The Sámi people, who have historically made use of reindeer to pull them along on skis across great stretches of snowy landscapes for hundreds of years, cover the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and within the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. Apart from still being utilised today, the form of transport has also given rise to an incredible sport called skijoring. The debut at a major sports event occurred as early as 1901 at the Nordic Games in Sweden. Nearly ten years later, the popular addition was the use of horses in Switzerland and France. Skijoring behind horses also became a regular pastime in North America. By the mid 1900s, skiers were being pulled by motorcycles and automobiles in races.
One of the big events every season is the Arctic Man in Alaska. The competition makes use of snowmobiles that tow skiers on one of the toughest downhill ski races. The skier first begins at an elevation of 5,800 feet (about 1.77 km) and drops to 1,700 feet (about 518.16 m), before linking up with the partner to be towed uphill by the snowmobile. The skier then separates again and drops a further 1,200 feet (about 365.76 m) to the finish line. Dogs have also become a major factor in the sport where it is only the skier and the one dog completing a cross-country race.
Skijoring is a sport not exclusive to the winter season. Riders on mountainboards also feature in races on roads or on sandy terrains. Skijor International LLC, based in New York, can be regarded as an international body with the purpose of representing the sport worldwide. An important goal is to unite the various North American and European skijoring organisations under one umbrella and to manage international competitions worldwide.