Rebecca Farm, home to The Event at Rebecca Farm, will add to its repertoire this winter when it hosts its first skijoring competition on December 30-31. This marks the only time that Rebecca Farm has held an event during the winter months, a departure that excites The Event at Rebecca Farm’s organizer, Sarah Broussard.
“Many folks associate Rebecca Farm with eventing in the summer, so we’re thrilled to try something new, and bring a different kind of sporting event to Rebecca Farm in the winter,” Broussard shares. “Not only is skijoring a unique sport in itself, it is so much fun to watch.”
Derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning “ski driving,” skijoring is a winter sport that combines skiing and horseback riding. The sport consists of a horse pulling a skier through an obstacle course, all while hitting jumps that range in size from three feet to nine feet high. Competitors are judged based on how long it takes for them to run the track, which stretches approximately 850 feet from start to finish.
Fortunately for the organizers, no major changes will need to be made to the Rebecca Farm course in order to host the competition. “It is not so much about changing anything on the farm,“ Broussard says. “It is more about making sure we have enough snow.”
In the event the farm does not receive enough snow before the competition, Broussard will have it trucked in, she says.
Those that finish the course the fastest will be awarded a cash prize, known as the “total purse.” This year’s purse, to be raised via sponsorships, will total up to $25,000. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s competition will be donated to Halt Cancer at X, an initiative created by Broussard that raises funds for breast cancer research and support services.
Last year’s skijoring competition, hosted by the West Shore Visitors Bureau in Lakeside, welcomed nearly 100 competitors and thousands of spectators over two days. Broussard hopes even more are able to make it to this year’s event.