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Border Collies as sled dogs


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We just competed in our first race of the season, and it was great to see a few more Border Collies at the race. There were 3 skijoring teams using BC's, two 4-dog teams that were BC/spaniel mixes, and my guys. Can't remember how all the skijorers did though I know one team was 2nd in the 2-dog skijoring (congrats Steve!). In the 4-dog sprint class there were 17 entries in total, 11 competing for the "open" prize money and 6 Siberian Husky teams competing for the "purebred" purse.

 

Last season was my first year racing in the 4-dog open division, going up against teams from Ontario, Quebec, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states. I was placing roughly middle of the pack, doing better than most of the purebred sibe teams but only able to place above a couple of the open class teams (most of which are racing the Alaskan sled dogs - a kind of husky mix with hound/pointer/greyhound etc. that are fast, fast, fast, bred for generations just to race)

 

So, after a really good training season our year is off to a great start. Of the 17 entries in last weekend's race we placed 7th overall, beating all but one of the Siberian teams (who was ahead of us by only 3 seconds!) And, that put us into 6th place out of the 11 open division entries. Not bad at all for a relatively young/new team of Border Collies and a relatively new musher, going up against the "big names" with the Alaskans. We race again this weekend, this time I'm again in the 4-dog class but also my daughter will be skijoring with one dog and she'll also be doing the youth 2-mile class with 2 dogs. A friend of ours will also be skijoring with her BC. This weekend should be really fun, this time the race is in our own hometown with nice clean (fast) snow (part of last weekend's trails ran along roads and had the snow built up there, but it's never quite as clean or fast as natural snow that's been packed instead of brought in and dumped). Another bonus this time is that my sled should be faster thanks to a friend and fellow musher (actually the winner of my class last weekend), who has helped me with my sled maintenance and given me a set of brand new "slick black" plastic for the bottom of the runners. It's amazing how everyone helps everyone else out in this sport. Doesn't matter where you're from, what kind of dogs you're running, everyone helps handle for everyone else when they're not busy with their own dogs.

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