Skijoring along

Jamie Heap
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Parrsboro woman resurrects former Winter Olympics demonstration sport

PARRSBORO-While the International Olympics Committee (IOC) may not have any plans to make the former demonstration sport of skijoring an event anytime soon, that hasn’t stopped Dorothy Best from trying her hand at something new.

“I saw videos posted on Facebook of people skijoring with miniature horses, doing jumps, slalom courses and racing,” Best said. “I have never heard of anyone in this area doing it, but I have heard of some being towed in a rubber tube behind the minis (miniature horses).It looked like a lot of fun, so I thought I would try it.”

Skijoring, a Winter Olympics demonstration sport indigenous to Norway and Sweden, involves a person on skis being pulled by dogs, horses, or a form of mechanized transportation such as a snowmobile. In the aforementioned Nordic nations, skijoring was a military dispatch competition. Not surprisingly, it was included on the program of the Nordic Games in 1901, 1905 and 1909 before being included in the 1928 Winter Olympics in in St. Moritz, Switzerland as an Olympics demonstration sport. The sole skijoring event was held on February 12, 1928 on a frozen lake. The first and only skijoring event in Winter Olympics history was swept by three Swiss athletes, whose results were omitted from the official reports.

While the IOC has no plans to make skijoring a Winter Olympics event, the inclusion of such an extreme sport would not doubt be welcomed by many Canadian athletes who seemed to excel in several new sports that were once confined to the realm of the Winter X Games held annually in Aspen, Colorado.  

Today, skijoring is a competitive winter sport in parts of the American north and midwest. When done with horses, skijoring is an extreme sport due to the high rate of speed and potential danger. As Best will attest, skijoring is also extremely fun.

“I've had a lot of comments on my posted pictures,” said Best.  If anyone was to try this, I would recommend wearing a helmet; one with the face shield would be best. I was just experimenting. I only had on cross country skis, but it was still fun.”

For those who prefer riding miniature horses sans skis, Pat Sheehy from Stewiacke will be providing a miniature horse driving clinic at Spirit Reins Ranch in Parrsboro on Saturday, April 26. Participants, who can bring their own horse, harness and cart, can contact Dorothy Best at 254 2076 to register. Best can also be reached by email at In addition, the second annual miniature horse walk-a-thon will take place Saturday, May 24 in Parrsboro while the fourth annual Parrsboro miniature horse show will be held Saturday, June 7.

For the first time ever, the miniature horse show will be held at Spirit Reins Ranch.



Organizations: International Olympics Committee, Nordic

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Norway, Sweden Switzerland Aspen, Colorado Stewiacke

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