Seven- and 8-year-olds take off from the starting line at Howelsen Hill during the cross-country obstacle race in the 2008 Winter Carnival. Registration begins today for children's horse events at this year's Winter Carnival.

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Seven- and 8-year-olds take off from the starting line at Howelsen Hill during the cross-country obstacle race in the 2008 Winter Carnival. Registration begins today for children's horse events at this year's Winter Carnival.

Winter Carnival street events sign-up begins today

Popular children's horse races expected to fill fast

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Horse events

- Ring and box (ages 6 to 9): A horse pulls skiers who must drop rings in a washtub.

- Ring and spear (ages 6 to 10): A horse pulls skiers who are holding a spear and trying to collect five rings suspended from stands.

- Skijoring (ages 6 to10 and 11 to 14): A horse pulls skiers down a flat street course.

- Street slalom (ages 6 to 10 and 11 to 14): A horse pulls skiers through a slalom course of cones.

- Donkey jump (ages 6 to 10 and 11 to 14): A horse pulls skiers as they attempt to land the longest distance jumped off a 2-foot ramp.

- Shovel race (ages 18 and older): Adults sit on any type of shovel and are pulled by galloping horses.

Other street events include the 25-yard dog dash, where children are pulled by the family dog; the three-legged race, where people on skis tie two of their legs together; and the obstacle course, where contestants on skis maneuver through a variety of obstacles.

To register

Registration for Winter Carnival street events starts at 7:30 a.m. today at the Steamboat Springs Visitor Center at 125 Anglers Drive. Preregistration is required for all horse events; there is no day-of registration. Entry for horse events closes Feb. 6. Registration for all events is free.

For more

For more information about Winter Carnival, go online to www.steamboat-cha...> or www.sswsc.org...>

— Registration for street events at the 96th annual Winter Carnival starts at 7:30 a.m. today, and representatives of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association expect children's horse events to fill up fast.

"We get a lot of people who come super early," said Molly Killien, media and public relations manager for the Chamber. "So, if people are interested in having their kids participate in street events in Winter Carnival, make sure and come at 7:30."

Preregistration is required for the popular Winter Carnival horse events, which feature young skiers being pulled by horses to complete such tasks as dropping rings in a washtub, collecting rings on a spear, navigating a slalom course and jumping off a 2-foot ramp.

Registration for the events is free and is done on a first-come, first-served basis, Killien said. The Chamber will be selling Winter Carnival event admission buttons for $7 during registration and will offer free coffee and doughnuts.

Children's horse events are available for ages 6 to 14, and one adult horse event - the shovel race, where contestants 18 years and older are pulled behind a galloping horse on a shovel - follows at the end of the morning. Contestant waivers and protective headgear are required. Children can register for one event Feb. 7 and one Feb. 8; they also can be registered as an alternate for one extra event each day.

Parade registration today

Registration for the Winter Carnival Diamond Hitch Parade closes at 6 p.m. today. The morning event usually features about 20 local entries, along with the Steamboat Springs High School Ski Band and the Winter Carnival grand marshal, said Caroline Bohlmann, special events director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

A diamond hitch consists of at least four skiers who hold onto a rope and are pulled down the street by animals, people or vehicles. By 5 p.m. Thursday, 11 diamond hitch teams had entered the parade, Bohlmann said.

The theme of this year's Winter Carnival and parade is "Grateful for Howelsen Hill." Events start with opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Olympian Hall in Howelsen Hill Lodge. The ceremony features the Winter Carnival queen and her court, and Grand Marshal Leif Hovelsen, son of Carl Howelsen, the Norwegian ski pioneer who founded the winter sports festival.

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