The Saratoga Sun -

A call for help

Green Mountain helpers give course new life


February 9, 2022

Adrenaline was pulsing through the veins of horses and skiers this weekend as the Saratoga Lions Club hosted the sixth annual Saratoga Skijoring Races at Buck Springs Arena this weekend.

Eighty-seven teams were entered into the race for each day. Numbers were down, Richard Raymer, co-founder of the event said, because Montana got snow this year. “A lot of people who have come down from Montana in the past didn’t come because they could actually race in their home state.”

The event is the brainchild of Raymer and his friend Will Faust. Both travel the circuit racing in other races in the region. 

Months of planning are involved in putting the race together, but problems can arise quickly as Raymer discovered last weekend. As he was preparing to build the track, the Snowcat, which had been donated to the Skijoring club, broke down. This left Raymer and the Skijoring club with no way to move the 50 truckloads of snow that had been brought in for the event.

Raymer made a call to Anthony Natale, operations manager for the Green Mountain at Brush Creek Ranch on Feb. 1. Natale had a Snowcat and 11 employees who could help. Natale, along with six employees each day came down and worked to build the track. Raymer had given Natale full control of the design, and it paid off. Many of the contestants said it was the best design they had seen in Saratoga. Raymer agreed.

Natale said he was happy they could help. It was the first time he had designed a Skijoring course. He also competed as a rider and skier in the race.

“They were a huge help,” Raymer said. “We couldn’t have done it without them. It is the best course we have had.”

Raymer added that 25 percent of the contestants come from the Brush Creek Ranch.

Building the track for this event was a community effort with Dan’s Trucking, Jerry Fluty, Shively’s, Town of Saratoga and R.G. Raymer construction brining in 50 loads of snow. Some were semi-loads and others were dump trucks, according to Raymer.

The event had enough volunteers this year to split them up in shifts, so they could take a break during the race. That came in very handy Saturday as the wind was brutal on everyone working outside.


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