Brent Sass hands out steak to his dog team at the finish line after winning the 2019 Yukon Quest on Feb. 11 in Fairbanks, Alaska. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Brent Sass is the 2019 Yukon Quest champion

Sass arrived with a full team of dogs at the finish in Fairbanks just before 1 p.m. local time

Brent Sass is the 2019 Yukon Quest winner after reaching the finish line at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, just before 1 p.m. local time on Feb. 11 with a full team of 14 dogs.

Leading him into the finish line were Sluice and Morello.

Eleven of his 14 dogs were rookies, while the other three were part of his 2015 winning team.

“They’re definitely not rookies anymore,” said Sass. “I can’t wait until next year. They’re really going to have the knowledge and the know-how. They never hesitated a bit … they just kept getting faster.”

From Eureka, Alaska, Sass has won the Quest once previously in 2015. This is his 12th year running the race.

“I think I really tried to just ignore my competitors and not really care about anybody,” said Sass. “I jumped off the ice on Birch Creek there and had a really solid run. I figured it was cold out, and there was very little chance of anybody blowing through Central, so I gambled. It just puts a few more miles on you before you go over Eagle Summit, which is always a test.”

He said this race was extra special because of his dog Jeep, who was a sprint dog for one of his good friends – Joee Redington – before Redington died.

“He was a sprint dog, and Joee always said when we were chatting and hanging out, that this dog right here could run a distance race,” said Sass. “After Joee passed away, I bought Jeep … and said, ‘you’re going to be a distance dog.’ I trained him for two season and he was phenomenal. I mean, he led over 500 miles of the race. He led over American Summit in a windstorm. … I know Joee’s spirit was out there with me the whole way smiling down on us.”

Sass drew bib number three and was the third musher to start the race, leaving the start line in Whitehorse at 11:06 a.m. on Feb. 2 with nine dogs.

He was sixth to arrive in Braeburn, just under two and a half hours behind early leader Hans Gatt.

Following the trucking from Braeburn, Sass was sixth to leave Carmacks when he left at 12:03 p.m. on Feb. 3 after adding a dog.

Sass was the seventh musher into Pelly Crossing, but the third out after electing to only stop long enough to add four dogs. He left Pelly at 23:19 p.m. on Feb.3, nearly two hours behind 2018 winner Allen Moore.

When mushers arrived in Dawson City for the 36-hour layover, it was Sass leading the way. Sass reached the checkpoint at 11:24 a.m. on Feb. 5 with a 30 minute lead on Michelle Phillips.

As the first musher to reach Dawson and finish the race, Sass wins the Dawson Award — two ounces of Klondike placer gold. Sass has previously won the award in 2015 and 2016.

Sass left Dawson at 11:24 p.m. on Feb. 6.

From Dawson, mushers travelled across the border to Eagle, Alaska, and Sass was third to reach the checkpoint. He arrived 37 minutes behind Moore at 11:35 p.m. on Feb. 7.

Sass and Moore arrived within 15 minutes of each other at the Circle City, Alaska, checkpoint on Feb. 9. Moore checked in at 9:26 a.m. and Sass was right behind at 9:37 a.m.

Sass took the lead for good between Circle and Central, Alaska, arriving at Central at 4:10 a.m. on Feb. 10 before continuing on almost immediately.

He reached Mile 101 after climbing Eagle Summit at 8:46 a.m. on Feb. 10 and the final checkpoint in Two Rivers, Alaska, at 6:53 p.m. on Feb. 10. Moore arrived later that evening at 8:32 p.m.

After the final mandatory eight hour layover, Sass left for the finish line at 2:53 a.m. while Moore was only able to leave at 4:32 a.m.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Yukon Quest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP are making an appeal for information in the case of Mary Ann Ollie, who was murdered in Ross River last year and whose case remains unsolved. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read