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Stepping Up ~ Stepping Forward

September 30, 2018


Taking initiative and following through on promises to contribute
freely and without compensation to causes that are meaningful to or inspire us because in some way they touch our lives or those who are closest to us.

The Skijoring Community
is full of people who exhibit such passion and commitment.

We rely heavily on volunteers to make our events a success
and hope that in 2019 our volunteers will not only have a great experience and feel that their time and energy was well spent, but also that their causes have 
received the exposure and reaped the benefits of partnership.

So before our season begins, we wanted to take the time to
acknowledge some outstanding volunteers in our midst
encourage others to come forward
and share their stories!

RJ Klotz
Heroes and Horses, Manhattan, Montana

RJ served as an intern and said it was one of the most inspiring experiences of his life to work with vets and horses and see the direct results of the program.
The 40-day program involves 3 steps: Training, Riding and Survival School. 
Veterans do not pay for the program, but each must go through a rigorous application and qualification process to be selected.
The founder and CEO, Micah Fink, spent 10 years in the Navy SEALS program
so has first hand knowledge of the challenges veterans face
both during and after service to our country.

We encourage you to explore 
The 500 Miles Project
and watch the video below to learn about an extraordinary initiative to
break, train and eventually integrate 15 wild mustangs
into the Heroes and Horses Program.


Steven dePalma
Veterans Barn Door Project, Fort Myers, Florida
Skijor USA met Steven in Wisdom, Montana in 2018.

That particular weekend, Steven, a seasoned veteran of
war who returned from Afghanistan in 2010,
 braved the bitter cold and bone chilling wind to greet guest after guest with a warm smile as they parked their vehicles and paid a fee to support the
Wisdom Skijoring race and, in turn, Steven's charity.
He did not see much of the event, no doubt, but this is not why he was there.
He and Dennis Havig, Wisdom's 2018 event organizer, share a 
commitment to support our vets and help them heal.

To learn more about "Balance and Trust",
the Veteran Barn Door Project 
and hear Steven's story in his own words watch:


Tyler T Peterson
Make A Wish Foundation, Idaho

Tyler's family's struggle began years ago when his daughter, Devon, or "Devo" as she is called affectionately, began her fight against cancer.  We learned of this at the 2016 Hailey, Idaho race where wrist bands were given to those supporting Devon's cause.  I still have mine.  Today, Devo is a beautiful, strong, determined 15-year-old who clearly makes her Daddy, Tyler, proud,
and whose friends and family have rallied around her undaunted.
Just recently, a charity Devo and her family supported, 
Walk for Wishes, Magic Valley, Idaho
Wide Awake Dreaming Idaho,
surpassed their fundraising goal and had their
"Best Year Ever"

In Devo's own words:

Walk With Me. Wish With Me.

My name is Devon Peterson and I am 15 years old. I’m Merida in the picture holding Hiccup with my twin sister and Super Girl, Gracie, and my friends Chloe, Rapunzul, Rachael, Mulan, and Liney, Wonder Woman. I am recovering from a bone marrow transplant after AML, and my wish is take my family to Scotland to ride a Friesan horse in the woods so I can hear my heart beat in my ears from excitement and not fear. I missed last year’s walk and wish because of a relapse. But I know how powerful dreaming big helped me through the darkest hours. I want all kids with scary illnesses to have that chance. 

I am excited to walk and fundraise for this year's Walk For Wishes. I am committed to raising money for Make-A-Wish to help grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses. A wish gives children renewed energy and strength, brings families closer together and unites communities. 

These life-changing wishes are only possible because of supporters like us. A wish experience can truly change a child's life, and so can we.

Devo, you are an inspiration to us all,
and a reminder to cherish each and every day.

We love the joyful photo above which shows confetti falling down all around!  
This reminds us all of how much we are hoping for snow!

Kayla Seaman
Crowns and Crystals Coronation Gala & Fundraiser

This past week, the Lewis & Clark Fairgrounds hosted a gala so that
Miss Last Chance Stampede,
our own Kayla Seaman,
can be an effective ambassador for the sport of rodeo and the western way of life and mentor others like herself.
She aspires to run for the next level
Miss Rodeo Montana.
Of course, this means that Kayla will be, in her own words,
"a role model" and the "best person" she can be "each and every day".
Tall order!  We should all take that pledge!

Paula Krugerud,
who was featured in last week's newsletter, shared a post for
Barnwood Builders 
in which they boast tackling the "biggest barn yet" which
will provide a lodge for wounded veterans in Montana.
More power to you guys!
THANK YOU again to our sponsor,
Gearhart Signature Homes, LLC,
which builds custom log structures throughout America, 
for supporting SJUSA!

We were inspired to notice these members of our community
since, this weekend, the children of one of our Corporate Council Members
are volunteering at an event in Southern California,
the Ken Whalen Surf Challenge,
which encourages children under the age of 16 and those who are physically challenged to deepen their commitment to surfing.

Whether it is surfing or skijoring,
the key is to reach out, to inspire, to give
and hopefully, to change lives.

As RJ shared, often it is our own lives as volunteers that are changed as well.
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Last Monday, SJUSA hosted our 3rd 
Organizers' Summit

It was well attended, especially by our newest race organizers,
(and despite it being hunting season!)
who are hungry for guidance and full of enthusiasm.
This should make you even more excited about the 2019 season ahead!

Pagosa Springs has named their race
"Saddles and Skis" Pagosa Skijoring
and will be unveiling a logo, website and social media page shortly.
The Pagosa Springs race will be supporting two charities:
Big Brothers and Rise Against Violence

Butte, Montana's race is part of
a festival committed to promoting FREE winter recreation in the area
and all proceeds will benefit this cause.  SnoFlinga includes everything from cross country skiing to speed skating, from hockey to curling
and fat tire bike racing to skijoring!
The Butte Plaza Inn
will be the site for all social activities and
will be offering a special rate for skijor competitors.
Butte has also identified their announcer, 
Ray Champ,
an engaging and experienced rodeo personality,
as well as their race venue
offering plenty of space to stage, race, run out, warm up, cool down and even
put up panels on site for boarding purposes.
We encourage you to contact race organizers for specific details.

Columbia Falls, MT has secured a venue for the social segments of their event,
Blue Moon Nite Club, Bar, Casino & Grill.
their race will support V.E.T.S.
(Valor Equine Therapy Service, Inc.)
which affiliates with Herd2Human and Horses Help Heal.
Check them all out on Facebook
and give them your support!

Steamboat Springs and Kremmling, CO
will be supporting
Mountain Valley Horse Rescue
as a local charity and the only rescue in Eagle and Routt Counties.

The event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
will continue to benefit
The Jackson Hole Shrine Club 

SJUSA Member Race Agreements are rolling in!

Stay tuned for new websites for the races above next week! 

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SJUSA wants to keep you in the know when it comes to races that may not be currently affiliated but have potential as 
Associate Race Venues

Canterbury Park, Minnesota
will be having a race on Saturday, February 23rd

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
is deciding between Saturday, February 2nd & 9th

Sundance and Pinedale, Wyoming
will most likely continue their traditions of hosting races
on Saturday, February 16th
(confirmation forthcoming)
320 Guest Ranch has decided not to have a race in 2019
due to a reduction in ranch staffing and a shift in events they offer to guests.

Until a race is SJUSA affiliated, they will not appear on our website or calendar, but you can always go to 
for updates regarding ALL 2019 race venues.

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This week, SJUSA's Facebook Page topped
700 likes/follows
our newsletter engagement constantly surpasses the industry average!

for your continued engagement and interest
despite summer forays, hunting excursions and life in general!

We will be taking steps to increase outreach and engagement
as we approach the 2019 season.

. . . But who's counting?


96 days until our first race in Helena, Montana!

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Tuesday, October 2nd, Corporate Council Meeting
Monday, October 22nd, Advisory Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 23rd, Organizers' Summit

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Skijor USA's Sponsorship Outreach continues
and is in full swing.
We have contacted nearly 200 corporate sponsors and are encouraged by the response rate and degree of interest.
We will be reporting sponsorships once our deals are signed and sealed
and will then deliver them direct to you, our SJUSA races!

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Your Team at Skijor USA
Mark, Levi, Loren, Dana, Bruce, Clay and Jerry
Your SJUSA Member Race Delegates

Photos courtesy of
The 500 Miles Project & Make A Wish Idaho