by Dalton Carver
Another year of skijoring has come and gone, but it left several big winners holding trophies and large cash prizes for their competitive efforts. In the open division, the team of rider Josh Abbott and skier Colin Cook rose to the top, leaving local rider Richard Weber III in a very close second place finish.
Competing in multiple divisions last weekend, Abbott received about $3,500 and Cook raked in nearly $5,000.
The overall cash awarded ($25,000) for this year's competition was the largest in its three-year existence. Its team count also exponentially jumped from 60 teams last year to 104 this year.
Following Weber III and his skier, Cook, in second place was the team of Rich Weber Jr. and Aaron Griffen in third, Josh Abbott and RJ Klotz in fourth, Weber Jr. and Cook in fourth and Scott Ping and Griffen rounding out the professional open division in fifth.
First and fifth places were separated by no more than three seconds.
In divisions other than open, each skier and rider was timed and placed individually during last weekend's competition.
The sport division was just as competitive as the open, with Weber III taking first place in the rider category, followed by TJ Simmons, Cal Douglas and Abbott. For the sport division skiers, Tug Birk took the first and fourth spot, followed by Sayre Smith and Rob Conaty.
The novice division rider category was won by Anna Jessen, followed by Dennis Alverson and Weber Jr. Petey Jessen took first and second in the novice skier division, followed by Ridgway local Tyler Ferguson.
The snowboard division, although slower-paced, still featured plenty of action. Weber Jr. took first for the riders, followed by Amanda Sandau and Mo Ostrander. Pedro Elektro was the top snowboarder for the weekend, followed by Hunter Scott and Shane Carrick.