Cutting to the chase

By Jim Stanford on February 17, 2013

Comments: 12 Comments

Presidents’ Day weekend has brought crowds, sunshine and a host of festivities to Jackson Hole. After a couple of spectacular days on the slopes, a snow squall is sprinkling dust on crust, making today ideal for kicking back at the track.

The Shrine Club’s Cutter Races at Melody Ranch are one of the biggest parties of the winter. Day two of the 42nd annual running of the chariots is about to get underway. Gates open to tailgaters at 11 a.m., and the horses run at 12:30.

David Stubbs made this video from the races in 2011, when the Shriners raised nearly $50,000 for the children’s hospital in Salt Lake City.

For a complete list of WinterFest activities, click here.


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‘bump and tickle’ at the track

By Jim Stanford on March 4, 2011

Comments: 2 Comments

David Stubbs spent an afternoon at the Shrine Club Cutter Races last month and put together this video that captures some of the hoof-pounding excitement.

The horse-drawn chariot races are the scene of a huge tailgate party and are one of the most cherished winter traditions. This was the 40th running of the Cutters, a benefit that raised nearly $50,000 for the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. A total of about 4,000 spectators turned out for the two days of racing at Melody Ranch, making it one of the biggest events of Winterfest.

The steeds reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour on the track of packed snow, and as Stubbs depicts, sometimes the action gets a little chaotic.

Click on the arrow icons and “HD” to watch the video in full-screen high-def.


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‘Outrageous’ weekend on tap

By Jim Stanford on February 16, 2011

Comments: 1 Comment

As readers may have noticed, with a frenzy of activity building for Presidents’ Day weekend, the Jackson Hole Chamber and Rotary Club have grouped together more than a dozen events under the umbrella of Winterfest.

The “fest” features everything from a snow sculpting competition, starting now on the Town Square, to a Texas hold ‘em poker tournament at the Wort, to the spectacle billed as an “Outrageous Air Show” at Snow King.

Some of these rather incongruous events are perennial, like the Moose Chase Nordic ski race and Cutter Races at Melody Ranch, while others are new, including a dodgeball on ice tournament at the fairgrounds.

Here’s a novel idea: START bus service to Melody Ranch! There will be a free shuttle from the Town Square and Albertsons to the Cutter Races and back, leaving every half-hour, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Organizers of the air show have built a giant kicker on Snow King, where aerialists such as four-time world champion Steve Omischi and Olympic gold medalist Jean Marc Rozon will go big Friday and Saturday nights. After reading about the show and watching this trailer, all I can think is: No Travis Rice?


Posted under Economy, Entertainment, Holidays, Sports

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Valentine’s Day at the Cutter Races

By Jim Stanford on February 21, 2009

Comments: 8 Comments

Our new video correspondent, Christie Koriakin, spent Valentine’s Day at the Shriners Club Cutter Races, documenting the characters around the Melody Ranch horse track.

Her feature is still in production, but in the meantime, Christie stitched together a montage of the many amorous invitations she received from the cowboys.

Ladies, if you feel like you missed out, take heart: Hill Climb weekend is only a month away!


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