What is the Calcutta?
The Calcutta takes place on Saturday night after Day 1 of competition. Teams are auctioned off to raise money for a local non-profit. Spectators and participants essentially "buy" a team(s) based on the results posted from Day 1 in expectations of the team being a top three finisher for Day 2 results (winning times for the Calcutta will be based on the top three results from Day 2, not cumulative times from the weekend). Once a team is bid on, the winning bidder can win back part of the Calcutta money based on how the team performs on Sunday. All money raised during the Calcutta is shared between the non-profit and the winning bidders for the top three fastest teams on Sunday in each division.
How is the prize money distributed?
Depends on the race
*Red River, NM
The purse will consist of a percentage of division entry fees plus designated sponsorship money (as of Jan 4th, 2016, $5,000, but subject to change):
Open: 60% of added sponsorship purse money plus 85% of the division entry fees.
Sport: 30% of added sponsorship purse money plus 85% of the division entry fees.
Novice: 10% of added sponsorship purse money plus 85% of the division entry fees.
Award money will be paid out for each division at 45% for day 1, 45% for day 2 and 10% for the overall winner.
Day money for each division will be divided for placement as follows:
1st place team = 50%
2nd place team = 30%
3rd place team = 20%
Team payouts will be split as follows:
Horse owner 10%
Overall money for each division will be awarded to the fastest skier, fastest rider and fastest horse. The calculation will be each competitor’s fastest time from Day 1 and fastest time from Day 2 added together. Overall winners, skier and rider, for each division will also receive a venue jacket or vest. To be eligible, a competitor must compete both days.
The division total payouts will be 80% of the entry fees in each division plus added sponsorship money. Twenty percent of the entry fees from the Open, Sport, and Novice divisions will go toEagle Mount.
- Placements in each division for the combined Saturday/Sunday times will payout 90% of the division total and will be split 45% to the rider, 45% to the skier, and 10% to the horse:
- 2-5 teams: two places will be paid 60% / 40%
- 6-10 teams: three places will be paid 50% / 30% / 20%
- 11 or more teams: four places will be paid 40% / 30% / 20% / 10%
- Buckles for both the skier and the rider will be given to the first place team in the Open, Sport, and Novice divisions.
- Saturday/Sunday day money: only the fastest time in each division — 5% of division total per day.
For other races see individual race web sites.
How long does it take to set up the course?
Once snow and equipment are there, it takes about 1 day.
Why do events run with a match and draw race?
This is a Colorado thing... Montana only runs match races, but teams often match up the night before at the competitor registration party.
Can I enter for just one day instead of both?
In Colorado races you may enter just one day, but most competitors enter both days
In the Montana and Idaho races, you must enter both days, as the final scoring for the race is based on a combined score from Saturday and Sunday
Is this dangerous for my horse?
Only if you do not take the proper precautions, as with any riding. Rider experience has a huge factor to play in this. Plus, horses should be outfitted with protective leg-wear, such as bell boots on their front feet as well as some type of split boots. It is also recommended to have studded ice shoes on horses in the Sport and Open divisions.
What safety precautions are in place for my animal?
Courses are designed with safety in mind, including a sufficient "runout" distance at the end of the course for the rider to safely slow down their horse. Runouts are recommended to be 1/3-1/2 of the course length. Again, horses should be outfitted with protective leg-wear, such as bell boots on their front feet, as well as some type of split boots. It is also recommended to have studded ice shoes on horses in the Sport and Open divisions. The snow depth on course is a consistent depth, about 5-6 inches.
Should I use special equipment?
Most riders use a western saddle to skijor. It is uncommon to see riders in the Rocky Mountains competing in an english saddle, though competitors do use them in New England and Europe. A breast collar is a good idea to stabilize your saddle during the initial start. Once the skier is moving, there is actually not much pull on the saddle.
Different riders have different opinions regarding shoeing horses for skijoring. Many competitors chose to compete in borium-tipped horseshoes with a snow-pad inside of the shoe. However, most weekend competitors will successfully compete barefoot. It is highly recommended that horses be outfitted with bell and split boots on each foot.
Ropes often are provided by the competitions, though most serious teams chose to bring their own preferred regulation rope. Ropes are to be 50 feet in length for curved courses or 33 feet in length for straight courses and 3/8 inches or larger in diameter. Handles on ropes are not permitted.
The rope is attached to the saddle horn or behind the saddle. If the attachment is behind the saddle it must be secured to the primary rigging rings of the saddle via a narrow diameter, non elastic rope, so that pulling rope is within an approximate four (4) inches of the cantle, carabineer included.
Where can I keep my horse at an event?
Depends on the event, but stabling should be provided, sometimes at a fee. It varies from stalls at a fairground, to outside pens, to volunteer housing at local horse properties.
How much money can I typically make?
The winner of the open division usually walks away with $2000 for the team. Payouts in the Sport and Novice division are significantly less.
What should I plan for with my horse?
Practice, practice, practice — horses who are not comfortable around ropes and having ropes behind them are a huge liability.
How many horses can I enter?
You can enter as many horses as you like, but each horse is limited to two runs a day, while the riders and the skiers are limited to 4 runs per day in a division.
What class can I enter?
Depends on your riding ability and your horse's athletic ability. Underestimation is your friend here.
Why can’t I race in the open class my first time?
The open division is reserved for the fastest horses and fastest skiers that have competed before. These are the teams that have a lot of experience in skijoring. The novice and sport classes are great to try the sport or to work with a horse new to the sport.
What safety equipment should I have?
Horses should be outfitted with protective leg-wear, such as bell boots on their front feet as well as some type of split boots. It is also recommended to have studded ice shoes on horses in the Sport and Open divisions. Helmets are never frowned upon.
How do I get a fast horse?
Buy a horse off the track, be a fast skier, put in the miles conditioning your horses. Fast horses rarely are just pulled from winter pasture. Prove yourself! Once horse riders see you are a able skier, they will seek you out.
What are the rules?
Ski clean! There are time penalties for missed rings, jumps, gates. You must ski a clean run to be in the money. Rules vary a bit between venues for time penalties. Do not drop rope before finish line, this error continually occurs and results in disqualification.
What class can I enter?
Sport or novice if it’s your first time.
Why can’t I race in the open class my first time?
lt’s not as easy as it looks! With all the time and effort put into training horses, you need to finish or all the training is wasted. It is a rare circumstances, but well known skiers have that entered the Open class and have crashed.
What Safety Equipment should I have?
A full face helmet for straight courses! Some competitors wear a cup too.