So, the Yorkie's debut was to one of the big racing events on the Victorian calendar - the NVSDC Classic. Falling on the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend, it is the only three day race on our calendar, and after the Undera Dog Sled Club ran it for about 20 years, it was taken over by the Northern Victoria Sled Dog Club. This was the fourth year for NVSDC (and for me) and the race was run very well. It is always nice to see a committee that look relaxed and calm and seem to be enjoying themselves!
This year, the race was also the National competition for the Australian Sled dog Sports Association, which rotates to different states each year. So it was very prestigious and very well attended by sled dog folks from up, down and across the country. With teams from Queensland, NSW, SA, WA, and of course, team Huskylicious from Tasmania, we Victorians got the chance to catch up with many interstate friends and see how the other states operate on the trails.
The first time I went to the Classic, J and our friend M talked me into trying out a scooter and taking a little ride with M's gorgeous Lync - instant husky addiction!! The following year, I competed in Novices, and last year, I competed in the 2 Dog Open class. This year, I had Wee Monster to look after instead of racing, but we had great fun at the start and finish chutes. Wee Monster has definitely become accustomed to all the husky noise already - he slept through the howls, barks and beeps!
We decided that, since I was going to be busy with unpredictable baby stuff, it would be better for J to take Czar in 1 Dog Veterans. Like Novice, Veterans is a class that only runs at some events. At the Classic, it runs in the Saturday night and Sunday morning heats only. I was so impressed at my boys - they took out fourth place! J was very happy with Czar's run - he kept a steady pace throughout, kept the line tight, and came home strong. But J had to work hard too - someone said to me after one of my Novice races "don't you know you're meant to scoot?" Actually, I didn't, I'd been watching J work with the 4 dog team, where the musher largely stands on the rig and lets the dogs do the work. Having to scoot along is one of the reasons J doesn't like racing with a small team (one or two dogs) but it was great to see him get out with Czar, who absolutely loved it!
Thanks to the wonderful photographers - especially for the shot of me handling and actually looking respectable for once!
Our other race for the weekend ran in only one heat, but was still heaps of fun - Wee Monster's first Mini Pee Wees! We strapped Wee Monster into a baby capsule and strapped the capsule to the rig. Pee Wees are judged on their safety equipment, and a baby capsule is designed for safety. The distance was only a few hundred metres, so we chose Frankie, who is still strong, even if his running days are over. When I started counting down at the start chute, he got really excited, howled and took off like a shot. Lots of fun for the youngest Pee Wee present. And his prize was presented by Christian Turner, Australian two-time Iditarod finisher. I hope that he grows up to understand what an amazing feat it is to compete in the Iditarod, and, like Christian, grow up to pursue his dreams!