SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nome - Council 200 Race

Just as you thought the racing season was over... Bridgett will be taking a team of SP Kennel athletes on the Nome Kennel Club's Nome - Council race!

The race starts in Nome this Friday night or Saturday morning (depending on the weather) and the trail takes the teams through Safety towards White Mountain before hanging a HAW to Council. They then return back to Nome the way they came. It provides an opportunity for the dogs "experience the Topkok Hills and the Bering Sea coast, to run a section of the historic All Alaska Sweepstakes Trail, and visit the historic community of Council."

Bridgett knows the area well having lived in Nome for several years.

11 Iditarod finishers (who were all chomping at the bit a day or two after finishing the race): Chemo, Chena, Outlaw, Clyde, Chipper, Amber, Iron, Driver, Lydia, Willie and Nomex are hanging out in Nome for an extra week with Bridgett and get to add this race to their resumes.

Follow along on the trackers at nomefix.com and we will try to keep you updated as we follow along from the kennel.

We're excited for this team to finish off their racing season with something a bit different. For more info about each athlete click here to take you to the race roster.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ID: Heading Home

Today the dogs flew on their first leg of their journey home - from Nome to Anchorage.

We fly the dogs back on a cargo plane and the crew at Everts are experienced at shipping dogs teams from Nome - we are confident they are in good hands from the time we drop them off till we pick them up. We load the team into kennels that we'd shipped out prior to their arrival then they are secured and packed onto pallets before being carefully and skilfully forklifted into the plane.


Dutch takes the wheel in Nome


Chemo and Chipper enjoy the scenery in Nome


Commando with Bridgett and kennel friend (and Spark sponsor) Deb prior to getting secured and packed into the cargo plane.


Scout and Spark arrive safe and sound; unloading the sled



We'll stay one more night in Anchorage until the entire human crew gets here and we drive home to the kennel, picking up our mates from Margie's on the way.

ID: Musher Banquet and Awards

Tonight in Nome a couple of thousand people packed in to the Community Centre for the Iditarod Finishers' Banquet and Prizegiving.



Race sponsor, the Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage, catered the event and there was something for everyone, from juicy steak to carrot cake.

As always, the best part of the evening was hearing from each musher as they came up to receive their Finisher's patch and trophy. We heard so many great stories of camaraderie and sportsmanship, of trail challenges and wildlife encounters, and, above all, the love of the mushers for their dogs.

Congratulations to all the mushers and the prize winners tonight. See the full list here.


Some of the awards ready to be presented; the evening's program

We are unashamedly proud of our team! Allen won the Sportsmanship Award for being "ever helpful". This award is voted on only by mushers at the Official Finishers Club meeting after the race. Mushers make nominations and a vote is taken for the winner. Part of the recognition read "even when things are going great he is good to have around". In one particular event during the race he stopped to help another team off the trail and stayed with them for several miles into a checkpoint. Several other younger mushers thanked him for being ever willing to answer their questions and offer advice.


Allen receives the Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award; Aliy's 8th place trophy awaiting presentation

Aliy told the story about how they managed to get past Pete Kaiser in the last leg of the race. It was all thanks to an arctic fox! This feisty little fox ran alongside the team on a berm next to the trail for a couple of miles and the team took off after it; while the dogs ran around one side of Pete's team the fox ran around the other. At one stage it started hissing at the team and moving towards them! Aliy had though she was seeing things but she figured because the dogs reacted also it must have been actually happening. We're trying to figure out if we can train the fox to run alongside the team for 1000 miles!



RETURNED DOG UPDATE

Everyone is off the trail! Tinder arrived into Anchorage on Saturday night and is with Linda and Kodiak.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ID: Around Nome

Here are a few pictures of Nome from the last few days. Yesterday afternoon we had the Meet the Mushers event in the "Mini" Convention Centre. It's such a popular event with the queue going out the doors as they opened.


Meet the Mushers


Meet the Mushers


Aliy with Michelle Phillips and Jodi Bailey; Meet the Mushers

The dogs were enjoying the warmth of the sun today.


Amber making the most of the sunshine; Chipper enjoys her salmon


Izzy and Schmoe dozing in the sunshine

A few days ago we all sat around the dinner table writing, addressing and stamping the postcards for Dog Fan Club and Team members. Moira posted them on Friday - we hope you all enjoy them!



We've had some free time to get out and about around Nome. Here are a few of our favourite pics around the area.

















Tonight is the Musher Banquet and Pirzegiving then the crew packs up and ships out Sunday night and Monday. We always enjoy Nome but we're looking forward to getting home.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

ID: Black Team In the Dog Lot


Chemo and Chena


Pretty Chipper and Clyde


Five and Nomex


Beautiful Big O and Scooter


Scout in his day bed


Scout in his night bed; Outlaw


Brothers Waylon and Willie


Sleep Scooby; Olivia watches over daughter Lydia

RETURNED DOG UPDATE

We understand Tinder is on is way back to Anchorage and will hopefully be there today. We'll keep you posted.