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Pro Plan Sled Dogs Vie for Top Dog

18 August 2008

Pro Plan Sled Dogs Vie for Top Dog

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It will be paws not flags flying as nearly 40 dogs compete in the 2008 PRO PLAN Wanaka Sled Dog Festival next month.

Training for the Olympics may be over for our athletes but the hard yards are still being put in by a pack of hardy competitors as they prepare for this high powered canine event.

The skilled Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Pointers and family favourite the Labrador, are all vying for top dog at the annual Wanaka Sled Dog Festival from Monday 1st to Thursday 4th September at Snow Farm in Cardrona Valley.

Running dogs is becoming an increasingly popular husband and wife activity with nine partnered teams set to take on overall winner for the past three consecutive years, Darren Watson of Christchurch and his husky crosses.

Hot on Watson's heels will be Todd Hessey from Lake Hawea, Wanaka. He has had great results throughout the season and looks to be competitive in the top 3 overall placings.

This year's races will also include three heats of highly popular ski-jouring for the first time.

President of Southern Regions Sled Dog Club Jon Pinney says the inclusion of ski-jouring, a combination of skiing and dog sledding, will make this year's festival - the country's biggest dog sledding competition - even more exciting.

"We are the only snow race in New Zealand that offers all classes," he says, "namely two dog, three dog, four dog and six dog teams and now ski-jouring which is a fast growing sport not only locally but internationally.

"The festival gets more and more popular each year, especially with families and this year's competition is shaping up to be the most exhilarating yet."


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