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The way it was: Cutter racing -- 1978
Eldon Olsen drove his two-horse team to victory in the Fremont County stop of the winter cutter racing circuit, pictured on Feb. 10, 1978. File photo

The way it was: Cutter racing -- 1978

Feb 3, 2013 - From staff reports

Fremont County has been enthusiastic cutter racing country for years, with February often a prime month for the modern-day chariot racers to hit the quarter-mile track.

In 1978, cutters from Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho and Colorado were racing the winter circuit almost every weekend. A straightaway west of Riverton drew the throng for a day of racing for the benefit of the Fremont County Fire Protection District.

Despite the multi-state field, it was a local racer, Eldon Olsen of rural Riverton, who won the championship over 27 other teams, matching the titles he had won earlier in the winter in Casper. Olsen, whose brother Dean sometimes drove the championship team as well.

Winning cutter races takes both a brave driver and a fast team. The Olsen team was about to be broken up, because one of the two horses, a powerful runner named Chance Warred, was about to turn 10 years old -- the age limit for cutter horses.

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