A vet checks out one of the sled dogs from Rachel Courtney Grand Racing Kennels.
Rachel is from Manitoba, Canada. This is her first time competing at the Pedigree Stage Stop Race. With her are 17 dogs and a puppy.
Rachel has an 8 year competition history. She started learning the art of sled dog racing as a child with a harness and a husky who needed an outlet for his energy. This week she competing with her 10 dog team.
Rachel Courtney from Manitoba, Canada with her lead dog.
Pre-race dinner is prepared for the Magnusson Racing Team. These dogs are fed a prescribed diet with nutrition formulated for pre-race energy and post-race recovery.
A peek inside the huge trailer of the Magnusson Racing Team.
This team is from Michigan.
The trailer can carry up to 32 dogs.
Rigs of all sizes and descriptions from the United States and Canada have congregated for the pre-race vetting.
These dogs are quite friendly as are their owners. Visitors are welcome to walk about the trailers, meet the dogs and their mushers.
A sled stationed out of the way but near the trailer. Tonight the race begins in the town square of Jackson.
It's early morning in Alpine, WY, and the dogs are terribly excited to get on the trail.
It starts in Jackson, WY and winds through Wyoming and Idaho.
It starts in Jackson, WY and winds through 4 states and covers over 300 miles in the course of one week.
This lead dog is beside himself with enthusiasm. It is not uncommon for the dogs to jump over one another while in harness. Sometimes they manage to untangle themselves - sometimes the handler has to intervene.
The noise is deafening with the barking dogs. The excitement is tangible. Total chaos to the uninitiated visitor.
Settling the dogs.
Settling down to business.
The starting gate.
and they are off and running!
The first stretch of open trail.
Mushers and dogs look happy to be out in their element.
This musher has stopped to fix something amiss. Observe the lead dog. He is watching intently for the signal to start the team again as the musher releases the brake.
I'm amazed that snowmobiles don't appear to distract the teams even a little bit.
Look at this view! Makes me wish I were a musher.
The lead dog has all 4 off the ground and a smile on his face. Does he look happy enough?
And here comes Rachel Courtney! Her team appears to be working well.
All it takes is.....
one second for a surprise to happen. These guys are all out of kilter - but they straightened themselves out without a problem.
How about trying this on for a little fresh air on a winter day. Looks easy enough....but I can just imagine the trouble I would get into if I attempted this.
VIDEO: Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race
The Pedigree Stage Stop Race held every January beginning in Jackson, WY.
Pedigree Stage Stop Race Alpine Leg
The Pedigree Stage Stop Race in Alpine, WY January 26, 2019