping horse – has grown in popularity in Canada. The skiers even perform aerial tricks to add to the difficulty and excitement.

( photo)

Skijoring dates back to its roots several hundred years ago in Scandinavia, where being towed behind reindeer on long wooden skis became a practical way for people to travel during the snowy winter months. The Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1928 featured a skijoring demonstration, with the skier driving a horse from behind and racing against other competitors.

By the late 1940s skijoring races were being held at the winter carnival in Steamboat, Colorado. Since then it has evolved into a highly-specialized sport with jumps and gates that must be negotiated. In 1999, the North American Ski Joring Association (NASJA) was formed; the first international sanctioned race was held in 2006 at St-Donat Airport in Quebec. In some parts of the world, skiers are pulled behind dogs, mules and snowmobiles! Whatever method of power you choose, the sport is growing rapidly.

So if you’re a hardcore outdoorsy type who also loves the winter and are curious about this unusual sport, then you may want to check out SnowDays Winter Festival  in Banff, Alberta, later this month. There will be an exciting skijoring exhibition taking place down the main street of the town, brought to you by Skijor Canada, the sport’s governing body in this country, and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.

Skijor Canada, which began in 2017, hopes to develop a competition circuit that will culminate in a championship event in Calgary. The SnowDays Winter Festival skijoring event will be held on January 28th with two 90-minute events at 11 am and at 3pm.

Watch a sneak preview of the thrilling action here!: