The “Grizzly-Nahanni show” had one more episode to close out the Hot Hounds season on Sunday.
Darryl Sheepway and Cynthia Corriveau, and their nine-year-old dogs Grizzly and Nahanni, continued their friendly rivalry at the Fall Race, hosted by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY), at Takhini Hot Pools.
The two teams tied for first in the one-dog one-mile bikejor race with a time of five minutes and 10 seconds.
“There’s this one, Grizzly, and she has a dog, Nahanni, and I guess they were brought up in DPSAY,” said Sheepway. “The two of them have been racing each other for five or six years.”
“It’s been going on for a number of years, it was the Grizzly-Nahanni show,” said Corriveau. “They’ve never run together, but they’re always passing each other.”
The tie for first marks Sheepway’s fifth bikejor win of the Hot Hounds season. He was narrowly edged out of first at the previous one-mile bikejor race by Adam Robinson, who was running Nahanni at the time.
Robinson placed third in the one-dog one-mile bikejor race, 18 seconds behind Sheepway and Corriveau, on Sunday.
“This race, I came here wanting to win it – I tied for first, so I guess that’s good enough,” said Sheepway. “It makes it so this dog has come first in all one-dog one-miles. Well, I guess at the last race he wasn’t first, the other team was three-tenths of a second ahead of us.”
“He’s been my main lead dog ever since we have been running DPSAY races,” he added. “I also think he has more pictures in the Yukon News than any other dog.
“He’s made the paper lots.”
Corriveau swapped out Nahanni for Foxy and puppy Karma to win the two-dog two-mile bikejor race on Sunday with a time of 9:37. Sheepway placed second at 10:25, just four seconds ahead of wife Katherine in third.
Sunday was Corriveau’s first races since the Hot Hounds season opener in June, in which she won the two-dog two-mile bikejor event and placed second (behind Sheepway) in the one-mile bikejor.
“It was fun, it was muddy, it was a technical trail,” said Corriveau. “A lot of gee-haw commands (commands for right and left) and that’s what we’re good at.
“There are a lot of trail connections, so you have to tell the command to the dogs. If the dogs know the commands well, they take the turn right away and you lose less seconds.”
While veteran dogs ruled in the one-mile bikejor, an up-and-comer was tops in the one-mile canicross. Simi Morrison and her two-and-a-half year old, Naya, placed first with a time of 8:50.
“She’s one of the upcoming stars. She’s very driven,” said Morrison. “I haven’t trained for a while and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t run fast enough for this girl.’ I had to hold her back on the downhills. She was just giving it.
“I think she’s going to be a lead dog in a team because she’s very focused and she starts picking up commands now.”
It was Morrison’s first win of the season after two second-place finishes in Hot Hounds. Damarais Riedwyl took second at 9:28 and Florian Lill third at 9:35.
“I only won because Virginia (Sarrazin) isn’t here,” said Morrison. “She’s a marathon runner. I can’t beat her ever. Adam (Robinson) is usually in front of me if he has a dog that really pulls.”
With Hot hounds over, DPSAY is now gearing up for this winter’s Twister dogsled race series. DPSAY is looking at adding some longer races to its calendar and is also taking over the Carbon Hill
Sled Dog Race, said Darryl, who is a DPSAY board member. DPSAY also hosts the annual River Runner 120-mile sled and skijor race each winter since 2010.
“The Twister Race Series is going to have a change of format,” said Sheepway. “So there might be some more longer events. Usually we’re keeping them to 10 miles or less, and we’re going to start seeing some 20- and 30-miles events.
“DPSAY is also going to take over what was previously known as the Carbon Hill. The Mount Lorne community association has retired that race from their organization – they don’t want to organize it any more – so DPSAY is going to do that. That race, in a way, will become part of the Twister Race Series.”
One-dog one-mile bikejor
1st Darryl Sheepway – 5:10
1st Cynthia Corriveau – 5:10
3rd Adam Robinson – 5:28
4th Opal Mariell – 5:38
5th Armin Johnson – 7:17
Two-dog two-mile bikejor
1st Cynthia Corriveau – 9:37
2nd Darryl Sheepway – 10:25
3rd Katherine Sheepway – 10:29
4th Adam Robinson – 10:43
5th Martin Haefele – 11:56
6th Armin Johnson – 12:45
7th Opal Mariell – 12:47
1st Simi Morrison – 8:50
2nd Damarais Riedwyl – 9:28
3rd Florian Lill – 9:35
4th Ryan Brooks – 9:36
5th Adam Robinson – 10:00
6th Courtney Terriah – 11:22
7th Pascal Krebs – 12:01
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com