bristol dryland canadian championship races November 24-25, 2012
Louise St. Laurent
BRISTOL – The 3rd annual Dryland Canadian Championship Dog Race gets bigger and better with 120 participants, registered for the November 24 and 25 event at organizer Denis Rozon’s on the Ragged Chute Road. Mushers and their dog teams came from across the United States, Canada and Europe.
Silvia Kleinova and Marek Harvan flew from Slovakia with their dogs. “Our first race was in Pennsylvania, now this one. We’ll keep the dogs in shape with other races along our way to one in Alaska,” said Kleinova. They were impressed with the quality of the trails at Timberland.
Rozen, who spends months in preparation, secured over 120 sponsors and countless volunteers. He improved the grounds with a new registration building, veterinarian facility and spectators’ viewing platform. “The trails are harder and faster this year, giving the drivers and dogs a bit more of a challenge,” said Rozon. The $10,000 purse is one of the largest in the sport and was split among the top three winners in 7 categories.
Vendors added a festive flair, like Michel Allen, who greeted people in the parking lot with his draft horses pulling a sleigh, while on site, Luc, Bristol’s blacksmith, offered traditional fried bannock, dipped in maple syrup.
Lacey Heward Thompson from New Hampshire has been racing for 2 years, this being her first here. She expressed the special bond between the mushers and their animals during the competitions. “Dog racing is a humbling experience,” said Lacey, whose husband built her a special cart, as she’s a paraplegic. “The dogs only want to please, but they’re athletes, and should be treated as such.”