Leadville’s Duffy Counsell Shows in Silverton Skijoring
By Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today Contributor
Looking for a hot tip on wagering at this year’s Leadville Ski Joring Calcutta? On a streak this year has been Leadville’s own Duffy Counsell, who took first place in two races February 13-14, in his first time competing at Silverton Skijoring, wearing home a champion’s Carhartt jacket and a new suit of esteem.
Counsell, a full time hard working family man competes this weekend in Leadville Ski Joring for his fifth year. He and his wife Caryn have lived in Leadville for 15 years.
“I got started in ski joring because of my kids,” Counsell said, referring to 13-year-old Brennan and 10-year-old Haylie. “Oh yeah, they love it, and after they’d been practicing for a while they looked at me and said, ‘Dad, when are you going to try?'”
So he tried, and has found he’s got a knack. When he talks about ski joring, it’s not about being the best, it’s about putting on the best show, likening it to professional wrestling. “There’s a kind of camaraderie among the competitors, all coming together putting their neck on the line for killer entertainment.”
Counsell took 1st Place in the Novice Class Draw on Saturday, Feb. 13, paired with Tricia Shadell riding Mr. Sparklepants and 1st in the Novice Class Match on Sunday, Feb. 14, paired with Ashley Tippets riding Nannas. He also placed third on Sunday in the Novice Class Draw. View the full payout sheet of Silverton Skijoring here. Counsell also competed last weekend in Minturn in RMX Ski Joring, placing seventh in Overall Sport. View those results here.
This should make for an interesting auction this weekend in Leadville as all-stars come out of the woodwork to compete in Colorado’s premier ski joring event. Historic Harrison Avenue is the backdrop, and Leadville’s own, like Duffy Counsell, will be bringing the heat.
Brennan Ruegg is from Akron, OH, where marbles were invented.
What Are They Doing? – or – The Ski Joring Calcutta
Are you a betting person? Well, if so then be sure to take your chances at the Leadville Ski Joring Calcutta! The risk is on the fun side and the pay-off is usually on the BIG side! The Calcutta takes place both race days and begins at high noon on Harrison Avenue at the announcer’s stand at 6th and Harrison Avenue.
The Calcutta is where bets are placed on the horse-skier teams. Every horse-skier team is auctioned to the highest bidder, creating a pool of money. (Skiers are randomly matched up with different horses for each run, so there are far more horse-skier teams than there are skiers.) The bettors who wager on the top three teams win 50 percent, 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Of course, the Leadville Ski Joring Committee takes a modest cut to pay next year’s expenses.
So if you’re up for taking your chances on a team, head on over to the Calcutta held at high noon on Saturday and Sunday, March 5 & 6 in downtown Leadville.