Rebecca Farm to host skijoring competition Dec. 30-31

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Rebecca Farm, home to The Event at Rebecca Farm, will add to its repertoire this winter when it hosts its first skijoring competition on Dec. 30-31. This marks the only time that Rebecca Farm has held an event during the winter months, a departure that excites The Event at Rebecca Farm organizer Sarah Broussard.

“Many folks associate Rebecca Farm with eventing in the summer, so we’re thrilled to try something new, and bring a different kind of sporting event to Rebecca Farm in the winter,” Broussard said. “Not only is skijoring a unique sport in itself, it is so much fun to watch.”

Derived from the Norwegian word skikjoring meaning “ski driving,” skijoring is a winter sport that combines skiing and horseback riding. The sport consists of a horse pulling a skier through an obstacle course, all while hitting jumps that range in size from 3 feet to 9 feet high. Competitors are judged based on how long it takes for them to run the track, which stretches approximately 850 feet from start to finish.

Fortunately for the organizers, no major changes will need to be made to the Rebecca Farm course in order to host the competition. “It is not so much about changing anything on the farm,“ Broussard says. “It is more about making sure we have enough snow.”

In the event the farm does not receive enough snow before the competition, Broussard will have it trucked in, she said.

Those that finish the course the fastest will be awarded a cash prize, known as the “total purse.” This year’s purse, to be raised via sponsorships, will total up to $25,000. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s competition will be donated to Halt Cancer at X, an initiative created by Broussard that raises funds for breast cancer research and support services.

Last year’s inaugural Flathead Lake Skijoring Competition, hosted by the West Shore Visitors Bureau in Lakeside, welcomed nearly 100 competitors and thousands of spectators over two days. Broussard hopes even more are able to make it to this year’s event.

“People come from all over to experience skijoring in the Flathead,” Broussard said, noting that some people come from as far as Colorado to both attend and compete. “We look forward to carrying on this community tradition, and hope to see even more faces rallying behind this festive sport in December.”

Even with a seasoned organizing team in place, there will still be a need for lots of enthusiastic assistance. Participation and support of the community, through both sponsorship and volunteers, will be vital in making the event possible, according to the organizers.

Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Heidi Diegel at rfdressageheidi@gmail.com. For more information regarding sponsorship, contact Marcia Spano at development@rebeccafarm.org.

Rebecca Farm is located just west of Kalispell, at 1010 West Spring Creek Road. From Kalispell U.S. Highways 93 and 2, drive two miles north on Highway 93 to Reserve Loop and turn left to head west for two miles, and then travel south on W. Springcreek Rd. The entrance is three-quarters of a mile on the right.

For more information on the skijoring competition, please visit www.rebeccafarm.org/other-events.

Skijoring fun continues when the Whitefish Winter Carnival unfolds Jan. 27-28. For over 12 years, this weekend in January has featured the exciting combination of horses, riders, and skiers mixed with speed, jumps, and of course, snow.

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