S.D. cowgirl wins Deadwood’s 1st skijoring event
February 8, 2017
Amber Bruce West, Hereford, South Dakota was named the champion rider at the skijoring event at the Days of '76 grounds Feb. 2.
West learned as on the go at her first skijoring event. "I knew nothing of skijoring," she said.
She learned about the even from a friend and event coordinator Yolonda Long and made a commitment to enter, realizing afterward that she didn't know what the event entailed. She was thankful for modern technology, that gave her a look at fellow skijorers. "I watched a couple of YouTube videos," she said.
Then she headed to the gambling town.
“I knew nothing of skijoring. I watched a couple of YouTube videos.” Amber Bruce West, champion rider at Deadwood skijoring event
"When we got to Deadwood that morning I asked around with the skiers what they liked and didn't like from a puller and most said 'fast and smooth' so that's what I tried to do. My first run I wanted a good take off and made sure to have my horse Scooby at top speed when my skier hit the timer, and I tried to make him run as straight as I could down the course and never looked back until the finish," she said.
She was matched with a Colorado skier, Bruce Stott in the first round. "He's a seasoned pro, he told me to run as fast as I could go. I told him Scooby was pretty fast so we could accommodate his request."
West wasn't making empty promises. Scooby proved to be all she said he was.
"In the finals Scooby really ran hard and ran the fastest time of the entire day. It was such a rush, I could've kept making one run after another," she said.
West's huband Zach was matched with Stott in the second round and that team wound up in second place.
Amber and Stott won buckles for first place sponsored by Belle Fourche Livestock Auction, the pair also won "fast time of the day," and $200 cash donated by Philip Livestock Auction.
Because Scooby was named "Top Horse," West earned another $200, this time from Cowgirl Pizza and Amy Goodson.
West said she is now hooked on skijoring and plans to take part in the event at the Winter Festival in Sundance in a couple of weeks.
"Skijoring is fun to participate in and to watch. The great runs are awesome, and the wipeouts and wrecks are awesome too!"
The event raised funds for the Black Hills Ski Team.