Inaugural Sheridan WYO Winter Rodeo a Success! - Wyoming Magazine


Inaugural Sheridan WYO Winter Rodeo a Success!


By: Eric Salveggio

The first annual Sheridan WYO Winter Rodeo exceeded expectations! The excitement had been building for weeks in the historic town of Sheridan, Wyoming, as they prepared for the skijoring competition on February 23rd.  For those that are unfamiliar with the sport, skijoring is skiing with a twist. The skier is pulled behind a horse through a course with jumps as high as 8 feet.

Skijoring is popular around the Rocky Mountain States and draws huge crowds. Sheridan Travel and Tourism saw this as an opportunity to bring an exciting event, and the people that come with it, to Sheridan during one of the slowest weekends of the year. Over 100 teams came out for the Skijoring America sanctioned contest being held on Broadway St. The course was built to specifications to be ready the morning of the competition.

Photo by Eric & Karie Salveggio

Come competition morning, the sky was clear, and the temperature was a crisp -1 degrees. Horses breath steamed, snow crunched like Chex underfoot, and the area buzzed with activity as vendors prepped for the day. Contestants waxed their skis and snowboards, riders were checking saddles and lines, and everyone was walking, skiing, or riding along to familiarize themselves with the 800-foot course. Including pros like Richard Weber III (currently #1), Claudia Schmidt (currently #2) as they were being hailed by spectators.

Photo by Eric & Karie Salveggio

Speaking of spectators, over 2,000 people showed up to enjoy the biggest sanctioned skijoring event of the year. People were sitting or standing in the back of trucks, along the street, and on top of buildings. The entire course was alive with music, announcers, and the roar of the crowd. The pros held the fastest times and 15 seconds was not uncommon. There were the expected wipeouts as skiers lost ropes struggling to maintain balance and stability.

Photo by Eric & Karie Salveggio

It was an incredible event enjoyed by children and adults alike. The local breweries offered up specialty beers while the food trucks and restaurants kept the crowd happy and full. Outside of skijoring, there were celebrations at the breweries, a concert at the WYO theater, and a ski and sled day at the Red Grade Trails. Sheridan Travel and Tourism successfully turned historically one of the slowest weekends of the year into one of the busiest. Local businesses felt the economic impact, seeing surges in crowds comparable to what is typical during the Summer WYO rodeo. The Sheridan WYO Winter Rodeo proved to be a successful new tradition that will be enjoyed for years to come.

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