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“I dropped a ring,” Dahl recalled, “and he came up to me after the race and told me how much it cost him, every second that the ring was spinning in the air before it hit the ground.”Racers pay per run, with most of their entry fees going to the purse.You can pick your horse and rider for only one run per day; after that, random draws determine who races with whom.Moose lost his footing when the course transitioned from snow to asphalt, pitching Mc Carthy onto the pavement. Dahl later said his winning run ranked among his best in his nearly two decades of racing at Leadville.Moose spooked down a nearby street, while Mc Carthy, who was one of the few riders wearing a helmet, escaped with just a swollen nose. But his bigger triumph was restoring order to what is arguably the rowdiest ski race in the world—one in which racers can reach 50 mph on a course lined by glass-and-brick storefronts while riding a four-legged power source Skijoring has a long colorful history—in St. Logan’s death—the second in Leadville’s 67-year skijoring history, according to longtime event organizer Paul Copper—hung like a pall over Harrison Avenue until Sunday’s racing began.In the American West, the sport brought cowboys and skiers together in a way that nothing else had—a bond that was particularly helpful in Colorado’s high country, where brawls between the rival groups broke out often.It came to Leadville after two locals drove up to Steamboat’s winter carnival in 1949, saw skijoring in action, and brought it back to the Cloud City.
Just one week prior, a horse named Pepper, ridden by a Wyoming rancher named Lenny Hay, had broken its leg on a soft course in Minturn, 45 minutes north on Highway 24 from Leadville, and had to be put down.He managed one of just three clean runs that day, avoiding the dreaded two-second penalty that gets imposed for missing a ring.His time, 15.17 seconds over 900 feet, would hold off all challengers and secure Dahl yet another Leadville win—and another Carhartt jacket. A moment after crossing the finish line, the teenager tried to disconnect the rope from Moose’s saddle so it wouldn’t flap and accidentally spur him to accelerate when he should be slowing down.Dahl, 34, and his brother Greg, 32, have won the Open division at Leadville more years than they can remember.Every time you win you get a Carhartt jacket, and a few years back Dahl’s wife turned all his winning jackets into a quilt.
The horse, a 13-year-old named Logan, broke his lower left front leg in the wreck and was euthanized by injection a short time later.