Not entirely sure where time is going this month! Relaxing month with the end of race season but temperatures still great for running dogs. After renewing our Pembrey forest dog running permit we took a trip over the Easter holiday to Pembrey in South Wales and had some brilliant runs. Dogs really enjoyed the trails which are a mixture of grass, peated sections and sand dunes making for a really good work out and we had about four miles of trails. Here are some slo mo videos of the teams over the weekend.
After nice runs we headed to the country park and dogs had some good chill out time and walks on the beach and we had a road trip up the coast to Mid Wales. We all had a lovely time and look forward to more runs and a relaxing Summer.
Beginning of March saw the last race of the BSHRA Championship race series which consisted of 17 race days and we are really pleased to finish the championship overall in a close eighth position with a three dog team from over twenty teams. Full results here Our aim this race season was to build on the leading qualities of Zinny and give the dogs as much fun experience on different trails as possible and we are delighted with the progress of our leaders and it is so nice to have Zinny in the team matching Mars' drive and ability. Kara celebrated her eight birthday this month and has done a sterling job in wheel with the two seppala people. Matt came sixth place overall in the bikejor championship which has featured all our older dogs contributing and thirteenth place overall in the two dog class with veterans with very limited racing. We had lots of fun off and on trail with British Siberian Husky Racing Association who really do set the race standard in the UK for dog care, safe and interesting trails, first class organisation and lovely, friendly people.
Now and again we like to show our dogs under Siberian Husky breed specialist judges that we admire and respect and after a showing break of six months Mars attended Crufts with breed specialist
judge Sharon Sergeant. Mars and Pickle both have their stud book numbers which mean they have qualified for Crufts for life but we decided not to enter Pickle as she is usually in full season, however this year she decided not to go into season and is looking fabulous so it was a real shame we hadn't entered her. We took Mars who is now in the big boy Limit class and out of an entry of seventeen dogs in his class he got placed reserve (4th) from a quality entry which we are absolutely delighted by. Results
AMWA - Buttersteep
Matt's birthday weekend and Mars and Zinny's first race as a two dog team for the AMWA Buttersteep / Swinley forest races on the Windsor Castle estate. This was a new race venue for us and it takes the form of a three day stage day/night/day race weekend. We attended for the Saturday Night / Sunday Morning stages. The trails were great, the night trail at Swinley Forest was a technical rollercoaster with head on passing, hairpins and the dogs had a blast and the day trail was super. The two dog mileage on the Sunday was shortened due to the rising temps and we decided to scratch the veteran four dog class as it was a tad warm but the beauty of a localish race was that we could get home at a sensible time & the dogs enjoyed an afternoon of sunbathing! Dogs ran really well and were really in harmony together, the team came third both stages, against some very quick teams and Mars and Zin even beat four dog teams times and best of all had lots of fun and positive experiences on different trails. Full results here
UCSC - Cranborne Chase
Final race of the season with the United Canine Sports Club (UCSC) was a local race to us down in the Westcountry held on a private estate with grassy and hard mud trails, this was a very technical trail to end the season, with head on passing and over 16 turns. First day was a tad warm so we just ran a veteran team in the four dog class but fielded a four dog team and a two dog team the second day. There was a choice of trails from a 5.1, 3.6 or the junior trail a 1.86 and considering the temperatures we chose the 3.6 trail for our teams and kept the pace steady. The four dog came second place overall on the two days on the 3.6 trail and the two dog class with the younger folk Mars and Zin came third place on the second day, after we scratched the first day as it was a tad warm by the time the two dog class went out. Dogs did great and was a really good experience for them and it was a nice way to end the race season!
At the race the dogs also enjoyed an end of season physio MOT with Julie Platt Vet Physio therapist making sure the dogs are as ever, healthy, happy and in tip top shape for leading their best lives on and off the trail!
The dogs have experienced over twenty races all over the UK this season and we have fielded veteran teams and a younger team (with a veteran) racing at day and at night on all sorts of different dryland trail types with nice, consistent results. Super proud of our wonderful dogs and now looking forward to running the dogs during our favourite time of year where we see daylight, good temperatures and daffodils blooming!
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.