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Skijoring competition returns to Heber Presidents Day weekend

Wasatch County Parks & Recreation

The annual skijoring competition slides into Heber this weekend, Feb. 16 and 17.

Horseback riders and skiers team up Presidents Day weekend as Skijoring Utah returns to the Wasatch County Event Center.

The tradition calls on Utah’s wild west heritage with a weekend of high-speed competitions. One teammate guides a horse through gates and over obstacles, pulling the other teammate on skis or a snowboard behind them.

Skijoring Utah co-founder Joe Loveridge said he expects about 250 teams to compete this weekend.

There are pro, intermediate and novice divisions, as well as a competition for children under 10 and a youth pony division.

Loveridge said the youth divisions are always fun.

“Besides watching the pros and the sport guys run as fast as they can, that’s probably my favorite division, watching the little kids go through it,” he said.

The event also includes a Big Air jump competition as the weekend’s finale.

“You’ve got to have good knees and kind of a crazy, wild attitude,” Loveridge said. “You’ll get pulled by a horse, hit that jump and go for distance.”

Participants will compete for champion buckles and prize money. This year, for the first time, the 50 fastest teams Friday will compete on Saturday for an extra prize.

Competition begins Friday from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. It resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with the championships at 1 p.m. followed by the Big Air contest at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are available on the Skijoring Utah website. Some passes are already sold out. Single-day tickets and general admission passes are still available.