By Tracy Thomas
Thank you very much for continuing to sponsor the SDAS championship series,
Situated on the border, Kershope Forest found itself hosting the second championship race of the Sled Dog Association of Scotland last weekend bringing competitors from far and wide. As like mostly anything remotely relating to Scotland, Kershope does see its fair share of rain on a regular basis but with the weather looking promising for the weekend (which is anything other than rain!) the SDAS team and competitors made their way through the sleepy North Cumbrian villages and into the forest.
Alas!! The weather was fabulous! Temperatures between 5 and -3 degrees meant a lovely ground frost over the whole weekend which covered the grassy trails and glistened in the sun, although it’s a given there were a few cold fingers and toes over both days from mushers and handlers alike. Proper mushing weather. The dogs instantly picked up on the cooler temps and from 5am onwards the forest was alive with the screams and songs of them all.
Racing commenced on the Saturday morning at 9am sharp with the 8 dog registered teams heading out up the grassy hill and deep into the forest trails. They were followed shortly by the 6 dog registered teams who all managed to leave the start chute without a hitch expect that is for Jeff Trotter, who slid into the start chute, hard on the brakes with his dogs having only one intention of not being stopped for snubbing and had to be caught in quite a spectacular fashion by fellow musher Keith Hutchon. Well done Keith, hopefully your prize box of sweets on Sunday made up for having to be untangled from a 6 dog team on the start line and without your help Jeff Trotter wouldn’t have gone on to win the 6 dog Registered Class by over 10secs against some tough competition including that of fellow musher Matthew Clarke who came second to Jeff but also picked up a first place in the 8 dog registered class.
James Leonard was undoubtedly the star of the weekend in Bikejor by completing the 3 mile course with his dog Rosie in an unbelievable 8mins 55secs. How he managed to cycle so fast on those grassy hills was amazing.
Sunday morning kicked off at 8.30am which is half an hour earlier than the Saturday to allow time at the end of the race day to set up prize giving, clear down the trail and race site and give the timer a chance to print of the end results. This Sunday the early start was particularly required as it allowed time for the racing to come to a standstill and all competitors to congregate at the start line at precisely 11am for a one minute silence to honour the fallen soldiers on Remembrance Sunday.
Prize giving on the Sunday afternoon was a joyful time with mushers celebrating their dogs wins and their fellow competitors wins. Competition is good and keeps everyone thriving with their end goals, but to be surrounded by a group of people who are happy to congratulate their opponents on a win always resonates the reason why this is the sport that we love. As mentioned above, a few on the spot prizes were given out via the Committee to Keith for his heroic 6 dog save and to Matthew and Adele Clarkes girls Darcy and Thea, for helping their mum and dad alongside Gary Patterson, Jeff Trotter and Keith Hutchon for setting up and organising such a lovely venue. Thank you so much to you all, it really was a fabulous weekend.
1st, 2nd and 3rd places were awarded with a 2kilo bag of CSJ CP30 and all other competitors were awarded with a bag of CSJ treats, getting to choose from either Fish and Hips or Fish Cuits
A massive thank you to CSJ for their continued Sponsorship of SDAS events, it’s fabulous to have support from a good working dog food that the majority of sled dog people use.
No sooner is one race over and the preparation for the next begins as we look forward to Darnaway Forest on 9 & 10 December.
We are proud to announce that in 2018 we are the main sponsors of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Aviemore Sled Dog Rally.
To be held on 27th and 28th January, at Glenmore, the race will feature teams of between two and eight dogs pulling their musher on a sled around a four to seven mile trail. If there’s no snow at ground level for the event, the races will still go on with mushers using a three-wheeled rig that looks like a tricycle without a seat.
From an original of only 12 teams, the annual race is now the largest event of its kind in the UK, with over 1,000 sled dogs and 250 mushers taking part. CSJ’s founder Ceri Rundle said, “We have been involved in this exciting sport for many years with numerous successful mushers using our food so are delighted to have been given the opportunity to support the biggest event in British sled dog racing.”
To see more about our involvement in all canine activities visit www.csjk9.com
By Colin Spalding
We attended our Final race of the season at Bowlands Trails near Blairgowrie at the weekend and on a very technical, wet, muddy trail.
I was out first on the bike with Dexter and in very difficult conditions for the bike. I had a high speed crash which resulted in me having a head on collision with a tree which resulted in my helmet being cracked all the way through and me with heavy bruising to the left hand side of my body. I managed to complete the trail and lie in 3rd place.
After medical attention, I decided to continue with the rest of my races that day and finished day 1 with a 2nd in the 2 dog nordic scooter and 1st in the 1 dog open scooter.
On day 2 although i was still very sore we had 3 good runs and we moved up to 2nd on the bike and first in the 2 dog nordic scooter and 1st in the 1 dog open scooter. Once again we are so proud of our dogs and what they have achieved this season they have exceeded all our expectations.
We would like to thank CSJ Canine Specialist Foods for their support and products that have kept the dogs in peak condition throughout the season.
Main achievements for season 2017
3 teams selected to represent team GB in the European Championships. Dexter in the 1 dog Bikejor, cupar in the 1 dog scooter and Diamond and Granite in the 2 dog scooter
Diamond and Granite – Winners of 2 dog Aviemore 2017
British championship overall race series
- Dexter getting a bronze medal in the bikejor
- Cupar a silver in the 1 dog scooter
- Diamond and Granite silver in the 2 dog nordic scooter
We also placed in the top 3 in every race we entered throughout the season.
For more information visit our website
Wonderful news from Beth and Danny Fitzgerald
By Bethan Fitzgerald
“Danny’s knee is so far better than ever and he’s out on his bike a lot strengthening it up.
We’ve been keeping busy with a litter of 10 puppies.They are three weeks old now and doing fine, mum is great but I’m sure she will be walking away in the next week leaving me with all the hard work!!!!
All the dogs are on CP30 and salmon oil at the moment and looking fab.We have been given our best dog, Charlie back from Keith Johnson so Danny is over the moon as he has been able to continue to compete. So far since Danny’s op in December,he has won the two BSSF races which makes him the British Champion in the Elite bike class.
The plan next season for me will be getting back on the scooter with Pepsi and Danny will be racing Charlie on the bike. As Danny is ranked number one in the U.K. he has qualified for the World Championships in Poland this November which he will be attending.
Out of the litter, we will be picking one boy to race in the future which means I get Charlie and Pepsi for a two dog team – so it looks like we are back in the sport!!!
We are planning to race at the British championships next year where I will also continue to be the Team Vet.”
Welcome back to the sport and to the CSJ team, Bethan and Danny.
By Suzanne Spalding
This weekend we took part in the 34th running of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Aviemore rally with over 1000 dogs competing and large crowds lining the course.
We were racing in the 2 dog class with Diamond and Granite our 4 year old girls and after the draw on the Friday, we were the team out last, but had a good clean run on the physically challenging 4 mile Glenmore trail. We passed 8 teams to finish 4th after the first run 10.6 secs behind 1st place in a very close competitive field.
1st place by 2.9 seconds!
On the Sunday the course was covered in a blanket of snow which completely changed the conditions. We had a storming 2nd run to move up to 1st place by 2.9 seconds and become Aviemore 2 dog champions for 2017.
We are so proud of our girls and all they have achieved and would like to say a huge thank you to CSJ specialist canine foods for their continued support.
If anybody would like further information in running their dogs please feel free to contact us on: 078777 39590 email: email@example.com
By Suzanne Moore
We attended races 3 & 4 of the BSSF British National Championships at Newborough Forest Angelsey North Wales at the weekend. The course was 3.2 miles long with the first mile on soft sand which made it all very challenging.
In the 2 dog scooter Diamond and Granite ran well over the 2 days to come away with the silver medal. In the elite open bikejor Dexter ran well on the Saturday on his first race on sand and ran 46 seconds quicker on the Sunday to come away with a great 4th place. Cupar running in the open scooter had 2 great runs to come away with a 4th position. He continues to put in amazing performances for a dog approaching 9 years old. The level of competition was extremely high with some great times being recorded.
We would like to thank our sponsors CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds for their continued support.
Our next race is the SDAS championship race at Rothes near Elgin on 21st & 22nd Jan with the SHCGB race at Aviemore the following weekend 28th & 29th Jan.
Posting by Colin Spalding
We have been racing in our first race of the season this weekend at the IFFS world cup race and BSSF British chamionship race at Bowlands Trail…. On a very physical technical course and despite crashing 7 times in 6 races, we came home with 3 silver medals:
- Dexter in the open elite bikejor
- Cupar in the 1 dog open scooter
- Diamond and Granite in the 2 dog Nordic scooter.
There were 30 teams with 600 dogs were at the event. Our next race is the European Championships at Thetford from 18th to 20th Nov, so some hard work from now until then for the dogs and myself.
A huge thanks to CSJ for supporting our teams.