Teams are considered to be the highest skilled competitors with the fastest horses. A team consists of horse, rider and skier. Entrants may be male or female. Payment of registration fees entitles the registrants to point accumulation toward National Championship awards in this class.

Teams are considered to be intermediate level skill participants riding horses that may not be fast enough to be in the Open Class. A team consists of horse, rider and skier. Payment of registration fees entitles registrants to point accumulation toward National Championship awards in this class. Any horse winning 1st place in this class must move up to the Open Class for the following year at the Whitefish event.

Teams are considered to be beginning level competitors riding horses that may not have speed enough to be competitive in the Open or the Sport Class. Any horse that wins 1st place in this class must move to a higher level of competition for the following year at the Whitefish event.

d. MINIMUM AGE: All competitors must be 18 as of January 24th, 2020


a. Rules are the same for Open, Sport and Novice

b. All skiers must wear approved snow sport helmets. Eye protection is recommended. Helmets and protective vests are recommended for riders.

c. A Horse or mule can compete in only one Division. A horse or mule may not run more than two times in a day.

d. A Rider may compete in more than one Division, but must compete on a different horse or mule in each Division entered. A rider may compete up to four times in a day. A skier may run behind the same horse in the same class only if there is a different rider.

e. A Skier can compete in only one Division excepting any entry in the mule (if applicable) OR costume division. A skier may compete up to four times in a day in addition to any entry in the mule or costume division. Keep in mind that a skier can run only once behind the same horse or mule in any division in a day.

f. Substitutions: NO substitutions are allowed for any team member (horse, skier or rider). If any team member cannot compete for any reason, the team will be disqualified. No refunds will be given.

g. Staging between runs: (The Sparby Rule) Each team is allowed four minutes to complete staging and begin the race. After this allotted time has expired, the competitors will be asked to leave the staging area. The team will be allowed one more attempt to race at the end of the Division. If the staging time is again exceeded, that team will be disqualified from that day’s competition. The allotted four-minute time period will begin at the declaration of a clear track. The 4 minute rule will be adhered to during competition.

h. Finishing the Race – the Skier must finish in an upright position and on at least one ski, with rope in hand when crossing the finish line. Both skier’s boots must cross the finish line.

i. Gates -Both ski tips and both boots must go around a gate, or the gate is considered missed.

j. The rider must be in contact with the horse when crossing the finish line.

k. If the Skier drops the rope BEFORE crossing the start line, he/she will be allowed a restart. A maximum of 3 restarts will be allowed

l. Long Jump –The distance of the jump will be measured at the heel of the boot landing–not the imprint of the ski in the snow. Skier must demonstrate control by skiing out of the landing. The Arena Judge shall have the final decision if the skier is in control upon landing i.e. the Protest Committee will not take up this point.

m. Batons are not allowed on the spearing of rings.

n. Competitors will have the opportunity to walk the course prior to the start of the first day’s competition. Teams choosing not to participate and advising a Whitefish Ski Joring committee member or the competition secretary, prior to the start of any competition, will be give a full refund of fees. Once the first competitor in the first class starts a run no further refunds will be given.

o. The run order for all classes will be posted prior to the start of the event in multiple locations. It is the responsibility of each rider/horse/skier team to be at the starting gate and ready to compete at the starting gate official’s direction in the posted order. Any rider/horse/skier combination running out of sequence will be disqualified for that class for that day. The only exception will be at the gate judge’s discretion if it is determined that the team is making a good faith effort to get into position but is having difficulty getting positioned. At the gate judge’s discretion the team may be rolled to the end of the class.

p. If a rider/horse/skier (team) begins their run and it is interrupted by an accident or incident rendering a member of that team unable to continue the competition will be temporarily halted by the rules committee. Once the track has been cleared and is ready for the competition to continue the competitors for that class will be given 15 minutes to walk the course, evaluate conditions and determine if they wish to continue in the competition. Following this evaluation period the race will resume and any team choosing to withdraw from the competition will not receive a refund of the entry fees.


a. A two second penalty is assessed for each missed jump, ring, or gate.

b. A two second penalty is assessed for any horse breaking the plane of any jump, hitting a gate, or hitting a timing device.


a. Horses – The on-site veterinarian will have the authority to scratch a horse for health reasons or concerns pertaining to the safety of the horse and the image of the sport. Any member of the organizing committee can require a horse to be examined by the veterinarian prior to racing.

b. Protective legwear: It is highly recommended that horses be outfitted with bell and splint boots on each foot (4).

c. An ambulance crew will be on site. Service, if needed, will be charged to the beneficiary of the service by the Whitefish Fire Department.


a. If a team member has a concern regarding his run, that concern must be brought to the attention of the Arena Judge as soon as possible after the run, but not later than the start of the next competitor. A Protest Committee consisting of 3 non-competing members, experienced in the event, schooled in the rules and selected to have no conflict of interest, will consider the concern presented and make a decision not later than the start of the next competitor. The decision of that committee is final and all involved are asked to accept that decision in the spirit of friendly competition.


a. Length
Approximately 700 to 850 feet from start to finish lines.

b. Gates
Brush style where skier goes right of red gates and left of blue gates.

c. Jumps
Four jumps, approximately five feet in height and twice as wide as tall.


a. Ropes cannot exceed 50 feet in length or be shorter than 30 feet.

b. Ropes are recommended to be 3/8” or larger in diameter.

c. Handles, loops, knots, and discs are not permitted on the skier end of the rope.

d. Any rope not supplied by the Whitefish Organizing Committee must be inspected and approved by the Start Master or his designee prior to the start of racing.

f. Attachment must be 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 by a non-elastic attachment so that the pulling rope is within 6 inches of the cantle, carabineer included.  Prior to the race, the Start Master, or his designee must approve any attachment to the saddle.

g. Rings will be provided by the event organizers.


Good sportsmanship is important to the success of the event and the image of the community of Whitefish. Your registration signature pledges your word to the humane treatment of your horse and respectful relationships to all fellow competitors and volunteers hosting this exciting competition. Failure to comply with the spirit of friendly competition at any of the scheduled events may result in the disqualification of your team or your banishment from future competitions.


Race results will be available both during and after the event at