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Ski Resort Life

Skijoring: view from the course.

This just might be the toughest, and at times, most dangerous, event on snow.

Skijoring: View from the Course.

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Nina Galicheva

Richard Weber (riding) and Jason Dahl in top form at a skijoring competition in Jackson, Wyo. Photo: Nina Galicheva

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Rider Jeff Dahl waits his turn to get on course in Leadville. Photo: Mark Fox

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Courtesy of Swiss Image

Skijoring has a long colorful history—in St. Moritz, Switzerland, for instance, circa 1910. The rules differ from host to host, with the famed White Turf races in St. Moritz incorporating several on-snow equestrian competitions. The St. Moritz skijoring format, for instance, has the skier guiding the riderless horse with long trailing reins. Gear and race protocols are standardized at the White Turf event. Skis, for instance, are required to be bright colors so the horses and skiers can better see them in the snow. Photo: Courtesy of Swiss-Image

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Karol Heflin crosses the finish line on Rocket as seen from a local Leadville store. Photo: Mark Fox

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Standing tall in the Rockies at 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. And with a population of about 2,600, Leadville tends to be a sleepy Colorado mountain town in the winter. That is until the cowboys and skiers come to compete in the annual skijoring competitions, which will be March 4 and 5 this season. Photo: Istock.com/Mtnsnail

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A rider boots up, skijoring style, before the action starts. Photo: Nina Galicheva

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Rick Wilking

Jim O’Neil, a Leadville race official, makes sure the scoring rings hang true before the course is set. Photo: Rick Wilking

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Kurt Brewer

J.J. Swirka and Logan’s final embrace last spring before Logan was put down due to a leg injured during a Leadville race. Photo: Kurt Brewer

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Riders and skiers strategize in the start area before the races in Jackson. Photo: Nina Galicheva

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Kurt Brewer

Race gates, seven-foot jumps, speeds up to 50 mph on snow, and 1,000 pounds of a highly motivated horse add up to another day competing in Leadville. Long Read: for more on the Leadville races and skijoring, go herePhoto: Kurt Brewer

Long Read: Skijoring might be the most dangerous ride on snow.