The show must go on for the 2020 Winter Rodeo


Isaac Otto

As weather ruins original plans on Sunday, feb 23, competitors play a large game of polo with a soccer ball near Main Street.

   “If you were hoping to go to the skijoring, they cancelled it,” said a Sheridan resident as she walked back to her car. When strolling towards Broadway Avenue on Sunday Feb. 23, one would find people walking around downtown Sheridan, not what one would expect to happen when there is a major skijoring event planned at that time. Not only was skijoring cancelled on Sunday but all of the planned Fat Bike and Nordic Ski races were also cancelled. On the weekend of Feb. 22 and 23 the city had planned a day full of activity on Broadway Avenue, however things did not quite go to plan.

   Weather conditions were unfavorable throughout the whole week and the unexpected sun was not welcome for the competitors who were expecting packed snow to ski over. Due to the bright sun, the snow on top melted causing a thin layer of wet snow to form, and it also made the snow soft. Over the night that wet snow froze into ice and made the track really slick for the morning of Sunday. 

    Skijoring was derived from a Norweigan word that meant ski driving and was officially debuted in Stockholm Winter Games during the year 1901. Skijoring consists of one horse, one rider, and one skier. The horse and rider pull the skier along a course, where they have to collect rings and make it to the end without falling.

     Saturday, the crowds lined both sides of the temporary skijoring course built by the city on Broadway Avenue, where local and out-of-town skijorers competed in multiple class races. In the evening of Saturday a horse fell in the soft snow and rolled, nearly breaking its leg. The officials then inspected the quality of the track and decided that it was no longer safe to ride on anymore. “I think that calling off the races was probably a good idea with the sun and all, especially after the accidents yesterday,” said Jace Rustad a spectator on Sunday.

    Last year’s Winter Rodeo was a huge success both in popularity and turnout but also in business revenue. This year was not much different. More vendors and sponsors were supporting this year’s Winter Rodeo. “There were a lot more people on Saturday than today and everyone was having such a great time, I am not sure what the total numbers were but it was a good turn out,” said a local ski patroller who was helping with one of the vendors in front of Black Tooth Brewery. Downtown, open shops were busy and people roamed the sidewalks talking and peering through store windows. Such a good business turnout was compared to the fourth of July in the middle of summer last year.

   Even though the skijoring events were cancelled on Sunday, competitors did not miss an opportunity to show off their horse riding skills and decided to play a large game of polo with an oversized soccer ball in the open space of the skijoring course. Despite its setbacks, the second annual Wyoming Winter Rodeo left some disappointed, however people understood the problem and still enjoyed themselves.