What do cowboys do in the winter, when there’s too much snow for rodeo? Skijoring. For those unfamiliar with this sport, skijoring is a rider on horseback pulling a skier over jumps or through obstacles as fast as possible. This winter, Western States sponsored three different stops on the Skijoring America race circuit: Hailey, Idaho, and Whitefish and Kalispell, Montana.

“Pray for snow” was emblazoned on the Hailey, Idaho Skijoring event website. One look at the mountains of snow surrounding the racecourse, and it was obvious someone’s prayer had been answered. For the residents of Hailey, a town just 30 minutes south of the famous Sun Valley ski slopes, being on a pair of skis is a natural part of winter. The skijoring competition attracted young and old, including a  six-year-old who may not have posted the fastest time but who was definitely a winner in the eyes of the spectators who lined the course.

The Kalispell race, originally set for late December, was postponed due to lack of snow. However, Mother Nature more than made up for that oversight by the time the re-scheduled race took place. Despite the cold temperatures and windy conditions, spectators turned out with ample energy and high spirits to cheer on the contestants.

While unfortunately it is not possible for Western States to act on every sponsorship request that comes our way, we do try to participate in causes that draw people together and enrich their lives and communities. And, in skijoring’s case, their events checked both of those boxes.