Horse-drawn skiing and fondue will cross paths once again next month.
The Skijordue '24 competition is set for Saturday, March 2 at the Millarville Racetrack, and Skijor Canada founder and event organizer Sam Mitchell is ambitious about this year's event.
"We're back at Millarville this year, which I love because they have the big grandstands," said Mitchell, who founded the organization in 2017.
"We're raising money for Prairie Sky Equine Assisted Therapy, which is our charity every year."
The event, which was held at the Calgary Polo Club in DeWinton last year, is set to be bigger than ever.
"What's new? More tricks, we're going to run a tighter, faster competition, we're going to have better trophies and we're going to go to trophy buckles this year," said Mitchell.
The competition will feature a first place cash prize and custom champion's buckles, while the second and third place teams will take home cash and swag. Skijordue features competitions in circuit, sprint, relay and long jump.
Community members have already expressed their anticipation for the beloved event's return.
"People are really excited," said Mitchell. "They're already sending me pictures of their outfits.
"I expect them to sell out very quickly. We're capped at 4,000 [attendees] this year, so I'm pretty sure we're gonna sell this baby out."
The sport of skijor came to Calgary for a collaboration between Skijor Canada and stunt driving series Nitrocross on Feb. 4.
"They called me and I said, 'Well, yeah, we're the original horsepower,'" said Mitchell. "We went in and built a course in between the stage and the fans.
"It was really fun for us to run tricks in front of the grandstand, and that's the first time there's been a skijor at Stampede Park which I think is pretty historic."
Beyond the competition, a major focus of the Millarville event is the menu, which will feature fondue, bratwurst, poutine and more.
"We're prototyping some new fondue delivery systems," said Mitchell, "which I'm very excited for because I'm all about the cheese."
The event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more and purchase tickets here.