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Monday , 23 May 2022

Skijoring for MS combines fun with fundraising

It’s one of the most wild winter sports – a mix between rodeo and snow – and Cold Lake will host the event while raising money for the cause. 

Skijoring for MS is happening Saturday at the Cold Lake Ag Society grounds. James Purdy, the organizer of the event, and the man behind the MS Ain’t Purdy, explains just how it works. 

“You got a horse and rider and they got a rope and the skiers are holding the other piece of the rope and we’re going to do two events,” said Purdy. “We’re going to do a circuit timed event where it’s a race, it’s going to only be one team at a time. There’s going to be jumps and obstacles that skiers have to go around.”

The competition will include an adult and a youth division, while prizes for the best costumes, and a big air show, where skiers will try to see just how high they can launch off of a jump. 

The cause to raise money for the MS Society is one close to Purdy’s heart as someone with multiple sclerosis himself. 

“The reason we’re doing it is this fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. So we want people there, we want to show off the support. We’re getting some amazing sponsors that have come on board already. Many companies are putting some money in so we can put on a really good event. So we want people to come and experience it. There’s going to be ways to donate directly to the MS Society through it. Also it can be done online or cheques,” said Purdy. 

“This is a pretty big deal for us to throw this event. It’s throwing two of the coolest groups of people you can put together. We got our rodeo people combined with downhill skiing. And there’s a lot of differences between these two groups we know between skiers and the horse groups, but the similarities are they’re crazy and they like to go fast. And so that’s what this event is all about.”

The opening ceremonies kick off at noon on Saturday with the first circuit run getting going shortly after. Then at 4:00pm the big air competition is sure to dazzle and delight the spectators. 

It’s free admission to attend, plus there are sleigh rides, a concession, and beer gardens on hand for the event. 

Registrations are now closed for participants. You can donate online at https://mssociety.ca/. 

All images by Stolen Moments Photography by Jadie.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.