Darn good results at Darnaway!

Mary is the first woman to win the 8 dog SDAS Championship

Report of the big Darnaway day  by Mary Carter

Mary 8 Nat Champs DarnawayOn the weekend of the 23rd & 24th November, the Satanta Siberian Husky race teams loaded up and headed North to Morayshire to Darnaway forest to take part in the very first IFSS World Cup ever to grace these shores.  SDAS hosted the event, which was also the SDAS National Championship and qualifying race for next season’s IFSS European Dryland championships.

An early start

We were up early to start to prepare our race equipment and hydrate our dogs for the race. Then we had to hand in our final entry paperwork for our chosen teams, collect our race bibs and CSJ ‘Bag-For-Life’ – stuffed with an array goodies from our kind sponsors.

Leafy Heights

JC 6 Nat Champs Darnaway copy

The trail briefing described the exciting gradual downhill start through the beautiful mature forest, with some tricky turns and then a relentless climb to ‘Leafy Heights’ (the trail that snakes along the cliff edge top of the river gorge), round some hairpin bends, then a steep descent and undulations through to the finish.

The only 8-dog team driven by a female at Darnaway

Soon it was time to get our dogs ready, so along with our excellent ‘support team’, Vicki & Mike, we set about harnessing and hooking up our first eight dogs which were to be the only eight dog team driven by a female at this event – my team.

I was seeded to start second, so we hooked the team up at the van while the first team prepared to leave the start chute. Then once the first team was off, we pulled the quick release and John rode the rig (his weight having greater effect on the braked wheels than me!) while we guided the dogs safely through the excited crowds to the start.

Rollercoaster ride

Soon the two minute interval was up and we were off,and began our exhilarating rollercoaster ride that saw the rig broadside around the fast turns. Then using reverse lock to keep on track, we mastered the whip action turn at the end of ‘Leafy Heights’ before hurtling down the brisk descent with all four wheels locked, releasing in time to negotiate the 90 degree left, “Woo Whoooo!”

By this time I was on1452156_531723703571763_1806358104_n copy the heels of the team that set off ahead of me.    There were a couple of failed attempts to pass cleanly on the fairly narrow ‘No Right of Way’ section, so I kept my team right behind until we came to the finish.

Both round with 1 minute ahead

No sooner was I back to the van, with my dogs watered, wiped, treated & put safely back on their drops, John, Vicki & Mike began hooking in John’s 6 dog team, who were to take the same adrenaline rush trail as me.

A faultless run for John, so at the end of day 1, we were both around a minute ahead of the competition and leading both classes.

Winning in a total time of 29 minutes and 4 seconds

Day 2 began with the same excitement and relief that I would not be faced with a team to pass on a narrow section of trail. Disaster struck on the outrun as my dog at point had got his front leg over the line.

Brakes on and a ‘Whoa’ command brought the team to a halt, where they waited until Brodick flicked his leg back over, then we were off again….

We finished 14 seconds slower than our day 1 time, but still 36 seconds ahead, winning in a total time of 29minutes and 4 seconds, 1 min and 35 seconds clear.

John wins in 27 minutes & 26 seconds

1450099_10151691089261722_533879467_n copyJohn had a faster day 2 run, knocking 18 seconds off his day 1 time giving him the overall time of 27 minutes & 26 seconds,  1 min and 34 seconds ahead …and clinching the  double whammy for the Satanta Siberian Husky teams who were both the fastest two Purebred teams over the long trail at Darnaway.

SDAS National Champions’ in both the 6 and 8 dog classes

Our super results saw us crowned ‘SDAS National Champions’ in both the 6 and 8 dog classes, (with me being the first ever female 8-dog SDAS Champion,) and we both gained our top qualifying result for selection onto the GB Team competing in France next December for the IFSS European Championships.

Big thanks, as ever, to CSJ for fuelling our teams with CP30 and Go On herbs to achieve such ‘darn’ good results at Darnaway!

Thank you CSJ for bringing success to Colette and Summer

A lovely piece of news from a real star

Colette is full time carer for her retired ex military Husband who suffers from a multitude of health issues, including a seriously dodgy heart and M.E. and her youngest son who has  seizures and  Cerebral Palsy.

Colette has two Labradors,  Bree  and Summer

Collette enjoys taking time out from being a full time carer for her close family members, by taking both dogs out for country walks (or swims!) by the river  and showing them both at Open and Championship shows around Scotland and further afield around the UK when she gets the chance.

A Summer’s Day in a Scottish Winter

Amid dark grey skies, howling winds and relentless rain –  the winter blues are well and truly set in for most people, but for Colette Longland, Summer brought joy on the 4th of January 2014 at the first Show of the year for her  2 year old yellow Labrador retriever,  Alanwood Serene Oasis, AKA ‘Summer’.

Bree and SummerHer pet name is so apt

She brings all the Summer joys of warmth and fun to everyone she meets, wagging her whole body from her nose through to the tip of her tail and woe betide all those who stand in the way of its relentless swoop!

Colette has worked hard at getting this bubbly youngster to curb her exuberance  in the show ring and beyond. Her persistence has paid off as Summer has collected place cards and rosettes at shows throughout 2013 and kicked off the new year in style at Bon Accord Kennel Association Show, at The Mart , Inverurie, Scotland where she gained 1st place in post-graduate  and  then went on to gain Best of Breed.  Colette says “Very chuffed with my girl and thanks go to the judge for thinking so highly of her”.

Summer’s write-up from Darlington Show, October 2013

1st: LONGLAND’s Alanwood Serene Oasis  won this class on movement and maturity, this is a very nice girl that can go unnoticed, but she has all the breed type, and when she holds her head up while moving she is a true mover, lovely head good eye, clean over the neck and shoulders, good front and rear, in good coat and correct tail set, strong quarters, moved with drive.

Colette feeds both Bree and Summer on CSJ dog foods

Colette is always amazed that Summer in particular looks in such stunning condition being fed on the very economical  CSJ Champ dog food. Thank you CSJ for brigning success to Colette and Summer.


Latest info on the ISSF World Cup and BSSF Championships

We’re excited to be sponflyer_amended.inddsoring this major Sleddog event no 21, 22, 23 Feb at Kings Forest, Thetford – look out for the black cotton ‘CSJ Bags for life’ with free products and literature. There will be 36 classes and we’ll provide product prizes to the Champions.
Here’s the latest info on the event from Leigh Marsden
IFSS World Cup & BSSF National Championship Kings Forest, Thetford

The BSSF was formed 12 months ago with the vision of being the key learning centre for sled dog sports in Great Britain and Northern Ireland where everyone can experience sleddog sports first hand and embrace them so they can grow. To develop sled dog sports in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with a view to supporting National teams racing on an International Level.

In the first year we have made great progress and with the experience of Wyedean Mushing along with the National Sleddog Sports Centre (NSDSC) the BSSF has been accepted to hold the first ever World Cup and National Qualifying event here in England.

Why we’ve chosen to host the event in Kings Forest, Thetford on 21st, 22nd and 23rd February 2014

We feel that this outstanding area of natural beauty along with its stunning trail networks and easy access from the ports. We feel Kings Forest is perfect for this fantastic opportunity to show the rest of the World what the UK can offer. The level of this event with great national and international interest and  we are expecting large numbers of entries from home and abroad and a large number of spectators which can only be good for the economy of the venue and the surrounding areas.

This is a prestigious event so there will be a podium with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals awarded

Each winning competitor will then have qualified to represent the British Team at the next World and European Championships. We have in total 36 classes ranging from the 8 dog rig, Junior, Canicross, Bikejor and Scooter Classes.

A large marquee will be used to hold the registration of all competitors on the Friday afternoon and evening with a welcome speech from the BSSF president. On Saturday evening there will be a musher’s meal and social evening and a chance for people to discuss the days racing.

The event will be timed professionally with run times being displayed live at the finish line for other competitors and public to see.

On the Sunday afternoon there will be a presentation of medals that will be awarded in the marquee by the Mayor and Mayoress of Thetford overseen by Aard Heckers IFSS representative and IFSS Race Marshall. We also hope for representatives from the Forestry Commission.

This event has all the ingredients to be the largest and most successful event the UK has ever seen.

Invitation and schedule
We would like to invite you all to make history as you enjoy a fantastic two days of competition on the stunning trails of Kings Forest, Thetford, in the East of England. The first ever BSSF IFSS World Cup Event, National Championship & Qualifier. Your chance to gain IFSS world cup points as well as having the opportunity to qualify for selection into the GB team attending the IFSS / WSA European Dryland Championships, to be held in France December 2014.
Wyedean Mushing and The National Sled Dog Sports Centre are coming together to organize the event on behalf of the British Sleddog Sports Federation (BSSF). The event is open to all: from across the UK and overseas; BSSF members and Non members; & whether your teams are Open, Registered Nordic or Freight breeds.
Kings Forest has some of the best trails in the UK offering mainly flat trails with surfaces of grass and packed sand, some long stretches and plenty of turns, a trail to suit everyone. Exact distances will be dictated by weather conditions over the race weekend.
Thetford Forest is a popular area with members of the public for walking dogs and also with mountain bikers. Usual courtesy towards members of the public will be appreciated. The venue also has easy access from the channel tunnel and ports for visiting overseas teams.
World Cup points will be awarded to those who have an IFSS DID number. (Details of how to apply for a DID can be found on the BSSF website: http://www.sleddogsportsGB.com ) It is not compulsory to have a DID to compete.
From London: Take the M11 to junction 9, then the A11 towards Newmarket. Continue on the A11 until you reach Elveden. Turn right on the B1106 towards Bury St Edmunds. The race site will be sign posted on the left hand side of the road approximately 1½ miles from the Elveden turn off.
From Brandon: Follow the signs from Brandon to Bury St Edmunds (B1106). Follow directions above after crossing the A11 at Elveden.
Coordinates: LAT 52.345801 LONG 0.675488
On arrival at the site please adhere to all event signs. There will be a 10mph speed restriction and designated parking signs.
Camping is available on site at the Forestry Commission charge of £5 per vehicle, per night which is payable with your entry.
Classes and maximum distance for trails
DR8 Dryland Rig 5 – 8 dogs Open & Nordic – Max 7.5 miles
DR6 Dryland Rig 4 – 6 dogs Open & Nordic – Max 6.25 miles
DR4 Dryland Rig 3 – 4 dogs Open & Nordic – Max 5 miles
DR3 Dryland Rig 2 – 3 dogs Open & Nordic – Max 5 miles Results combined with DR4 for World Cup points & qualification
DR2 Dryland Rig 1 – 2 dogs Open & Nordic – Max 5 miles Results combined with DS2 for World Cup points & qualification
DS2 Dryland Scooter 1 – 2 dogs Open & Nordic Max 5 miles
DS1 Dryland Scooter 1 dog Open & Nordic – Max 5 miles
DBM Dryland Bikejor Men senior & veteran (one dog only) – Max 6.25 miles
DBW Dryland Bikejor Women senior & veteran (one dog only) – Max 6.25 miles
DRJ1 Dryland Rig Junior 1 dog 8-11yrs & 12-16 yrs – Max 3 miles
DRJ2 Dryland Rig Junior 1 – 2 dogs 12-16 yrs – Max 3 miles
DMC Dryland Men’s Canicross, junior, senior & veteran – Max 5 miles
DWC Dryland Women’s Canicross, junior, senior & veteran – Max 5 miles
Program of events
Friday 21st February. :
Stake-Out will be open
Vets team available on site
  • Trail will be available for inspection from Noon – No competing dogs allowed on the trail.
  • Catering van will be on site from Friday afternoon until event close on Sunday.
  • Registration & Equipment inspection 16:00 – 22:00hrs at race office
  • Competitor briefing at 19:30hrs – (video of briefing will be on repeat play on Saturday for those unable to attend)
  • Saturday 22nd February
  • Equipment inspection at start chute

08:30 hrs Start of competition. Please check the event notice board for any amendments.
End of Heat 1 Provisional interim results will be available
18:30 onwards – Competitors meal & social evening (See *)
Sunday 23rd February
Equipment inspection at start chute
08:00 hrs Start of competition. Please check the event notice board for any amendments..
ASAP following Day 2 competition – Awards Ceremony & Prize giving
Close of Event. The event will be held under IFSS rules including the additional 3-dog rig class; separate classification of 2 dog scooter and 2 dog rig; and additional junior age classifications.

  • The results for both the DR3 & DR2 will be merged with DR4 and DS2 respectively, but only for the purpose of qualification & WCp points. Those running 2 dogs in the 3 dog class will not be eligible for WCp points in the DR4 classification.
  • KC registered Canadian Eskimo dogs will be allowed to compete in the freight classification if desired, but their result will be combined with the Open class teams only for the purpose of qualification and World Cup Points.
  • Competitors that will satisfy the age requirement to compete in certain classifications offered by the IFSS / WSA European Championship in December (i.e. those competing in Junior & Senior / Veteran age categories) will be eligible to qualify for selection onto the GB team with their results compared to the age groups accordingly.
  • Four wheel rigs/carts are compulsory for DR8 (No 3 wheel rigs allowed in this class)
  • After crossing the finish, line, teams must stop as directed and stand for chip/identification and vet check. Dogs not micro-chipped WILL be marked. This will only take a few moments so please be patient. Failing to stop will result in a warning or disqualification
Entry fees
First entry £30, additional entries £15. Juniors £15. Non BSSF members additional £5 per team
Entries, payment and Chip list / Dog I.D. form to be posted to:
Mrs. S Marsden, 81, Station Road, Castle Donington, Derby, DE74 2NL
email: race.sec@wyedean-mushing.info
ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY Friday 7th February 2014. Entries received after this date will be returned.
There will be a social get-together, meal & music on the Saturday evening from 18:30hrs for all competitors and handlers at a small charge of £6.00 per person – pre booked & paid with your entry. Please specify numbers required for each menu option on your entry form.
We look forward to seeing you there.

CSJ’s Lap-It-Up! milk replacer saved my puppies

Lynda Ward 15.1.14
“Feeding CSJ’s Lap-It-Up! milk to my 3 day old puppies undoubtedly saved their lives,”  writes Lynda Ward.

“My little bitch was suffering from such severe onset mastitis that the vet had given her very strong anti-biotics which meant that she could never be allowed to feed the puppies and so the problem of hand feeding them every two hours 24/7 for at least the next two and a half weeks.

The daunting prospect loomed large as I drove home from the vets at 03.00 in the morning in the pouring rain and my one consolation was that I’d had a tub of Lap-It-Up! milk powder delivered ready to wean at the usual age of 3 weeks.


Knowing that it was a soundly researched  and developed product also good for bitches in whelp, as a conditioning boost for ill dogs and as a tasty hydrating drink for competing dogs I made up a warm solution as soon as I got home and started to feed my tiny Border Terrier puppies.

They took to it immediately and never looked back, consistently gaining weight as they should and having super-shiny coats and firm poohs!

After fully introducing solid food I continued to give the puppies a drink of Lap-It-Up! after their last meal each night and they would sit at the side of their pen waiting for it and squealing with delight as I put the dish down.

I would recommend Lap-It-Up! to everyone about to breed a litter and also to keep by in case of illness or hot weather to encourage their  dogs to drink.”

Competing in the IFFS Dryland World Championships, Italy

– by Mary Carter, Santana Siberian Huskies


On November 5th, we set off for the IFFS Dryland World Championships 2013, held in Italy. Our team  included my good friend Tobias Leask and his seven Scandinavian hounds, our two children – George and Bob, our 13 Siberian Huskies and one John Carter, crippled with back pain and barely able to walk more than a few yards. So on bonfire night, we left out Scottish home in the snow and drove through the snowy Dolomites and headed for Dover, in order to begin our long haul to Falze di Piave, Italy. Thirty-two hours and seven countries later we arrived in an unexpectedly warm Italy, where we stripped to our shirt sleeves and set up camp.

Unwelcome news

During the trip John had received the unwelcome news that his 6-dog Nordic class had not attracted sufficient entries to warrant a ‘World Champion’ status, so with just a few training runs to go, he swapped into the 8-dog Nordic class. All this, on top of a trapped nerve meant John’s early confidence in gaining the title had faded, to say the least.

Determined to win through

But determined to see the trail before the competition began, John set off on bicycle, generously lent by Leigh Marsden to explore the 6.2km trail which had the added benefit of relieving John’s back pain to some degree!  The trail twisted and turned through woodland & open meadow with grass or dirt underfoot.  With the exception of one short section of deep pebble stones, the course was very reminiscent of the trail where the British team members qualified at Ford Estate November 2012

The following evening, while John rested his back, the rest of the GB team took part in a parade, along with the other twenty-one competing nations. They processed through to the town square, where the opening ceremony was held and the new IFSS logo revealed. The town’s Lord Mayor and the new President of the IFSS, Helen Lundburg, welcomed the participants and wished us all an enjoyable experience and looked forward to the good sportsmanship throughout this great event.

Disaster strikes

Racing began on the Friday, with the first of the scheduled mono discipline classes. However, disaster struck late in the evening, with a deluge of rain and the weekend’s racing turned from a brisk trail into a warm and humid mud slide.

John, although disappointed with his own contribution, was pleased with the dogs’ performance.  Unable to scoot to any degree to assist the dogs through the deep mud, he just tweaked the brakes on the faster section for the additional two dogs that had joined his original planned 6-dog team.

An impressive result

He managed to come 3rd place in a time of 12:28, just 18 seconds behind Czech Republican, Roman Habasko – the former World Champion. Impressive for his first ever 8-dog race!

On day 2, John had created a strategy to help him gain those vital seconds. After swapping round the leaders and placing a ‘heat pad’ under his back support brace, John was ready to tackle the trail with his 8. Throwing caution to the wind, John scooted and ran where he could, knocking 9 seconds off his previous time and moving up into joint 2nd position.

The only other Nordic 8-dog team to gain a faster time was that of Lazaro Martinez, the Spaniard. After changing to a lighter rig, Martinez managed to knock an unprecedented 48 seconds off his day 1 time, and blasted his way from 4th place to the top of the results board. This knocked the Czech Republican, Habasko, down into 2nd place and John into joint 3rd.

3rd fastest Nordic 8-dog team in the world

With our hopes of becoming World Champion in the 6-dog Nordic category dashed, we, nevertheless, came away feeling very proud of our dogs’ achievements, in becoming the 3rd fastest Nordic 8-dog team in the World.