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Skijoring races draw bigger crowd and excitement

ST. PAUL - For those in pursuit of adrenaline in the winter and who may have already conquered all-kinds of skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports – rejoice, because skijoring is here.

Despite Family Day activities being cancelled due to cold weather over the long weekend, Sunday’s skijoring went ahead as planned, with one local team taking first place.
Seventeen teams from around Alberta came into town to take part in the community’s second ever skijoring competition on Feb. 16.

Organized by the St. Paul Ag Society, over 100 people gathered to watch horsemen pull skiers behind them on the outskirts of town.

In order to gain the most points, participants must make their way around pylons, with the skier being towed completing two jumps, going around a curve and picking up four rings before crossing the finish line, explained Ray Suvak, vice president at the St. Paul Ag Society.

Each team ran the course twice. The team with the best time won first place.

RELATED: Gallery: Skijordue hits new heights at Millarville Racetrack

Compared to last year, this year saw an improved track layout, according to Ag Society President Doug Drolet.

“I think it was a great success, people that were there enjoyed the venue,” Drolet said. “Talk is to go again next year and build on what we have experienced to make it bigger and better.”

Drolet was also one of the participants in the race.

“I am a horse lover first and foremost, and I do love competition, and it’s a great way to get out on your horse and ride,” he said. “And when you can combine two totally different sports together and have fun, I'm in all day.”

 The idea to bring skijoring to St. Paul sprouted at a convention, he said.

“One other society down south hosts one and we thought we would give it a try,” Drolet explained. “It's a pilot project at this time… It is our second year and we did increase our competitors as well as audience.”


1st Place - Lexis Labant - St. Paul & Austin Campbell - St. Paul

2nd Place - Doug Drolet - St. Paul & James Purdy - Bonnyville

3rd Place Tim Hiller - Hay Lakes & Cam Smyl - St. Paul

4th Place - Robin Rayko - Lac La Biche & Ryley Wowk - Lac La Biche

Hard Luck Team - Robin Rayko - Lac La Biche & Allan Rayko - Lac La Biche


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