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Images:3-Peat Win At 2004 Wanaka Sled Dog Festival



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2004 PRO PLAN Wanaka Sled Dog Festival winner, Ray Holliday

Reigning sled dog racing champion Ray Holliday has taken top honours, at the 2004 PRO PLAN Wanaka Sled Dog Festival, for the third year running.

Holliday and his team of 6 dogs - an individual team PRO PLAN sponsors in addition to supporting the Festival itself - finished the three-heat races with a total time of 48.06 minutes to earn the top position. Holliday finished 12 seconds ahead of second place getter David Fitchett who is also sponsored by PRO PLAN. Simon Hampton was placed third with a total time of 48.29 minutes.

Around 150 dogs competed in the Festival, which was held last week from Monday [6 September] through to Thursday [9 September] at the Waiorau Snow Farm, near Wanaka.

Southern Regions Sled Dog Club President Nigel Voice said the large number of entrants, as well as the ideal conditions, contributed to the success of this year's event.

"The mushers thoroughly enjoyed themselves this year - the snow conditions were the best we've had in the festival's nine year history," said Voice. "The weather was great but almost a little too warm."

The 47 teams entered in the four-day festival featured a range of dog breeds and a mixture of North and South Island competitors.

Voice said race organisers are grateful for the assistance they receive from PRO PLAN, who supply product to race winners, as well as contributing to trail grooming.

"We had an excellent event this year and the Mushers are looking forward to number 10 next year!".

The PRO PLAN Kirsty Burn Classic Sled Dog Race was held immediately following the Festival on Friday and Saturday (10 and 11 September). Nigel Hayward, of Christcurch was the winner, achieving a time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 18 seconds. Festival winner Ray Holliday came second with a time of 1 hour 23 minutes and 7 seconds and Simon Hampton was placed third with a time of 1 hour 23 minutes and 12 seconds.

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2004 PRO PLAN Kirsty Burn Classic winner Nigel Hayward

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