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What is skijoring? Where the wild west and ski culture collide.

Check out the newest sport to sweep the nation- skijoring! Okay, maybe sweeping the nation is a bit of a stretch, but skijoring has taken off locally. Pagosa Springs local team, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, is competing in the regional circuit with stops in Ridgway, Pagosa Springs, Saratoga and Leadville. Skijoring is a winter sport where a skier is pulled by a horse, a dog or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning “ski driving”. Although skijoring is said to have originated as a mode of winter travel, we know it locally as a competitive sport, similar to rodeo events in the summer months.

Pagosa Springs hosted their inaugural Skis and Saddles Skijoring event this January which was well attended with some serious cash prizes. Cowboys and cowgirls show up with their fastest horse donning specialized snowshoes to pull skiers over jumps and between gates while gathering as many rings as they can. Every course is different; some are straight, others round, jumps vary in size and some races have a snowboard division. Jann C Pitcher Real Estate Agent, Kalei Pitcher, competed in the snowboard division at Ridgway, as well as the “switcheroo” where he competed as the cowboy and the snowboarder, coming home with some prize money and skijor street cred.