Jackson Hole’s Cutter History
Cutter Racing traces its roots to Thayne, WY, in the early 1920’s. Identifying the year in which cutter racing got its start in Jackson Hole is still some matter of disagreement, but there is no doubt the Jackson Hole Shrine Club took charge of the races way back in the year 1972.
In fact, were it not for the Jackson Hole Shriners, there might be no cutter racing in the valley at all. Before the Shrine Club took charge of the races there had been a six-year hiatus in the valley racing. According the one account, cutter racing got going as an organized event in Jackson in 1941 racing down Glenwood Street and past the Wort Hotel. That race was so exciting as an organized event that locals started incorporating the cutter race into other winter events of that time.
By 1966 the town event drew crowds from all around to Jackson, but the event eventually outgrew the town’s ability to host them. That year the races were moved to Afton, leaving a void in Jackson.
In 1972 the Shriners announced their intention to bring cutter racing back to Jackson. The group put together a couple of thousand dollars to build the starting gate along with other start-up expenses. With the support of Paul Von Gontard allowing the group to use his South Park Ranch as the track, the races returned to Jackson Hole where they continue today.
With your continued support the Cutters are back to stay!
Enjoy this Video about our World Famous Cutters Race!