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Horse Skijoring Returns To Canterbury Park Saturday

Horse racing in the snow, with a twist, is back at Canterbury Park this Saturday. A horse, most often a quarter horse, and a rider in a stock saddle, run down the stretch pulling a skier through a demanding course complete with gates and jumps as they compete against the clock and another team to qualify for the finals. More than 200 teams, with competitors from around the country, have registered for Saturday’s event.

The action begins at 1 p.m. Now in its third winter at the Shakopee racetrack, a popular freestyle show is also featured prominently. Skiers and snowboarders, again pulled by a horse, launch off a 15-foot snow ramp across a 20-foot gap performing tricks and flips. Cowgirls, cowboys, punks, speed geeks, and weekend thrill seekers will compete for cash, glory and prizes with a forecast in the 30s and sunshine making the outdoor stadium seating a perfect vantage point to take in the action. Indoor reserved seating is also available. Advance tickets can be purchased online or day-of purchases can be made at the gate for $10 for admission. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free.

Added to the show for 2020 is Winter Wiener Dog Racing. Yes, 18 dachshunds will dash over the snow in trial heats with the top dogs reaching the final and a shot at Winter Wiener Dog Racing immortality.

Translating to “ski driving” in Norwegian, skijoring was first reported in the mountains of Central Asia thousands of years ago. While not an Olympic sport yet, skijoring was a demonstration sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics. It gained popularity in North America in the 1940s, and today is a competitive worldwide sport.