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Saratoga Wyoming

Travel Wyoming: Skijoring in Saratoga

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A racing event that pairs skiers with horses is expected to draw more than 800 people to Saratoga this weekend for the community’s annual skijoring races.

The Saratoga Skijoring Races, now in their fourth year, will see competitors from across the Rocky Mountain West work during the the weekend to post the best time at the Buck Springs Race Track east of Saratoga. 

Saratoga’s race has become one of the major skijoring events for the region, said race organizer Will Faust. In fact, online pre-registration for competitors has been closed because the early racing slots have been filled, he said.

“We have 100 racers in the novice division each day,” he said. “The town is full. It’s become one of the more competitive skijoring races in the country.”

Join us on February 8th and 9th in Saratoga, Wyoming to experience the excitement of Skijoring. www.saratogaskijoring.com

Posted by Saratoga Skijoring on Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Registrations will still be accepted on Friday at the Wolf Hotel from 2 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In skijoring, a skier is pulled by a horse along a track marked by slalom turns, jumps and rings hung from ropes that are to be collected by the skier.

Competition each day on the Buck Springs Race Track’s 700-foot skijoring track will feature teams broken into several different divisions, one for youths, one for novices and several “open class” divisions, based on the time in which the racers complete the run.

“The novice category, these folks are just out to do it for fun,” Faust said. “They’re just in it for the experience. It’s slower and they’ve got less competitive horses. We’ve got about 20 teams in that category.”

The teams in the “open” competition, however, are usually more experienced.

“That’s where people bring in the faster horses, that’s the more competitive one,” Faust said. “The skiers can hit 50 mph on the outside turns. That makes for some pretty fun watching.”

Racers are planning to come to Saratoga from as far north as Kalispell, Montana, and as far south as Durango, Colorado, near the New Mexico border, Faust said.

The cost to register is $25 per person or $50 per team in the open division and $20 per person or $40 per team in the amateur/novice division. There is no registration fee for those under 18 competing in the youth division.

Winners from each day’s races will win prizes, as will winners with the best average time from Saturday and Sunday’s races. Faust said the prize money will total about $11,000.

“We’ve got some nice belt buckles for the winners of each division as well,” Faust said.

Some 600 to 800 spectators are expected to attend the event, Faust said. The cost to attend the race is $5, although children under the age of 12 can attend at no cost.

Activities begin Friday with racer registration and a welcome party at the Wolf Hotel. Races will begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The day’s activities Saturday will wrap up with a concert by Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. Racing will begin Sunday at 10 a.m. 

Money raised through admission fees and contributions will be used to finance the Lions Club’s other activities in Saratoga, such as its annual Kids Fishing Day.

For more information on the Saratoga Skijoring Races, visit the event’s website or its Facebook page.

Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby This Weekend

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Ice, fish and cash prizes will take center stage this weekend as one of Wyoming’s most notable ice fishing derbies — the Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby — marks its 37th year.

From 600 to 800 anglers are expected to visit Saratoga this weekend for the Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby, which will offer participants a number of ways to win prizes on Saturday and Sunday.

The derby began in the mid-1980s as a way to encourage winter tourism, said Stacy Crimmins, chief executive officer for the Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“A lot of things have changed from that original derby,” she said. “It has evolved into something just a little different, but something that is still a lot of fun.”

In its first days, the derby consisted of anglers trying to catch one of three trout that had been tagged and placed in Saratoga Lake. Anyone catching the tagged fish would claim the prize, however, in some years, the fish were not caught during the derby.

Thanks to the support of sponsors, the derby has since expanded its prizes to offer up cash awards for the largest three fish caught during the weekend and a $100 prize for the largest fish caught every hour of the derby.

“We still tag three fish so you can win up to $20,000,” Crimmins said. “You have a really good chance of winning some money. We’ve been told people like our derby because we spread the cash out.”

The derby even offers awards for anglers who catch suckers, a contest designed specifically to reduce the number of suckers in the lake.

“We pay for the largest sucker overall, the most suckers caught on Saturday and the most caught on Sunday,” Crimmins said. “We’re just trying to get them out of the lake. It seems to be working.”

A special derby will also be held for anglers under the age of 14, who can also win cash prizes for their catches.

All told, derby organizers will give away $6,000. Anyone catching one of the three tagged fish can win another $20,000, $10,000 or $5,000.

The derby runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The biggest fish captured during the weekend, determined by adding the length and girth, will be worth $2,000.

“We’ve had some winners brought in during the last couple hours of Sunday,” Crimmins said. “It’s a wide open tournament. You might think you’ve go the winner early Saturday morning and then the winner will be caught Sunday afternoon.”

The anglers catching the second- and third-largest fish will also win prizes.

The entry fee for the derby is $35 for adults and $10 for fishermen under the age of 14.

For more information on the derby, visit Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce or see its Facebook page.

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