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First Posted: Mar 12, 2007
Sep 1, 2010

Ski Joring

by Debora Johnson
Visit the North East Ski Joring Association

Scandinavian countries are the originators of ski joring. The word "joring" translates to "driving" or ski driving. This sport has been done for several hundred years. Laplanders skied on Nordic skis holding reins attached to reindeer. It is also done with dogs, mules, horses, and snowmobiles. Ski joring came to the United States in the 1050's. Ranchers attached a long rope to the saddle horn and rode the horse at high speeds down a long straight-away. Currently, the sport of equestrian ski joring has become a highly specialized competitive sport, where competitors must navigate a course of jumps, gates and sometimes spear rings.

On April 24th, 1999, directors from almost every major ski joring organization in the country, met in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and began a process that would change the sport of ski joring forever. After several follow-up meetings, the North American Ski Joring Association (NASJA) was born. This marked ski joring's beginning as a sanctioned competitive sport.

NASJA was developed because of the need to consolidate existing ski joring races into a circuit. Competitors could now earn points that would officially go toward a National Champion Award. NASJA developed standardized criteria for all sanctioned events. Because of this standardized criteria, each competitor would have an equal opportunity at becoming the official National Ski Joring Champion.

How does one earn NASJA points? The Championship is based on a point structure from daily runs at sanctioned races. The points from daily runs at the sanctioned races are added to the competitor's cumulative total. The NASJA member with the most points earned at sanctioned races throughout the season will be crowned the National Ski Joring Champion at an awards ceremony held immediately following the final day of racing.

The photographs that are seen here are my daughter and her leased horse, Maverick, at a ski joring competition in New Hampshire. She is a schooled English rider and has taken up this sport with great gusto. Maverick has also introduced my daughter, Lindsey, to other Western riding competitions: pole bending and barrel racing. She is having a wonderful time!

For More Information:

Ski Joring
Ski Joring History

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