Skijor USA - 3D Format

A new format is being utilized during the 2019 race season. The 3D format provides for a uniform system which is self-sorting. Competitors do not need to “estimate” their skill level. Performance dictates which “D”, or Division, the finishing time falls within and appropriate points are then awarded, if earned. This is the preferred method for Skijor USA and its member races. Individual races are allowed to run in the old format, if they choose, but courses and penalties must be uniform with the exception of divisions outside of the 3D such as Youth, Legend, etc.

The 3D is meant to be similar to the previous method of Open, Sport and Novice. Like the traditional format, the 3D system identifies separate competitive classes, maintains three levels of competition, but effectively places teams in the proper division according to their race results.

All competitors, regardless of ability, run on the same track. The three divisions are then determined by time brackets. With the 3D format, the OVERALL fastest time of the race is used to set the time brackets for the three divisions. Skijor USA awards points to teams that have nominated themselves IN ALL DIVISIONS on a 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis for first place through tenth place, regardless of the number of entries.

1st Division: These are the teams with the fastest times and the cleanest runs.

2nd Division: These are teams who ran ONE (1) SECOND or SLOWER than the OVERALL fastest time and cleanest run.

3rd Division: These are teams who ran TWO (2) SECONDS or SLOWER than the OVERALL fastest time possibly including a 2-second ring penalty.


A minimum of a five (5) second penalty will be assessed per gate and /or jump missed. A two (2) second penalty will be assessed for each missed or dropped ring. Failure to cross the finish line on at least one ski, with rope in hand, will result in a disqualification. Both skis, must cross within the boundary of the finish/timing line. Thus, the 3D system places a premium on clean runs.

Championship Points

Skijor USA awards championship points in accordance with the previously noted basis. Competitors may earn points in any division, based on their finish, as defined by the 3D model. Points will be earned, tracked and posted throughout the season. The final race of the year, West Yellowstone, will determine the champion in each “D”, as determined by accumulation of points during the season, and with the final two days of ONE AND A HALF racing points awarded/added determining National Champions. In the event of a tie for points at the finals, the team with the fastest combined time that weekend will be the winner. This is a true championship playoff format.

By earning SJUSA points at sanctioned events throughout the competition year, teams will have a chance to qualify for the National Championship Finals. The exact number of National Championship Finals qualifiers will be determined by the outcome of competition in each SJUSA region. Competitors that are not mathematically eliminated will be eligible to vie for the SJUSA National Championship in the 1D, 2D, and 3D divisions. National Championship buckles, provided and sponsored by Tres Rios Silver, will be awarded to the top finishing rider and skier team in each 1D, 2D and 3D. A Tiffany & Company traveling trophy will also be presented to the winning 1D team.

Nomination of Teams

Teams may nominate themselves for National Championship Points. A team is considered a specific horse, rider and skier. A horse/rider combination may pair with two distinct skiers. This would be two teams. Each horse may only be nominated for a maximum of two teams. A rider and skier may participate on a total of four teams, with regard to championship points. For example:

Carol (rider) on “Roanie" (horse) pulling Jonathon (skier) - This is a team.

Carol (rider) on Roanie pulling Judith - This is a team.

Roanie, as a horse, is maxed out for nominating teams with two.

Carol (rider) on “Pepper” (horse) pulling Jonathon (skier) - This is a team.

Carol (rider) on “Pepper” (horse) pulling Judith (skier) - This is a team.

Carol is now maxed out for nominating teams, with four.

Jonathon and Judith are free to participate with two other teams, for a total of four.

Riders are allowed to enter additional horses/teams per the above structure IN A SEPARATE REGION, but those teams can only earn points in that region. No regionally-declared and nominated teams are allowed to crossover regions. Horses must remain in a region, but riders and skiers may register in multiple regions, with a different horse.

If a team withdraws due to injury or other circumstances, no substitutions are allowed. Points are not transferable. Fees are not refundable after payment is received by Skijor USA.

Teams of women riders and skiers may compete in a Women’s Division, if a race provides for this, and still earn points as part of the larger 3D series and compete in the finals if they qualify. This rule only applies if there is no variation in the track between the Women’s division and the main 3D event at that particular member race.

Teams must be nominated PRIOR to any given race within their intended region with the exception of the last race in that region. Payment is due upon nomination. A team may mail in the nomination form along with payment to Skijor USA at 2030 Cromwell Dixon Lane F, #155, Helena, MT 59602. Postmark must be prior to the date of the second to last race of the region. Teams may also nominate for points online and pay by credit/debit card. This is SJUSA’s preferred method of registration. Points will NOT start to accumulate until after teams have either nominated for points and paid online, or after the date of the postmark on a mailed nomination form.

Nomination forms may also be completed at the Member Race registration events no later than at the second to last race in each region. Payment is also due at or before that time.

A $30.00 fee per team is required to nominate for National Championship Points. Payments are payable to “Skijor USA”. Fees will be used to manage administrative costs and fund a National Championship Finals prize pot, along with other sponsorships and revenue sources, to be awarded subsequent to the National Championship Finals race in West Yellowstone, MT on March 23rd and 24th, 2019. Team members are also eligible for additional benefits such as product provided by regional and national sponsors and a discounted membership at ETRA, or Extreme Trail Riders Association, which offers many benefits to people in the horse world.

Teams are NOT required to nominate for National Championship Points to participate at individual races or at the National Championship Finals, and remain eligible to earn prize money and/or awards offered by each SJUSA race, including the National Championship Finals Open 3D event. SJUSA does NOT sell memberships to competitors. Races are open to any competitor wishing to enter an SJUSA event. Teams may compete at non-SJUSA or independent races as well, but do not earn SJUSA points at these races.

Championship Points will be awarded each day of each race for teams that nominate themselves. Therefore, if a team travels to a race, but can only participate on one day, providing the individual race allows for this, they can still earn qualifying points on that day. Points will be tracked throughout the year. If competitors compete in more than four days of racing, SJUSA will use the TOP FOUR finishes for each team in any division, ONLY within their declared region, for points accumulation, regardless of how many race days a team attends within their declared region. In the event of a tie(s) at the end of the 2019 race season, the regional team which performed better (fastest combined times) against the other team(s) in question will be given the first place status and so on for second, third, fourth, etc.

Alternatively, if a team only attends one-to-four days of racing, and earns points during each day, those day’s points will be used for the Championship Points Calculation. However, teams may freely travel to any regional SJUSA race and be eligible to earn prize money and/or awards offered by each SJUSA race. Points will be tracked by the 3D system. Points can be accumulated in one or more “D”, but points earned within a “D” remain in that “D” and cannot be transferred to a different “D”. Whichever “D” a team earns the most points in, based on their results.

Skijor USA/Skijor West National Championship Finals

Teams that are not mathematically eliminated are eligible for the Skijor USA/Skijor West National Championship Finals for each of the 3D divisions. The Skijor West race will determine the National Champion for each “D”, with the final points being awarded both days of racing. Team Champions will be declared on Sunday afternoon, March 24th, in West Yellowstone, MT.

At the finals, for the purposes of awarding points, qualifying teams times will be tracked in one of the 3 qualifying divisions, as per the regular season. They will “carry” their points forward to the finals. At the finals, and only for these teams, points will be awarded NOT via the 3D format used during the year for the purposes of the Championship, but rather based on the competitor time compared solely to the times of other competitors that qualified in the same division.  One and a half points will be awarded. For example, 15 points for 1st place, 13.5 points for 2nd, 12 for 3rd and so on. However, for purposes of the Open 3D race, their times will be tracked against the larger competitive field.

In other words, if there are 30 teams that qualify in the 1D, those competitors, for the purposes of finals, points will only be compared to other competitors in that same group.  The fastest time each day in that group, but also accounting for penalties, will be awarded 15 points, 2nd 13.5 points, etc. and so on. In addition, the teams will fall into a normal 3D race format to earn prizes and money for that race as part of a broader field of competitors that are NOT vying for a title.

Non-championship contending teams are welcome and encouraged to participate in the National Championship Finals, as it will be run as if it were a normal Open 3D race for these teams.

There will be a separate payout for the race in addition to National Championship Finals buckles and awards. Points will not be awarded to non-championship contending teams at this race that are solely participating in the Open 3D race (i.e. did not nominate or qualify for the National Champions Finals).

© 2018 Skijor USA, Inc.