Times Review staff based on information compiled by Cathy English
Ski-joring is an Norwegian term, basically meaning Nordic skiing assisted by a dog team. In Revelstoke’s history, it mostly meant being pulled behind horses for the amusement of others at festivals. Revelstoke Museum & Archives curator Cathy English says the sport was around in the 1920s and 1930s, coinciding with the start of the big winter festival era, but seems to have been banned or fallen out of favour in the mi -d-1930s. But, really, not much is known, she says.
The first known reference was in 1921 when G. Blackwell beat G. Hooley in a pony race.
In 1922, C. Gunnarsen beat out J. Wilson in the dog ski race, while Miss. I. Coursier beat out J. Skene in the pony ski race.
The following are historical references from the Revelstoke Review, complied by Cathy English:
February 4, 1925:
Pony Ski Race: 1st – Archie McKinnon and Clifford Hunt, Revelstoke; 2nd – G. Marino and P. Lanzo, Revelstoke.
February 3, 1926:
The prizes for ski-joring behind ponies were won by A. Caponero and P. Lanzo, first; L. DeMore and M. McKenzie, second. But for the loss of its ski-runner in the final heat, it looked like a cinch for the C. Hunt and A. McKinnon team, which won, at least, popular sympathy. Five pony teams competed and the race divided honors with the freak hockey and basketball contests on skis which followed it. The pony race was one of the big features of Thursday morning’s event and provided unique entertainment for the visitors.
February 16, 1927:
The greatest thrills of the morning were created by the ski-joring races. This spectacular sport never fails to gain the interest of the many outside visitors. Yesterday was no exception, although a few more entries would have made the event a little more exciting. These races provided a study in contrasts. One pair of the entrants had the big boy riding the horse and the small boy on the skis. In the other case, the situation was reversed. Upper Brothers, after several exciting heats, were declared winners. Lanzo and Caponero were, however, barely beaten.
February 8, 1928:
The ski-joring races did not materialize. Zeb Lanzo, however, gave a one-man exhibition which was a pretty fair substitute for the greater event.
February 5, 1930:
Ski-joring races were also run off between events, and had the too venturesome crowds scrambling for the snow-banks on several occasions. The Farmiloe boys, Bill McKinnon and Jimmy McKinnon were the principals and provided some spectacular fun.
February 26, 1932:
A ski-joring jumping race was another feature. With Zeb Lanzo on the horse and Ted Morgan and J. Oakander (of Banff) taking turns at riding the skis a highly exciting demonstration was given. Ted Morgan proved the winner in the end.
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