The Winter Olympics are without an equestrian event these days, but a recent article by Slate magazine points out that there was one horse-related activity that almost made the cut.
Skijoring, the Nordic sport in which a skier is pulled over a cross country course by a horse under tack, began in the 1800s as a means of transportation for army dispatches and became popular among adrenaline junkies at the time. Competitive skijoring was included in the Nordic Games, a predecessor to the Winter Olympics. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, helped bring the sport in as an Olympic demonstration sport at the 1928 St. Mortiz Games.
Without the jumps and obstacles common in modern courses though, the sport didn't catch on and was quickly dropped from the Olympic scene. Skijoring is still popular in Scandinavia and Switzerland, and is catching on in some regions of North America, too.
Read more at Slate
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