Firestar Kennel’s First Race of the Season – Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race

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Firestar Kennel’s first race of the season, the Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race, was yesterday in Northome/Squaw Lake, MN. This was the first time I have ever been part of a team going to an event – and it was awesome!  Over the next few months I’ll be doing some event posts with the team, as well as some longer posts that explain things specific to racing and sled dogs.  I’ll go in to greater detail about booties, vet checks, training, etc.  I’m excited to share more about all of the things that go in to this sport and it’s happy, working dogs.

The trip unfortunately started out with a flat tire on the trailer before we even left Washburn, WI, but thanks to the help of Frenchie’s Auto we were able to get on the road quickly.  When we did arrive – after driving through wonderful icy fog – it was time for the pre – race meeting and vet checks.  I got a few b&w’s of the vet checks in the dark (yay ISO 5000 😉 ).

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

The next morning we got up and Krystal, Josh, and Al got the sleds ready for the race. The three of them trade off on which races they run, and for this race, Krystal was the handler, Al & Josh raced, and I basically slacked… I mean took photos. Just because Josh was racing, though, didn’t mean he could get away with not holding all of Krystal’s gear ;).

While there was some free time in between getting ready and racing, there was some serious doggy snuggling going on. One of the reasons I love this group is because these dogs are crazy snugglers and insist on being in your arms. Richie even puts his paw around your leg when he stands next to you.

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

Once the sleds were ready, and it got closer to race time, all the dogs who needed foot goop, and booties were geared up. They were so excited to go! At this race, ATV’s hook behind the sled so it’s less stress on the dogs and the handlers as they get to the gate. There was a random car with a chihuahua in it that I found amusing. I’m sure the chihuahua would have loved to be the lead dog!

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

The first of the team to race was Josh – I like how he nonchalantly looks at the camera as he goes by.  Al was the next to race – he had some trouble with the brake getting stuck under the sled at the beginning, but saved it right away. I also got a shot of a few of the other dogs taking off – the Samoyeds in particular looked cool!

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

Krystal and I snuck on to a side road to get Al & Josh mid race – and Al was gaining some serious speed as the race progressed! I love how Pele stares at me as he goes by. They must be getting to know the sound of my camera!

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

The race ended at Squaw Lake – everybody did really well! I love how Lilly is posed at end looking all relaxed as she waits to be loaded in to the trailer.

Voyageurs Sled Dog Classic

The next race is here at home in Bayfield  – The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race, February 1-2nd. They would love volunteers – and I am actually sponsoring the race.

Thank you so much to Firestar for letting me harass them for the season – can’t wait for more adventures!

{Here are larger photos with a slideshow – may take a bit to load}.

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4 Comments on Firestar Kennel’s First Race of the Season – Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race

  1. Wendy Schmoll
    January 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm (4 years ago)

    As always, thank you so much for your beautiful photography and very entertaining narrative. I have been considering bringing my son to the races in February. After reading this awesome article and seeing your lovely photos, it has definitely been written in on our calendar.
    Highest Regards for all you do for your community and through out!


  2. Diane Hedin
    January 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm (4 years ago)

    Beautiful photos and really informative! Looks like lots of fun! Great dogs! 🙂

  3. Laura Zimmermann
    January 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Great images Hannah. Have you met Zoya Denure? She is a super model turned musher. She and her husband rescue huskies and train them for their dog teams. Zoya has run the Iditarod and her husband does the Yukon Quest. They live in Alaska. You might want to get in touch with her. Keep up the good work; I always enjoy your blog.

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  1. […] got to visit the fabulous Firestar Kennel last night to see our friends Krystal and Josh and, of course, the team.  Krystal, Josh, and Al […]