Dive into the Archives
Extreme Horse Skijoring at Canterbury Park
Extreme horse skijoring is coming to Canterbury Park on Saturday, February 12, 2022—but what exactly is skijoring?
“It’s kind of a blend of horseracing and skiing together,” says Ted Slathar, president of Extreme Events MN, the skijoring event organizer. “It’s fast and action-packed—it’s really impressive to watch these guys.”
A skijoring team consists of a horse, a rider on a saddle, and a skier who is pulled behind the horse with a tow rope. The term “skijoring” is derived from the Norwegian word for “ski driving.” Originally, it was a mode of transportation and a recreational activity in Scandinavia and other European countries.
Skijoring was included as an exhibition sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics, and Slathar explains that skijoring competitions are still held in ski towns in the western United States, typically on a street or the side of a hill. Canterbury Park’s skijoring event is unique in that spectators can enjoy the competition from the comfort of a covered grandstand with a heated spectator area.
Over 200 competitors from across the country (plus some international entrants) will be participating in this year’s extreme horse skijoring event. The event will include timed races, with two teams at a time racing against the clock through a course with slalom gates, jumps, and rings to grab—the fastest teams will qualify for the finals. During the freestyle competition, skiers and snowboarders pulled by a horse will launch off a 15-foot snow ramp, performing tricks and flips mid-air.
In addition to horse skijoring, the event will include winter weiner dog racing, with 12 dachshunds dashing down the freestyle jump in two heats and the top dogs competing in the final. “It’s a really fun thing,” says Slathar.
There will also be indoor kids activities hosted by local nonprofit Hope Rides and a marketplace with 20 different vendors selling Western-themed clothing and other items. The 2022 Women’s NCAA Final Four trophy will be on display, and fans can pose for photos, spin a prize wheel to win Final Four goodies, and register to win a VIP experience that includes Final Four tickets, a 4-night hotel stay, and $500 gift card.
“We’re excited to be back doing an event again,” says Slathar. “Come early and make sure you get a good seat so you can see everything—do a little shopping, there’s food.”
Canterbury Park’s extreme horse skijoring event will start at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, 2022, with gates opening at 11:00 a.m. General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for youth ages 6-12, with free admission for kids 5 and under. Reserved seating tickets are $20.
For additional information about the extreme horse skijoring event and to buy tickets, visit Canterbury Park’s website.
After experiencing extreme horse skijoring, stay in Shakopee! Shakopee is home to Valleyfair (the largest amusement park in the upper Midwest), Canterbury Park, and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and is conveniently located to area attractions including Mystic Lake Casino, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and Chanhassen Dinner Theater.