I didn’t think that the horse would make it through the night.”. An eye witness report from the Stringtown scene described a truck suddenly turning into the middle of Highway 24 to block traffic so that the horse and rider wouldn’t get hit. The annual event went to four classes in 2018 – Open, Sport, Legends, and recently added Snowmobile Division. Regardless, officials let BB race, kicking off the 71st Annual running of Leadville Ski Joring. After securing her horse, Bradley returned to the competition where she did two more runs in the Sports Division, riding her other horse, Little Blackie. Because it’s what people do AFTER something happens that separates out the ranch hands from the cowpokes, the trail bosses from the wranglers. Colorado loves its extreme winter sports, we huck ourselves off rocks and cliffs into the snow at high rates of speed, we paddle down Class IV rivers in tiny plastic boats and we hike up huge 14er’s winter and summer. Skijoring Leadville, CO. Or if I turned onto a side street she would slip and fall on me. The world’s #1 magazine featuring the extreme sport of Skijoring. What are your thoughts on this wild winter sport? The rider, although visibly shaken, knew how to handle the situation and tended to the horse with the quick wrap of a bandage all the while calming a growing crowd voicing their opinions about the incident. Last year, organizers added the Snowmobile Division, offering newbies a chance to take on the course behind a snowmobile, before adding the more unpredictable horsepower. After all, a horse that was competing in LSJ was dead. And it’s in times like this, that Leadville leads. So it should come as no surprise that we should embrace the crazy sport of Skijoring, which is part rodeo, part ski race and part NASCAR. Dr. Linemeyer continues: “Somebody called me and said that there was a horse down in the middle of the road in Stringtown. She just leaned into the bit. One of the reasons Leadville Ski Joring began was to bring folks into Leadville during the quieter winter months to help out Leadville businesses. Yee-Haw! I went down and looked at it. Skier must have hold of tow-rope across finish. For most LSJ fans, Bradley is the tiny woman who can be seen flying down Harrison Avenue on the back of her beloved horse, Little Blackie. Let it be your compass. “That training just came back to her. Leadville Skijoring 2020 » Big Sky Skijoring 2020 Event Details. There are lots of ways to enjoy this unique event in Leadville. The horse was checked by the on-site vet and the wound was deemed to be superficial and the animal is expected to fully recover. After the Stringtown incident, it was reported that Bradley headed back – with BB in tow – to the Lake County Rodeo Grounds at 6th and McWethy. The matched team would eventually win the Legends Division for Saturday’s race with a time of 19.69. BB was a retired thoroughbred racehorse! Most people should be able to stop their horse at the end of the race. So it would have been very dangerous for me to try to turn her one way or another on the highway for fear she would slip and fall in front of a car. The list doesn’t guarantee that bad things won’t happen. Skijoring enthusiasts described the craziness and allure of their niche sport during its 72nd year in Leadville, Colo. Horse Events include: Street Slalom, Ski Joring, Ring & Spear, Ring & Box, the famous Donkey Jump and the Shovel race where adults are pulled by horses while riding on, yup, shovels! Photo: Leadville Today/Diana Lange. “It was tough,” said LSJ organizer and competitor Jason Dahl, who had gathered out at the rodeo grounds along with the horse’s owner and some other members of the LSJ family on that cold, snowy Saturday night. We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories. Great fun to watch!! From the grandstand, an auctioneer will sell wagers to the highest bidder for ski/horse teams. As a horse enthusiast, I think you will really find it interesting and the skier crash and burns are always thrilling. The pool of blood left at the end of the race track quickly drew a crowd of spectators concerned about the welfare of the horse, although the incident left only a slight cut to its hind leg, according to Dr. Linemeyer. It was The Legends Division for the 71st year of Leadville Ski Joring (LSJ), an annual event that began in 1949. I had every blanket in the car on her. “It’s going to make us re-evaluate equine competitors, to assess competitors’ capabilities, create a pre-vetting process to make sure that they’re competent to compete in this race.”. It was the very first run of the day on Saturday, March 2. SJA Handbook ... Two close friends sat in a booth at the Golden Burro Café in Leadville Colorado discussing the upcoming winter festivities during the annual Crystal Carnival festival. Get the latest news and information about Leadville Colorado, including Covid-19 in Leadville, Leadville Twin Lakes, and the surrounding counties. The first media inquiry at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning was met with a “no comment,” and a promise to “get with you after the event.” By Tuesday morning, several other interviews had been conducted and LT wanted to provide Dahl with another opportunity to go on the record. Bradley continues with her story: “She wouldn’t even slow down. But, the hope was that BB’s life wouldn’t be in vain. But the victory would be bittersweet, ending in a mile+ run-out with the horse finally collapsing on the highway at Stringtown. “No that won’t be done until tomorrow,” the Sheriff stated, explaining that anything that is not a critical incident allows an officer the opportunity to write the report the following day, so that’s why it would not be available until Monday.” LT followed up on Monday with an email to the Sheriff requesting a copy of the incident report or at least an update on its status. It took a couple of people to lift her up. He went over and got it plowed out for them. Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the annual skijoring event in Leadville, Colorado helpful. After all, the whole reason this event is put on, is to bring folks up to Leadville and put on a Wild West show they’re not likely to forget. Equine skijoring is a very specialized, competitive sport, where horses can accelerate to over 40 mph. So . So, in just three strides, most horses can cover a straight track roughly 900′ in length. Historic Harrison Avenue sets the stage for the Granddaddy of ‘Em All: Leadville Ski Joring! Trucks begins days ahead of the event, hauling in load after load of snow to dump onto the main drag of Harrison Avenue. It was the tattoo of a thoroughbred racehorse. “I wasn’t injured but I couldn’t get out from under her. The horse didn’t have feeling in its right front shoulder.”, There’s another pause in the conversation, with Dahl asking that the rest of the conversation be off the record, which Leadville Today honored. Leadville Today checked in with Lake County Sheriff Amy Reyes concerning the incident, inquiring if an official report was filed through her office regarding the accident that eventually contributed to the animal’s death. One last thing: Leadville Ski Joring organizers are committed to streamlining the schedule and keeping the crowds better informed of what’s happening on the course and around town. Saved by Jenel Lundquist And this is all that I know and I don’t even have all the facts,” Dahl explained during the phone interview conducted at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5. The third (and counting?) In fact, it prepares you for the curveballs, the unexpected. You can ride your own horse, try to ski behind one, bid on a team at the morning Calcutta auction, or line up on Harrison Avenue to watch all the excitement from the sidelines! Colorado is known around the world for its outdoor winter recreation: skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, hockey, ice fishing. Once the Calcutta is finished, the Leadville Ski Joring spectacular begins entertaining the hordes of spectators on historic Harrison Avenue. The Leadville Ski Joring event has been going on in Leadville since 1949, and is one of the premier events of its kind in the country. A few years back my husband and I spent a couple of weeks in Colorado elk hunting in the Rockies on horseback. Racing on a pair of skis with a horse pulling you. That was amazing. Photo: Leadville Today Brennan Ruegg. And that she would watch her and if she needed me she could call me. I had opened the side door of the trailer to get her some air and I was about to throw some hay in there, and in the ten seconds that I turned around to get hay out of the back of the truck, she jumped out of the side door of the trailer.”. “To my knowledge, there was a horse incident beyond the track; a rider lost control of her horse. I believe that Dr. Linemeyer said that things were fine at that time and then the way that I understand it, was that when they got to the rodeo grounds, the owner of the horse left the side door to the trailer open where the horse then jumped out of, further injuring itself, I believe, because the doctor was called again, and things were in a much worse situation. Even in animals, memory is strong, and so the best that Bradley can guess is that BB’s racehorse imprint kicked in and she just didn’t stop. Out of honor for that reputation, Dahl had a second opportunity to address the concerns that were now intensifying both in local coffee circles, as well as on social media. The adrenaline rush of being pulled by an animal at full gallop is also behind the annual skijoring event in the high-altitude town of Leadville, Colorado. Organizers: Submit your organization & event details. In full disclosure, this was the second time LT reached out to race organizers to comment on the horse incident(s) from Saturday. Biding usually finishes around 11:45. Skijoring In Leadville A skier misses spearing a ring while racing in the 72nd annual Leadville Ski Joring weekend competition on March 8, 2020. But at the end of her runs in the Sport Division, when Bradley returned to the rodeo grounds, she found that BB was still laying down. Giaratanno was a legend for a reason having competed in the LSJ event for many years, earning his share of accolades along the way. Colorado Mountain College Leadville will host the 2020 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships Feb. 28-March 1. Opening Ceremonies at “High Noon” daily. Three of the major skijoring races occurring this month, Leadville, CO on March 7 & 8 Red Lodge, MT on March 14 & 15 Sections. Read about Leadville Community News, Leadville Sports and Races, and Leadville Life at 10,000 feet. Competitors can reach speeds as fast as 40 mph as they maneuver through gates and other obstacles. Yep, that’s right after months of plowing the snow off the highway – Harrison Avenue is also Highway 24 and regularly plowed by the Colorado Department of Transportation – the local street department dumps the snow back ONTO Harrison Avenue. Penalties will be added on to running times as follows: The sport of Skijoring with its gates, big jumps, hanging rings, and a 1,200-pound animal blasting through snow at high speeds, is fun and exciting, but, sometimes, sadly, this event can end with tragedy. Curved tracks can be used, but most tracks in Colorado are straight. The first team out of the chute, the first ones down the avenue would be Legend skier Mario Giaratanno pulled behind horse BB with owner Callie Bradley in the saddle. On Monday, March 5, BB was loaded up in a backhoe and brought up to the landfill by Lake County Public Works crew where she was buried alongside countless other pets that make their final resting place at the Leadville dump. She looked pretty bad. The Sport division is what the BIG jumps are for. And while notable improvements have been made, most specifically to the start line pens for the horses and racecourse monitoring, it was clear that the reporting component was lacking. Both ski tips and boots must go through gate or jump markers, including finish and start gate. 2020 SkiJoring competition in Leadville Colorado combines. But in the long run, it wasn’t BB’s age that caused her to behave so strangely. And even though Dr. Linemeyer is a horse person himself, he understood what needed to be reported: “She wasn’t able to control that horse,” he said of the rider whose name he could not provide, nor remember. And in what many still consider to be a male-dominated sport, she’s also had her turn on the LSJ podium, winning the Sport Division her first year as a competitor in 2011 after years as an event volunteer. I would have laid there in the snow and died myself, rather than see that horse be put down unnecessarily, but it got to a point where I didn’t want to be selfish by trying to keep her alive.”. She wouldn’t turn, she wouldn’t stop,” Bradley recalls of her harrowing wild ride down Highway 24. The situation was getting worse. As far as Bradley and others she had consulted with could tell, the horse was about 14 years old. She may be reached at info@leadvilletoday.com. Dr. Dennis Linemeyer owner of the Leadville Veterinary Clinic and the on-site veterinarian for the LSJ event picks up the story from here: Doc:  “While I didn’t see any of the accidents, I heard second-hand that the horse and rider didn’t stop at the finish line and continued on down Highway 24 into Stringtown, where the horse slipped on the road and fell on its side with the lady on it.”. 6 p.m. - Mineral Belt Mayhem. ~ Towed Down Memory Lane ~ March 5, 2020. Teams are randomly matched: horse, rider and skier. There are still many honest people who will go on the record and talk about an incident. One of the fastest growing winter sports. This wild, winter event is thrilling from beginning to end. The Granddaddy Of Them All Posted by markus | Mar 10, 2020 | Articles, Recent Images, Skijoring | 0 | Leadville-Highest Incorporated City In North America Tucked away in the heart of Colorado at 10,200 feet is an iconic mountain town steeped in history from the mining days. Skijoring (pronounced / ˈ s k iː ʃ ɜːr ɪ ŋ /) is a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) 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, it is currently primarily a competitive sport. Leadville Skijoring & Crystal Carnival Weekend MARCH 6-8, 2020. Read it. The Code of The West lives on for many Leadville Ski Joring competitors. Finally cowboys and their horses will arrive from all over the states well as South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico and beyond to compete in this extreme winter sport. It’s a run that would earn her top place in the Legends Division along with a story that’s likely to be told a few times. 2020/2021 Races Schedule Blog Point Standings 2020 About. If you are not interested in participating in the Calcutta, arrive to the event closer to noon so you don’t have to wait long for the “real” fun. LT asked if she could provide the name of the rider and the horse involved in the accident, something Dr. Linemeyer was unable to do. Then come back and do it behind a horse. She said that the horse fell on her leg but that she was okay.”. This is where the money for daily purses and seed funds for next year’s competition is generated. These winter athletes compete for the cheers from the crowds, the bragging rights that come from a good run/time, and of course, some hard cold cash! Following equine skijoring (3 p.m. or so) - kids skijoring behind snowmobiles along Harrison Avenue. She has returned to Leadville every year since except one. Great article and photos Markus on Leadville's Skijoring race last weekend!! The horse was pretty shocky and that front leg looked like it might have had some nerve damage; she was not moving that leg at all. I understand that they got the horse into the trailer and took it to the rodeo grounds. Most horse owners aren’t likely to speak directly, much less on the record, about how another person handles their animals. “We really had to work with her to show her what the humane choice was going to be.”. When skiing starts to get boring, attach a rope to the back of a horse and tell him to giddy up. This is it, the race of all races. I have been to 4 skijoring events over the years and have never seen any problem or real injuries to horses or skiers. Jumps can be 7 feet in height, but are usually lower or roller style. Some of that is the systemic “that’s Leadville” issue. Linemeyer and I checked her out and thought that she had a pulled tendon but she didn’t appear to have any life-threatening injuries at that point.”. Dr. Linemeyer did confirm that he checked on that animal and it had a superficial wound, one he anticipated the horse would fully recover from. However, in 2016, Leadville had an event where one of the horses needed to be put down after the horse fell and broke its leg. Aside from the equestrian skijoring, attendees can enjoy Nordic Sprints on Harrison Avenue on Friday. It was a solid way to kick off a weekend of racing. But time heals the ‘what-if’ wounds of regret, and maybe for BB she knew that this might just be her last run at a blaze of glory, streaking down Harrison Avenue with LSJ Legend Mario in tow. See Who's Going to Leadville Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival 2020 in Leadville, CO! The conversation continued for another several minute and although Dahl didn’t want to get into any details from there, he was willing to state on the record that the situation was “one of the tougher things I’ve ever had to deal with.”. I mean if a horse is barefoot on pavement, that’s one thing, but with those special studded shoes, those are custom made for snow, not concrete. Skier misses spearing a ring while racing in the 72nd annual Leadville Ski Joring weekend competition on March 8, 2020 in Leadville, Colorado. During the interview with Jason Dahl, he revealed that there was another such accident on a side street which resulted in the same injury and medical attention from Dr. Linemeyer. By late Saturday afternoon, Dr. Linemeyer reported he was hearing from a number of LSJ riders saying that BB-the-horse was still down on its side and that they thought the doctor “oughtta come out and look at it.”, Doc: “The lady never called me, but I went out and looked at it there. Leadville Race Series Aaron Bailey 2020-12-18T13:16:26-07:00 THE LEADVILLE RACE SERIES The Leadville Race Series began in 1983 with just 45 runners making the epic 100-mile trek through rugged Rocky Mountain terrain. Just keep in mind that although this event is fun and thrilling there can be accidents. There’s a Code of the West that cowboys used to live by in the pioneer days. “The only other injury that I’m aware of was that a truck, while trying to get out of the Community Park parking lot, got stuck in the deep snow which brought the trailer to a quick halt, forcing the horses forward in the trailer resulting in a laceration to one of the horse’s heads.” Dr. Linemeyer confirmed that he did suture that horse and sent it on its way, once the vehicles got unstuck. The following is her account of her wild 1.5 miles ride down Highway 24, as well as what she thinks may have caused the animal’s behavior and what happened from there. There’s usually a whole herd of volunteers out there pushing the snow around and helping to set-up the course on Friday, including students from the local Colorado Mountain College Ski Area Operations class. Join a fat tire bike ride after dark on the 11-mile Mineral Belt trail ringing this historic mining town. 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