CSJ were delighted to hear from Matt Hodgson that he’d achieved Silver in the 2 dog 2 category on snow at the World Sleddog Association/IFSS World Championships in Sweden.
Matt said, “I wanted to thank you for your support, the dogs did me proud and we achieved Silver in the 2 dog 2 category – the highest placed GB adult ever on snow at a WSA World Championships!”
The event was held on 10th to 12th March and started and finished in Östersund’s famous ski arena, which also was the venue for the 2019 the Biathlon World Championship and the 2021 Biathlon World Cup Finals.
For logistical reasons the races had been moved from Ramundberget the city of Östersund where their world-class arena was able to showcase to the world the very best the sled dog sport has to offer.
Entrants were racing on excellent trails and competitors came from many countries, with Matt racing against mushers from countries including Belgium, Sweden and Italy.
CSJ say, “We are so proud of Matt’s and his dogs’ achievement. The energy expended by these fabulous Nordic breeds in these competitions is huge and the humans also need to be extremely fit and focussed – well done Matt!”
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Vickie Pullin’s four-dog team Rio, Maverick Luka and Luna, at the 2018 Italian snow championships (Massimo Mazzasogni)
A log cabin sits at the heart of the idyllic Gloucestershire property where 12 of Britain’s top sprinters live. There is a hydrotherapy tank next door for resistance training and rehabilitation, and the on-site menu offers performance-ready, protein-packed meals for its clientele.
Most of the elite athletes who live there are huskies, but greysters and hounds are among the 34 dogs who call the place home.
The lone human in the mix, Vickie Pullin, 35, might be the most successful British athlete whose name you’ve never heard.
Pullin was once touted as a potential Team GB snowboarder for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. A decade later, she’s donning the Union Jack in an entirely different sport: sled dog racing.
The Tewkesbury native is the country’s best female musher. This year, Pullin became the first athlete to claim four British Sleddog Sports Federation (BSSF) championship titles in a single season. She’s staged a meteoric international rise since her first race in 2013 and finally believes she has the experience—and her ‘dream team’ of canine competitors—to become a world champion.
Pullin once seemed destined for the Olympic slopes
Bikejoring is one of Pullin’s best events—she finished eighth in the world with Maverick in 2019. (Jackie Burrell)
Adopting Willow, Pullin’s first dog, marked the beginning of her new dream
Pullin’s 34 dogs go through a 15kg bag of food every day