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Recap: Skijoring, day one

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A skier prepares for a turn on day one of skijoring in Big Sky. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

Winter Fest’s featured event highlights Big Sky culture


Winter Fest is an Outlaw Partners event. Outlaw Partners publishes Explore Big Sky.

BIG SKY – This afternoon, a painted pony trampled through soft snow in the heart of Big Sky. Big Sky local Haley Hodge rode the horse, towing her brother Cody, who was on skis.

The sibling duo was one of several to compete in day one of the Best of the West Skijoring Competition, the featured event of the inaugural Winter Fest in Big Sky. Day one of skijoring hosted nearly six hours of competition including seven divisions from novice to open.

Riders, skiers and snowboarders from the local Big Sky community as well from around the country kept a full crowd on their feet all day to enjoy the spectacle of winter athletes navigating an obstacle course while being towed at adrenaline-worthy speeds by a horse.

“It’s just so fun to see all the different kinds of athletes that there are here—the skiers, the horses and the riders,” said Bozeman resident and longtime skijoring fan Lindsey Grauman.

“It’s so Montana,” Grauman’s friend, Brittany Peters, chimed in. “In the winter, you get outside and the weather doesn’t stop you … it’s such a Montana thing to be at.”

While skijoring events take place around the country, the sport is a unique combination of the blended culture in Big Sky. Longtime locals in the crowd represented both skiers and cowboys, all sharing a day together to enjoy a good time.

The end of the day was punctuated by the competitive open division, where highly skilled athletes like 2019 national champion skijorer Colin Cook picked up the pace and made use of the bigger course features.

After four runs and a day of supporting the event, Cook said he felt like he’d run 10 miles.

The fast-paced competition will pick up again tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Day One leaders by division

*Results are sourced from and are up-to-date as of EBS press time.


PlaceRiderSkierHorseTime (sec)
1Jess WoodringKyle VoigtlanderWoodys All Jacked Up24:76
2Matty KirklandDrew VanyoPatron26:31
3Kristyn MacDonaldDan HurstDakodi27:53


PlaceRiderSkierHorseTime (sec)
1Makenze WoodringDayne FreeTrashy Rooster27:49
2Kimber CookKate ThompsonBadger46:77
3Makenze WoodringTrippe TubbsTrashy Rooster55:86


PlaceRiderSkierHorseTime (sec)
1Melissa OstranderTara HinesThe War Pony18:44
2Sarah McConnellTara HinesThree21:19
3Fiona AlversonPhoebe AlversonRaven21:90


PlaceRiderSkierHorseTime (sec)
1Trae McInroeJoe JasperCharlie19:22
2Trae McInroeTara HinesCharlie19:28
3Cal DouglasEd AndersonBeauty19:48


PlaceRiderSkierHorseTime (sec)
1Dennis AlversonAaron GriffenScooter18:51
2Aaron Griffen  Nick BentleySammy18:77
3Tyler SmedsrudNick BentleyThree18:86


PlaceRiderSnowboarderHorseTime (sec)
1Trae McInroeKalei PitcherRoscoe17:79
2Richard WeberKalei PitcherThree18:53
3Taylor StobaughBrooke AdamsBo-Peep20:77


PlaceRiderSkierHorseTime (sec)
1Richard WeberTyler SmedsrudFrank and Beans17:93
2Sarah McConnellTyler SmedsrudDerby18:39
3Richard WeberColin CookFrank and Beans18:93

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