Horse Racing on Ice in Siberia…WHAT

Because racing isn’t crazy enough on its own?

[top image: Varvara]

If you thought skijoring was the most extreme winter equestrian sport…you’re sadly mistaken.

Yesterday the 44th annual Ice Derby took place in Novosyolovo, Russia, and it’s exactly what it sounds like–horse races on the iced-over Yenisei River. This race has been held in Novosyolovo since its inception, and includes everything from flat races to trotters and troikas (three-horse harness racing, where the middle horse trots and side horses canter).


[Wikimedia Commons]

Why did the races begin? Well, I wasn’t able to find an answer for that, but I strongly suspect a group of Russians just really wanted it to be spring already, so they bundled up, harnessed up their horses and went for the nearest flat surface. Which happened to be a death trap of ice, but, you know. Not everyone has an indoor arena.

Coastal Novosyolovo, Russia is about on the same latitude as Oregon in the United States, making it fairly temperate (for Russia), with temps ranging from 10 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit this week.

And I’m such a weenie I won’t even ride if it’s below 32…

Horse Nation, what’s your take on this crazy competition?

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