Friday, 22 February 2008

February 22, 2008 Introducing The 2008 Iditarod Team!

"There is nothing to regret - either for those who go or for those who are left behind"
- Eleanor Roosevelt

So, this year is proving to be a bit unusual. Here we are still over a week from race day - and I have my Iditarod team already selected. Go figure!!  In past years, I've been puzzling over the decision the night before the race - and one year I took 17 dogs to the restart and made the decision just hours before hitting the trail! But this year, after the Goose Bay race and then a training run yesterday I feel very confident that I know what 16 I want to hook up March 2nd.

Now that doesn't at all mean that I feel the quality of the team is any less then in previous years. In fact, I think it is better - and there are some dogs staying home that I sure feel could go - in fact, I believe that all 7 (well, at least 6 of them) of the recent cuts are dogs fully capable of making the journey to Nome, but these 16 are the best, in my mind.

So who are they, you ask??

Well, lets start with the 5 girls that are on the crew. They are -






Dasher, Sprite, Tess, Jinx and Spider. All are Iditarod veterans and all five of these girls are top-notch leaders.  I actually expect this group to do the bulk of the leading for me this Iditarod. Bitches RULE!!!

Then there are 11 boys - 












Moses, Crunchie, Runner, Charge, Watt, Barq, Herman, Hector, Batdog, Q and Jr. Eight of these are veterans. Runner, Watt and Q are all Iditarod rookies, but veterans of other races.

It is a strong pool, probably the strongest I've ever fielded. Fourteen are leaders - and good leaders. There is loads of experience and oodles of enthusiasm in the bunch.

Eleven of them were born in our yard; 3 (Hector, Herman, and Moses) were bred by Bob Chlupach and Rick Outwin; one (Spider) my Karen Yeargain;  and one (Runner) by Kelly and Kim Berg.

I'm so proud of them already, I could bust! I can't wait to hit the trail with them next weekend!!

Now, because I have selected the team so early, I do have a few alternates that will be going through all the vet checks and be kept up on their training, just in case. They are:





X, Nahanni, Boom, and Holly. Young X was a hard one to cut - and the cut had nothing to do with his performance and everything to do with his age. He's just a little on the young side, as he won't be 3 until March 13th. Boom had been doing tremendously in harness, but the last few weeks, he has been a little 'off'. He's a great youngster, but this just isn't going to be his year. There will be other years for him. Same for Holly. She's a great dog, lots of speed and a good leader, but she has been kind of 'hot and cold' this season. As for Nahanni, I just opted for an experienced leader over an experienced team dog.

 The three that have been cut are Bingo, who is just too immature for Iditarod; Togo who also needs a bit more time to mature and Hilda, who..well...



Well, Hilda is pleased to announce that she is expecting a litter. The father to be is none other then Jr!!!



Was it planned you ask?? No not really, but it is a great breeding and I am pretty excited about it. We will make sure to keep you posted on her 'developments'.

So, that is the dog news for today! Big news, uh???


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