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Skiers get pulled by horses in downtown Leadville

Horses and riders raced down the main street of North America’s highest incorporated city in the 74th annual Leadville Ski Joring.

LEADVILLE, Colo. — The annual Leadville Ski Joring event was back this weekend in North America’s highest incorporated city.

Ski Joring brings skiers and horses together for an action-packed sport. 

Horses and riders pull skiers via ropes down a snow-packed Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. As the horse gallops, the skier flies over jumps and spears rings set up along the course.

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According to event organizers, Leadville Ski Joring's history goes as follows. Two close friends sat in a booth at the Golden Burro Café discussing Leadville's winter festival known as the Crystal Carnival.

It was 1949, and they were to come up with something new to add to the event list for the festivities. The two decided to take a trip and see whether they could bring back any ideas from Steamboat Springs' winter carnival.

Steamboat was where Tom Schroeder and "Mugs" Ossman witnessed ski joring where a horse-and-rider pulls a skier.

Their idea was to add speed to the game and now the competition is held annually in Leadville during the first full weekend in March.

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