Each WinterFest Week, Jackson Hole residents and visitors can enjoy two very exciting and unique events benefiting the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City: The 44th Annual Cutter Races and the 3rd Annual North American Ski Joring Championships.
Hosted by the Jackson Hole Shriners, the Cutter Races are held Presidents Day weekend. The races were originally on the streets of downtown Jackson, but the event has grown so much that it is now held just south of Jackson, off of South Park Loop Road and Melody Ranch. The Ski Joring event was created several years ago as a bookend event to wrap up Winterfest Week in Jackson Hole.
For those not familiar with cutter racing, think Ben Hur, but instead of a colosseum, imagine two horses and a carriage moving at top speeds across the snow. Ski joring gets a little more crazy as skiers are pulled by running horses through an obstacle course filled with jumps and speed runs. Click here to watch exciting videos from previous events.
The locals know to show up early and park their trucks, flat beds and RVs, then proceed to set up elaborate tailgate parties complete with grills, music and specialty flags so their friends know where to find them.
Calcutta betting is used to raise additional funds and create further competition in the events.
The net proceeds from the events are donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake which serves children of the Jackson Hole community. The hospital is committed to providing the best care for children in their specialty areas of orthopedics, burn care, spinal cord injury and cleft lip and palate, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
The Shriners and the hospital have helped countless children and their families in the Jackson Hole area receive care they may otherwise have never been able to afford. This care changes lives, brings hope and smiles to the faces of children and parents, and simply is priceless.
The 2014 Cutter Races are held February 14th and 15th at 12:30 pm. The Ski Joring event is February 21st and 22nd at 12:00 pm. There is a $15 entry free for the Cutter Races and $10 for Ski Joring. Children under 12 are free. For more information on the events, visit www.jhshriners.org.