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Two Bits and the Winter Olympics

Two Bits has been watching the Winter Olympics all week and has enjoyed every minute of it!

He loves the thought of athletes from all over the world competing in events together. Of course, we know how competitive Two Bits is, so this isn’t too surprising.

To horse enthusiasts like you and Two Bits, the Winter Olympics aren’t exactly the best time to find a horse on TV, but that hasn’t always been the case.

The Winter Olympics used to include equestrian events. (Though he hasn’t turned his head from the TV yet, you can tell this is intriguing to Two Bits by the way his ears just perked up.) In 1928, two events were demonstrated at the Winter Olympic Games in Switzerland.

Flat racing, one of the events, was a horse race. In 1928, the track was set up on a frozen lake. (Now, we definitely have Two Bits’ attention!) Flat racing was a timed race, and horses are still raced on snow even today, just not at the Winter Olympics.

Also in 1928, Skijoring was demonstrated. Skijoring is an event still seen all over the world. Typically, there will be one person on horseback with a harness and ropes pulling another person on skis behind them. Some courses will have jumps and other obstacles, and some will be a straight shot all the way to the finish line. In France, skijoring will often be done with no rider. The horse is controlled completely by the skier. Either way, the horse must be very well trained.

In 1948 in Switzerland, another event called the pentathlon took place. This event is actually five events combined. Cross-country skiing, shooting, downhill skiing, fencing and horseback riding. Talk about a long busy day! (Two Bits looks tired just imagining it!)

Since then, equestrian events have been mostly reserved for the Summer Olympics. So, horse lovers, be sure to tune in for those next time!


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