The American version of skijöring involves a mounted horse and rider towing a skier. Skijöring in Switzerland, however? That’s a whole other game.
The sight of horses thundering down a snowy backstretch with the pristine mountains behind them before the fairy-tale town reminds us that in Switzerland, they like to do things just a little bit differently. The alpine luxury resort town of St. Moritz in Switzerland has long been home to the famous “white turf” — the frozen lake, with plenty of snow on top, makes for an excellent surface for the town’s famous wintertime horse races and snow polo.
By now, we’re sure many readers are familiar with the growing sport of skijöring — in the United States, it’s quite popular in the western states and involves a horse and rider towing a skier by rope down a course of jumps and obstacles. In some races, the skier must collect rings or pass through certain gates; other races are simply judged on time.
On the white turf, however, skijöring is a straight-up horse race — the horses break from gates, towing their pilots behind them on skis as they gallop the track just like a conventional flat race. It’s a wild sight and must be an even wilder ride!
St. Moritz, don’t ever change. Go skijöring, and go riding!