HJ/EDHerald Journal, Jan. 23, 2006

Mushers and sled dogs come to Howard Lake

By Dave Cox
Staff Writer

Mushers and sled dogs from Minnesota and Wisconsin descended on the Wright County Fairgrounds in Howard Lake Jan. 14.

The event featured sprint races in the morning, and weight pulls in the afternoon.

The sprint races involved races for four-, three-, and two-dog teams.

The weight pull event in the afternoon was a competition for individual dogs.

The dogs start out with empty sleds, and weight is added until all dogs have been eliminated to determine the winner.

Organizer Matt Elbert of Land O’Lakes said that 34 dogs participated in the sprint races, and about 20 in the weight pull.

The event was sponsored by the Country Store in Howard Lake, the North Central Working Dog Club in Rochester, and the Colorado Bulldog Club of America, based in Spencer, Wis.

Elbert said that the event was originally scheduled to take place in Rochester, but a lack of snow forced organizers to find a new location.

“We only had a week to put this together,” Elbert said. “We have a good relationship with the fairgrounds, and they have allowed us to hold other events there.”

Elbert said he works with Country Stores all over the area, but he regularly works at the Howard Lake store.

“We are going to have a bigger event next year. It will be Jan. 13 in one of the local parks,” Elbert said.

Other sled dog news

Four Special Olympic athletes from Minnesota have been invited to participate in a model sled dog race in conjunction with the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, Jan. 28 in Duluth.

The athletes have been training with musher mentors for the event, which will be the first sled dog race exclusively for Special Olympics athletes.

The race will be hosted by a group called PAWS (Promoting Abilities With Sled Dogs).


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