Competitors gear up for National Finals Ski-joring in Red Lodge - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Competitors gear up for National Finals Ski-joring in Red Lodge

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The 2018 National Finals Ski-joring kicked off this weekend at Red Lodge.

High jumps and fast speed dominate the course as competitors race around the track in hopes of winning first place!

Joe Scanlon has been riding for 18 years. he says training your horse is crucial in these type of events. 

"You have to have something to give the horse confidence and you can feel it, when he feels it, you can feel it," said Scanlon. You have to watch for ice pots, it's pretty tricky sometimes."

For Robert Poirier, this is his 22nd year racing and he's out to claim his title.

He exercises daily to get his body into shape.

"You got to be in shape. Especially at my age, I'm skiing with kids half my age," said Poirier. "So, like you said you know tomorrow's race is going to be different, every single day every race is different and it's always changing. Just concentration and focus is huge you know."

Awards go to the fastest times combined for both days, but what's the secret to winning?

"The biggest mistake I see being made now and ski-joring is getting huge. So you wanna get the novice and the number one thing is qualifying your team," adds Scanlon. "You see a lot of riders gunning their horse, well it's the teamwork involved in it. But if you don't have a qualified time then you don't have anything."

Robert Poirier said anyone at any age can compete in the sport.  He said he doesn't let time slow him down. 

"I'm always after the prize money and to beat all the kids. I wanna prove to them that I'm not too old," adds Poirer. "I wanna show them that I can ski too so I can do it and think positive and win!"

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