Steamboat Springs If anyone missed the chariot racing at this year's Winter Carnival, they will get a second chance to watch it this spring, or at least some of it.
On April 13, Steamboat's chariot races will be part of Rocky Mountain PBS' Spirit of Colorado program. This February, John Burshtan and his crew at PBS traveled to Steamboat for Winter Carnival to include the chariot races on an episode titled "Wild and Crazy," which features extreme events throughout Colorado.
The four-minute segment on Steamboat has shots of the two-horse teams barreling down the quarter-mile straightway at Romick Arena and potential interviews from local chariot racers Patsy Wilhelm and Kathy Duncan.
Although the segment will begin with shots of the street events, Spirit of Colorado producer John Burshtan said the main focus is on the chariot racing.
"We really spent most of the time showing chariot racing. It's so cool, racing around horses and seeing them on a snow-covered track," Burshtan said.
As the biggest local chariot racing competition of the season, the Winter Carnival event drew about 30 teams from the Yampa Valley and nearby states.
Burshtan said the crew arrived right before the 22 inches of snow blew in that weekend and they were able to capture the festive atmosphere of the street events as the snow dumped on the town. But on Sunday, the second day of the carnival, the stormed cleared, allowing Burshtan and his crew to capture shots of chariot racing under beautiful blue skies.
It is not the first time Steamboat or Winter Carnival has been featured on the Spirit of Colorado. Since it first aired in 1994, the program has featured Winter Carnival events like the lighted man, the high school marching band on skis and skijoring events down Lincoln Avenue.
It has also featured Steamboat in episodes on tree skiing and will feature Ray Heid's Del Triangle 3 Ranch on its upcoming cowboy show.
"Steamboat has so many good stories," Burshtan said. "At the Winter Carnival, you get to experience the culture and the heritage. It's just not a town that comes to life because of the ski industry. It's heritage and culture is a really cool thing."
Despite the show's familiarity with Steamboat, Burshtan said he did not know chariot racing still occurred in Steamboat or anywhere in the state. But when he found out Steamboat still raced horses on snow-covered tracks, he wanted to come.
Steamboat's chariot racing will be one of the six or seven segments on "Wild and Crazy." It will be joined by Boulder Kinetics, which has teams pilot homemade crafts across water, over land and through swamps. The program will also show Empire's Frog Rodeo, the Annual Alligator Roundup and Rodeo and Aspen's ultimate taxi, a vintage New York Checker Cab that is a nightclub on wheels.
The show airs April 13 at 7:30 p.m. on PBS.