Dog sled racing to return to Dillon Reservoir after almost 20-year hiatus

Dog sled racing to return to Dillon Reservoir after almost 20-year hiatus
Sled dogs sure ahead in this file photograph from 2017.
Julie Schultz/Courtesy photo

For what could be the initial time in more than 20 a long time, pet sled races will be held on the Dillon Reservoir.

The town of Dillon will host Mountain Musher Doggy Sleds on Saturday, Feb. 25, with dozens of groups envisioned to compete in a vary of dog-sledding situations. The party is cost-free to show up at. There is a registration price for those preparing to race.

“The reservoir utilised to be utilised for pet dog sledding,” reported Suzanne Phillipson, Dillon’s advertising and communications supervisor. “Back in the ’70s, more than 100 teams would contend.”

With the event now back again at the reservoir, “people can look forward to looking at pet sled racing and puppy sled mushing up near,” Phillipson claimed.

She included that people today can also glance forward to, “hanging out with canines.”

Molly Cushing, the race providing organizer and vice president of the Mountain Mushers’ board of directors, stated the group’s sister club applied to host races on the Frisco side of the reservoir commencing back again in the 1960s.

These times, the sport has transformed as rural mushers capable of raising and schooling huge teams of canine have become rarer and urban mushers with just a couple canines have develop into extra common, in accordance to Cushing.

“What you are likely to see then at the Dillon race is not just these significant groups,” she claimed. “You’re likely to see what we connect with ‘mushing right now,’ which consists of a bunch of unique classes.”

In extra to more traditional canine sled racing, this sort of as that pictured listed here, the party on
Saturday, Feb. 25, will include skijor and bikejor.

Julie Schultz/Courtesy picture

So, in addition to events with sleds pulled by 6 dogs or 4 canines, there will be skijor and bikejor — functions in which dogs pull people today on skis or bikes — as properly as canicross, the place people operate as their canine pulls them, Cushing mentioned.

Furthermore, it is not just huskies that will be racing. 

“Sled pet sports does not just indicate husky,” Cushing reported. “It’s every single form of canine you can consider that has an fascination in operating — who has an interest in pulling.”

She claimed which is possible to consist of Alaskan huskies, Eurohounds, Labradors, Australian shepards, it’s possible a Samoyed or two, and potentially even a corgi.

In addition to races for grownup mushers, there will be races accessible for all those under the age of 12 and ages 13 by means of 17. Registration for racers begins at 7 a.m. The races commence at 9 a.m.

Cushing mentioned the most interesting part of the races is the get started, when the canines explode with vitality. And pay back consideration to the relationship among the dogs and the musher, she reported, since a large amount goes into that connection.

“It’s far more than trust,” Cushing said. “It’s a friendship. It’s a partnership.”