Dogs display a variety of agility skills and Yukon Quest is an excellent example. Here’s more on this agility sport.
The Yukon Quest is a 1,000-mile sled dog race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse (alternating each year). The race runs through 11 communities in Alaska and Yukon, taking place round-the-clock during 9 to 14 days under extreme weather conditions.
- 2015 Yukon Quest will start from 7th February 2015 in Whitehorse.
- Breeds include Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky.
- A dedicated team of 14 veterinarians monitor the athletes along the trail, ensuring excellent canine care.
- 1,000 volunteers, 25,000 hours.
- Over 45,000 pounds of dog food.
- 800 bales of straw.
Yukon Quest mushers must be at least 18 years old by the race start date and must have demonstrated their ability to successfully complete a 200-mile and a 300-mile sled dog race within the previous 42 months to enter the Yukon Quest.
Besides the prize money of $115,000 rewarded to the winner in 2014, following awards were also given.
Veterinarians’ Choice Award: Presented to the musher who demonstrates the best overall care for his dogs while remaining competitive throughout the race. Awarded by the Veterinary Team, it is a legacy for aspiring mushers to emulate in the humane treatment and care of their team.
Dawson Award: Awarded to the first musher into Dawson City who then goes on to complete the race. The prize is four ounces of Klondike
Challenge of the North Award: Presented to the musher who best exemplifies the ‘Spirit of the Yukon Quest’ – a spirit that compels one to challenge the country and win and awarded by the Race Marshal and judges.
Rookie of the Year Award: Presented to the highest placed Rookie finisher.
Golden Harness Award: Presented to the Champion lead dog(s).
Sportsmanship Award: Presented to the musher exhibiting the best sportsmanship along the trail. The selection is made by their fellow mushers.
Red Lantern Award: Presented to the last official finisher.
Allen Moore, who is the winner of Yukon Quest in 2013, again won the title of the international dog sled race for the second year in a row in 2014. He completed the race in 8 days, 14 hours and 21 minutes.
Where is the exact location? Yukon Quest trail is half in Canada’s Yukon Territory and half in Alaska, USA.
When is it started? The quest begins in February every year.
Number of dogs: The Yukon Quest team is made of 6-14 dogs.
Number of sled: Under the Yukon Quest rules, only one sled is allowed to use during the entire race.
Why the race direction alternates every year? Yukon Quest founders, Roger Williams and Leroy Shank, wanted the race to respect the true history of arctic mushing, which knew no borders between Alaska and Yukon.
(Pic courtesies: 1- Jilien Schroder; 2, 4, 5 – Pat Kane; 3, 6 – Alistair Maitland).