Darryl Sheepway’s three-dog team is fast no matter the season.
The Whitehorse musher made that clear by winning the two-mile, two-to-four dog event of the Cadence Cycle Hot Hounds Dryland Race at the Drag N’ Fly Kennels off the Old Alaska Highway on Sunday.
Sheepway won the season opener of the Hot Hounds race series with a three-dog team that went undefeated in last summer’s races.
“I probably would have been faster with only two (dogs),” said Sheepway. “I had one dog that was a little hesitant at the end there. And he ran the race before, so he might have been a little tired.
“So I’m a little surprised I came out on top this time.
“Coming in I had a couple – I wouldn’t call them bad passes, but they weren’t the smoothest passes. So I was a little worried about my time.”
For the win, Sheepway finished the out-and-back course in seven minutes, 43 seconds, just 12 seconds up from Jean-Marc Champeval in second and 15 seconds up from Alex Rochat in third.
Sheepway, who was third in the one mile, one dog event, won 10 out of 11 races last summer, including two in the 2010 season opener.
Also fast on snow, he finished in second in the Copper Haul Twister series last winter.
Sunday’s event was only the second time the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon has allowed competitors to race with more than two dogs.
“Usually it’s a two-dog limit, but this time we’ve made the max four,” said Sheepway. “The most anyone ran today was three though.
“We tried it in October and no one crashed, so we tried it again this time.”
The event was also the scene of the summer’s only freight pull event, the Firstmate Extreme Summer Freight Pull, in which the dogs pull a wagon incrementally loaded with bags of dog food. The competition’s favourite, Jon Lucas’ Rottweiler, Asha, pulled 700 pounds the quickest to win in the over 60 pounds category.
The next Hot Hounds event will take place August 14 at Alex Rochat’s in the Ibex Valley.
“It’s a completely new location; no one has raced there before,” said the association’s Amil Dupuis-Rossi. “It’s the first time she’s hosting, the first time dogs will race on that trail, so it’s really exciting.”
Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon is planning to hold a total of four dryland races this summer with another in the Golden Horn area and maybe one in Carcross. More information can be found at dpsay.wordpress.com.
1st Darryl Sheepway – 7:43
2nd Jean-Marc Champeval – 7:55
3rd Alex Rochat – 7:58
4th Jon Lucas – 8:00
5th Barb Anderson – 9:08
6th Adam Robinson – 9:42
7th Rhonda Kotelko – 14:02
8th Amelie Janin – 17:34
1st Amil Dupuis-Rossi – 4:44
2nd Deb Knight – 5:16
3rd Darryl Sheepway – 6:17
4th Amelie Janin – 7:40
1st Adam Robinson – 5:51
2nd Antoine LeBlanc – 7:12
3rd Amelie Janin – 7:38
Under 60lb class
1st Cash and Heather Desmaris – 220lbs in 6 sec
2nd Grizzly and Amil Dupuis-Rossi – 140lbs in 15 sec
Over 60lb class
1st Asha and Jon Lucas – 700lbs in 9 sec
2nd Puck and Jon Lucas – 700lbs in 15sec
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org