Jackson Hole is preparing to host the 42nd annual Cutter Races which this year helps kick-start the valley’s Winterfest. Hosted by the local Shrine Club, the annual event has raised well over $½-million to the Shriners’ Hospital in Salt Lake City to provide free care for children with crippling conditions. Shrine President Rod Everett says the event is as popular with the competitors as it is with the spectators. Everett calls it a great family event where there will be a children’s footrace where the kids will be able to get out and compete for prizes and gifts – and while there is Calcutta betting going on, it is a clean program where all the money raised by law will benefit the hospital. Says Everett, “That’s fine with us because that’s where we want it to go!” The races are held south of town at Melody Ranch where a variety of businesses from throughout the county provide refreshments, sanitary facilities, audio-visual support and much more. Everett points out that this is one of very few professional sports that take place in Wyoming. He says the horses raced are thoroughbred horses which cost the competitors upwards from 20-30 thousand dollars a horse, and the chariots are specially designed costing 12-15 thousand dollars. The 33 participating teams are expected to begin arriving tomorrow from throughout Wyoming, Utah and Idaho to participate in a welcome party with refreshments and the traditional Calcutta wagering beginning 6:30 PM at the Virginian Convention Center. Members of the public are welcome to stop by and meet the teams.