One of the hazards is the first bend, where all horses are aiming for the inside track and the curve sends skiers wide. Jockeys often find themselves in the terrifying position of skiing alongside the sprinting horse of the team behind him.
Franco uses his elbows to nudge horses aside -- if a hoof steps on a ski it's enough to end their chances of winning.
In the first race Franco finishes well down the field. But with two more weekends to go, he still has a chance to regain the title he lost last year.
His pedigree in this unusual event is unmatched and only the brave would bet against the former "King of Engadine" regaining his crown.