February has seen five races with the British Siberian Husky Racing Association Championship series. The first weekend of racing was at Warren Wood, Thetford and we saw two days of excellent trails, the first day we even had snow! Matt ran in the three with Kara, Mars and Zinny and I ran the two dog with Snik and Pickle. Really nice runs and the dogs enjoyed the cooler temperatures, results here. The next races were held at Kings Forest, Thetford and consisted of a three day race weekend with three different trails each day. Not without incident, the brushbow on the cudos rig broke at the start of one of the days and Matt had to hold on to the brushbow whilst running the very eager sibes! Temps were a tad warmer for this weekend but the dogs did really well, and I had a lovely jolly with my gorgeous veteran team in the two dog class Snik and Cassidy Squidge, it was a really fun weekend with a great atmosphere, see results here.
You can spot Matt and the three dog team at 2.5 minutes into this excellent video clip that was taken over the three day race.
January was a busy month for everyone including two races for the home teams with the British Siberian Racing Association in Suffolk and Norfolk and a visit to Michigan, USA to visit Zinny's breeders and relatives at Thunderfeet Seppala Kennels and Evergreen Seppala kennels.
Our race results can be found here. The three dog team consisting of Mars, Zinny and veteran Kara Muffin are currently sitting in sixth place in the British Siberian Husky Racing Association Championship and the veteran bikejor team in fifth place, we run a different veteran each race to give them a fun run and a new experience, we always want to make our dogs lives, full and interesting. Click for BSHRA 2018/2019 Results table.
We are having lots of fun with the dogs and each race we all gain valuable experience. We are particularly pleased with the last three dog race run with the dog's average speed of 16.20 MPH, one of our personal goals this season was to have an average of 15mph so we are really delighted with the dogs progress and performance, our hope this season is to maintain results within the top 10 of teams in this class, with just a few seconds between teams from first to tenth place it is rewarding to see all our training coming together amongst first class competition. Zinny's first race season and she has given our team the extra 'zip' we needed and for a wee girl she is mighty!
Rendlesham Race - 3 dog
While Matt was racing in the UK, I went to the states for a few weeks to visit doggy family, Ann and Ted Zinny's breeders and take part in sled race with Zinny's uncles, however due to lack of snow my race was cancelled but I enjoyed lots of runs with the dogs including gaining valuable sled experience and learning how to look after dogs in extreme cold weather conditions. Whilst in the States I enjoyed roadtrips and a visit to RJ & Heather's Evergreen Seppala Kennels to meet Zinny's Granddam, Aunties, Uncles, Sisters and Brothers.
Beginning of December saw a trip for us all to Sherwood Forest for the third / fourth race of the British Siberian Husky Racing Association season. Saturday saw rainy runs and muddy 2.7 trails, the dogs, Zinny, Mars and Kara Muffin had a blast and overtook a team ending in 6th place from 18 teams and an average miles per hour of 14.04, second day the trail was reduced to 2 miles due to humidity, not such a clear run, resulting in a tangle, but we ended in 7th place from 17 teams with an average mile per hour of 12.58 so a bit slower but a great experience, we loved the trails and every race enables us to learn and bring what we learn to training for the future. Tonrar ran on the bike the first day and came 6th, because of seeding on the second day the start timings between the 3 dog class and bikejor were a bit close so decided not to run the bike on the Sunday. Full race results for the weekend here
The Sibes have had a mid season maintenance visit to Helen Lightfoot Chiropractor, after Mars' leg strain last season we are keeping a close eye on him and all the dogs, making sure they are happy and healthy enabling them to do what they enjoy most! Sadly the next planned race with BSHRA in Norfolk was cancelled so our next race (paws crossed) will be after Christmas at Rendlesham in Suffolk. We are really enjoying training and bringing in some afternoon daylight training to reflect what time we are usually racing and this will help with distraction training with more dog walkers, people and wildlife on the trail and better prepare us for what we meet when on the race trails.
Cracking first race weekend of the season at Rendlesham Forest with BSHRA. Stunning, technical trails, beautiful forest, dry weather and great to see everyone after the Summer. Day one we ran veteran Snik for the first time on the bike, he much prefers running in a team but it's nice to give the dogs new experiences and they came a respectable fourth place. We then ran a three dog with Zinny & Mars in lead with Kara Muffin in wheel. Great run, if a bit cautious on the brakes but a nice 5th out of 13 teams with a time of 09.52 over 2.4 mile trail averaging 14.49mph. We popped Pickle in wheel position the second day replacing Kara but she wasn't as happy with the super quick trails which are unlike what we train on, so a bit more time was spent on the brakes so she would feel comfortable, we were a minute slower the second day but they had a jolly time, the teams were happy and had a really great experience and we can now move forward and look at the best teams to match the dogs. Zinny's second race and we are really pleased with her progress working with Mars in lead and Kara who is nearly 8 still loving life in a team with the seppala people. We ran Kara in the Bikejor the second day, her second time on a bike to third place, on a 2.8 mile trail, she had a brilliant time and you can see the beautiful forest and part of her run in the video below!
Full Rendlesham race results here
Kara and her Bikejor run
Lots of muddy training runs down South and usually training in the dark, we are still training at the two forests four times a week and pleased with the teams progress on the mixture of trails, we could really see the work we have put into turns in training translated to the race trails in Suffolk. The dogs are all happy and as well as enjoying trail life have been enjoying seaside walks and adventures and of course cuddles on the sofa. Our aim this season is to cement further the skills of our young leaders and give the dogs lots of happy experiences on different trails.
Finally Autumn has arrived and temperatures are nicely lowering enabling us to get out for lots of runs, we usually run the dogs four times a week and dogs are increasing fitness and we are having fun training single leaders with Mars and Zinny who are doing a smashing job. We are using two different forests making the most of the lots of turns in one which is a few hours drive, and the straighter trails of our local forest 30 minutes away. We hope the combination will work well and prepare the dogs for our first race planned in Suffolk which is a combination of fast trails and tight turns.
Early in the month Mars and Zinny had a second visit to Chief BVA eye pannelist Ian Mason and we are delighted there is no change and we have two 0/0 scores including tests for glaucoma. The scheme is a means of identifying inherited and non-inherited ocular conditions and we are super pleased with the result. Zinny also had her hips tested by Sharon Loades and scored 4/4.