Well ladies and gentlemen, the moment has arrived. Competitive skijoring has made its way to the Big Sky State. What is skijoring, you ask? As a girl with mostly a ‘water in its liquid state,’ upbringing, it was described to me as waterskiing without the water. For all of you with a ‘water in its solid state’ upbringing, it is simply being towed on your skis by a horse, a dog (or dogs), or a motorized vehicle. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to catch a ride down to the 320 Guest Ranch just south of Big Sky, where the 2012 Skijoring Competition was held. These particular festivities utilized the equestrian method of transportation; the day was a combination of rodeo and cross country skiing. Montana natives: you all now have an outlet for your horse obsession as well as your skiing obsession! Are you getting excited yet?
Each run is timed. Skiers get paired up with a horse and rider and then get towed through the course, navigating slalom gates and jumps. Obviously, the objective is to complete the course in the shortest time, while earning points for making the jumps and getting through the gates. Extra points for costumes, losing a ski and finishing the course, perfect form, and once in a while, epic face plants. Cash prizes for winners! If this sounds like your cup of tea, mark your calendars for next year. You can enter in a rider/skier team or individually and get paired with someone later. Not only is this an awesome sport, but not many people have heard of it; now you have an awesome story to share at a party. Bam.
Hello Bobcat fans,
MSU Senators at the game!
As you may well know, this weekend was the official kickoff of the holiday season in Bozeman, and the first chance to ring in (read “furiously bang that MSU cowbell) all the impending winter festivities. On Saturday afternoon, the University of Montana Grizzlies crossed the mountains to engage the Montana State University Bobcats in the annual Brawl of the Wild (locally referred to as the Cat/Griz game). The rivalry is comparable to other in-state competitions like Los Angeles’ Crosstown Showdown, Oregon’s Civil War, and Washington’s Apple Cup, and is the 4th oldest rivalry in the FCS and the oldest west of the Mississippi. Although the game is the reason for the season, Cat/Griz means a lot more than just touchdowns and tailgating. Cat/Griz recharges school spirit and camaraderie among students, staff, and faculty. Of course, this Bobcat spirit travels far beyond the reaches of campus. The annual Can the Griz food drive engages the entire Bozeman community. Again this year, Bozeman collected more food for its local food banks than Missoula did, raking in tens of thousands of pounds of canned food for the Gallatin County Food Bank!
Even though the Bobcats didn’t emerge victorious in this year’s matchup, we did go into the game ranked #1 in the nation and still have a kickass playoff stint coming up this winter and a run for the national title! We got to show off our newly renovated stadium and fill it with a record 20,000+ fans. The Bobcats are far from defeated! Post-season play, here we come! Even the administration knows it. Check out this excerpt from Dr. Matthew Caires, Dean of Students in a recent email: Please keep in mind that regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game, your Bobcat Football team plans on hosting NCAA playoff games this year in our home stadium. It is crucial that we keep Bobcat Stadium in operational order at the conclusion of this weekend. Please help do your part to keep the Stadium ready for the playoffs.
The Bobcat spirit cannot be quelled! The pregame email blast from Montana Hall is in no way unsolicited; MSU fans are a powerful force. We look forward to a chance for the championship! Go Blue and Gold! Go Cats!
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this? If you haven’t had a chance to see the Bobcats in action, it’s certainly not too late to add post-season tickets to your Christmas wish list.