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Second race, even better than last weekend!

Gail P
February 13th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Today was day one of the Haliburton Dogsled Derby. It couldn't have been more perfect. Eager dogs, fast trail, nice clean runs for myself and my daughter. It was just fantastic.

She started out with the 1-dog skijoring in the morning, it was her first time ever competing in skijoring so the goal was just to have a clean run and finish the course. There were 20 in the class and she finished in 18th, saying that Flurry ran well and pulled hard for her the whole way. Yay! :thumbs up

Next was my 4-dog class. On my 4-dog team this weekend I had Lightning, Rain, and Storm, but because my daughter had skijored with Flurry, he wasn't on my team this time, I instead put Dru in his place and it was his first time racing. They were so eager, so fast, it was great! There were 17 in the class and we finished in 6th place today with a time of 14:33, only 3 seconds off of 5th place :D The next class was another one for my daughter, the 2-mile youth/novice class which she ran with 2 dogs (Lightning and Flurry). That class is open to 2-dog or 3-dog teams, and with four entered in the class she was up against one other 2-dog team and a couple of 3 dog teams. Even though Lightning and Flurry had each already run this morning, they flew around the course, passing a 3-dog team that had gone out ahead and are currently standing in 1st place.

It really was such a great day, I'm so pleased with my daughter and my dogs. All that time spent on training and conditioning is really paying off. We're starting to reach a point where we are actually becoming more competitive with the bigger kennels with "real" racing dogs. It feels pretty great to know I've taken a bunch of non-traditional sled dogs, several of them rescues, raised them from puppies, trained them myself and now we've reached this point. :)

mummummum
February 13th, 2010, 08:11 PM
Tap, tap tap...and the pictures are WHERE????? :rolleyes:

Sounds terrific and it sounds like the dawgs are lovin' every minute of it!

But, come onnnn...feed the junkie. Give us a pic...PLEEEEEEEASE

Gail P
February 13th, 2010, 09:30 PM
Tap, tap tap...and the pictures are WHERE????? :rolleyes:

Sounds terrific and it sounds like the dawgs are lovin' every minute of it!

But, [/I]come onnnn[/I]...feed the junkie. Give us a pic...PLEEEEEEEASE

I'm still waiting on my friend/webmaster/camera guy to post some on my site. I'm just as anxious as you to see what pics he got. He's been teasing me by showing me a few on the camera but not yet getting them posted to my site. I did have the camera there today and got a couple shots of my daughter in the starting chute, and coming in to the finish but I haven't brought the camera in from the truck since we're going back tomorrow and I didn't want to forget it. With me waiting for her at the finish I don't really get the chance to go out to a vantage point along the trail and take some action shots of her passing by me. Hopefully soon some appear on my site and then I can link to them.

mummummum
February 13th, 2010, 09:59 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/2.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/2.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/2.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/2.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/bouncing/3.gif




I'd like to tell you that patience is one of my virtues...:rolleyes:

hazelrunpack
February 13th, 2010, 10:19 PM
Sounds like a great time so far, Gail! :highfive: All that hard work paying off :thumbs up and fun, too! :D

growler~GateKeeper
February 13th, 2010, 11:01 PM
Great runs for both your daughter & you :highfive:

:goodvibes: for tomorrow

Gail P
February 14th, 2010, 09:45 PM
Day two report
We had a bit of fresh snow on the trail today so it wasn't quite as hard and fast as yesterday, but I had another great run with my team. They were a little slower at 15:03 but we had a nice clean run. Yesterday we got passed by a super fast team which gave my guys a bit of extra motivation (chase mode) but today the teams went out in order of fastest to slowest so nobody else caught us.

Oh, and it turns out my 6th place finish yesterday was actually bumped down to 7th after some problems on the trail were cleared up. In both the 4-dog and the 6-dog classes some people jumped trail and took a shortcut, whether by accident or intent. The officials had to clear that up and were looking hard at the time of one of the entries in my class (she said they didn't think a team of Sibes would run as fast as hers did), but I guess once they decided to let her time stand it put her up into 4th and bumped everyone after that down a place.

When both days times were combined I ended up in 7th place overall. And I was mistaken about there being 17 teams entered, there were actually 18.

My daughter didn't have such a great day today, for some reason the dogs didn't want to run for her. Flurry started slow in skijoring, trying to leave the trail at one point but she persisted with him and after a bit he started running nice. Then the next skijorer caught up and he got distracted and slowed down again. That happened a few times so she had to work harder at her skiing today. When they were approaching the finish line I called him in and they came in nice and strong. In her youth/novice class she also had problems. Lighting and Flurry kept stopping and looking back (at what, we don't know) She wasn't thrilled about having to go out first today, which she had to do since she finished in 1st place yesterday. Anyways, when they stopped she went up and led them forward to get them going. The next kid caught up and had trouble passing, his dogs stopped too (and at one point took a nip at Lightning :frustrated: ) They both got caught on a hill by the 3rd entry, but once they got started they both passed her again. Approaching the finish my daughter was behind the other kid but our dogs were really motoring then and closing the distance fast. I started calling them and they really shifted into high gear. Nearing the end of the course the trail runs around the far side of a pond, then drops down onto the pond and crosses it. Because there was another trail around the pond for other purposes the race trail was marked out with wooden stakes and plastic snow fence. It seemed a little narrow in that area for passing, but our dogs were right on the heels of the other team and as soon as they were past that fence they started passing. The two teams were neck-in-neck as they crossed the finish line, it was a real photo finish (too bad I didn't have the camera on me then!) Their efforts at the end weren't enough to make up for all the messing around at the beginning though, in today's heat they placed 4th, and the combined times put them into 3rd overall. A bit of a disappointing day for her after how well the dogs ran for her yesterday. But, she isn't giving up, she's already planning for next weekend (if there's enough snow for the Cannington race). Here are a few pictures I got of her.

Waiting for the start of the 1-dog skijoring yesterday. Damion Robb of the Jamaica Dogsled Team http://www.jamaicadogsled.com/ holding Flurry for us. I was supposed to be keeping out of Flurry's sight so I didn't distract him (my dogs are all very much my dogs and will turn around looking for me if I'm not on the sled behind them. Damion finished 2nd in my 4-dog class, with the same time of 12:44 on both days, and finished in 3rd in the 6-dog.
62273

A nice start (yesterday, today he poked around)
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Just after crossing the finish line
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Gail P
February 14th, 2010, 09:54 PM
These are all from yesterday.

Ready for the youth/novice class
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Leaving the starting chute
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Crossing the finish line
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Gail P
February 14th, 2010, 09:58 PM
These are from today's skijoring class. I was able to take a short-cut through a parking lot to gain access to the back part of the trail to get some pics, then went back to the finish line to call them in again.
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Gail P
February 14th, 2010, 10:07 PM
One more of her skijoring, coming in towards the finish today.
62282

Hopefully if this works (not sure, it's a link to a photo on my facebook wall that was posted by a friend), a shot of my team on the course that was taken by a friend. Dru is so well hidden behind the other dogs that it looks like I'm only running a 3-dog team.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/photo.php?pid=4721477&id=551547993

hazelrunpack
February 14th, 2010, 10:08 PM
Great pics, Gail!!! That looks like so much fun! I wonder if setters could be taught to pull a sled instead of sit on it? :o Ours would much rather watch me pull than help me pull :frustrated: :laughing:

Gail P
February 14th, 2010, 10:54 PM
Great pics, Gail!!! That looks like so much fun! I wonder if setters could be taught to pull a sled instead of sit on it? :o Ours would much rather watch me pull than help me pull :frustrated: :laughing:

I bet they could. In skijoring we see all kinds of breeds and mixbreeds. In the sled racing it's a bit different. Although a lot of different kinds of dogs can pull there are certain "types" that do better for racing.

growler~GateKeeper
February 15th, 2010, 01:11 AM
Congrats to your daughter & you for todays placings:thumbs up maybe not as good as yesterday but better than most & loads of experience esp for your daughter with skijoring. How is she liking it so far? :goodvibes:

I wonder if Lightning & Flurry were watching/waiting for you during the 2 dog youth/novice run? Maybe they were passed the first day (yesterday) excitement of competing & on this second day (today) were wondering where you went since you were not on the sled? :shrug:

Great shots :thumbs up

Gail P
February 15th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Congrats to your daughter & you for todays placings:thumbs up maybe not as good as yesterday but better than most & loads of experience esp for your daughter with skijoring. How is she liking it so far? :goodvibes:
She's enjoying it and is not ready to give up yet even though yesterday was a bit disappointing. Already making plans for next weekend if there's enough snow for the Cannington race to run.

I wonder if Lightning & Flurry were watching/waiting for you during the 2 dog youth/novice run? Maybe they were passed the first day (yesterday) excitement of competing & on this second day (today) were wondering where you went since you were not on the sled? :shrug:

Great shots :thumbs up

Maybe I should have stayed behind in the dog yard instead of going even part way up to the start. The day before though I did about the same thing, going partway up but then having someone else take them to the line while I slipped away into the crowd and they were fine. But on day one they were going out 2nd, not 1st so they did have another team to chase after at the start. Nobody passed them on day one, the other teams couldn't touch them that day. They smoked the competition and passed by the team that went out first out that day. The teams are started at 2 minute intervals and they caught the 1st team (with 3 dogs) about half way around the course and came in well ahead of them. At the end of day 1 they had a 1 minute lead on the next fastest team. Guess that's the way things go sometimes though, if we wanted predictability maybe we'd be racing something motorized instead of dogs that can think for themselves. With dog teams stuff happens whether it's driver error, dogs decide to take a wrong turn, their heads aren't in it, are affected by passing teams, wildlife on trail...there are so many variables all we can do is feed, train and condition the dogs to the best of our ability and try to do our best. If it doesn't work out at one race we hope for a better run next time. :fingerscr

DoubleRR
February 15th, 2010, 10:27 AM
Love hearing about your races and your dogs. Never got the chance to compete that way and always thought it looked like a great way to make winter your friend. Had a lab and a lab cross that I taught to pull--but we just played around the fields of home--was fun though.

mummummum
February 15th, 2010, 11:22 PM
Great pics, Gail!!! That looks like so much fun! I wonder if setters could be taught to pull a sled instead of sit on it? :o Ours would much rather watch me pull than help me pull :frustrated: :laughing:

Oh yeah!! I can identify. Sleds, wagons... these two would be in their glory if I pulled them around the living room on a blanket.

Fantastic pics Gail. You can really see the "I'm having a blast" grins on the dog's faces. Well-done to you and your daughter for doing so well in the races. :thumbs up

Gail P
February 17th, 2010, 11:46 PM
I said there would be more pictures coming when my friends/webmasters posted them to my website, however we've decided to do things a bit different there now. They created and donated the site but the pictures use up a lot of bandwidth that they need for their paid clients, so instead they've created a facebook page for Silhouette Racing Rescues where all the current photos (and even videos!) will be posted. I think you should be able to get to them with this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Silhouette-Racing-Rescues/312112968035?v=app_2373072738#!/pages/Silhouette-Racing-Rescues/312112968035?ref=ts but if for some reason that doesn't work you can just go to facebook and search for Silhouette Racing Rescues. You can even become a fan if you'd like! :)

growler~GateKeeper
February 18th, 2010, 12:06 AM
She's enjoying it and is not ready to give up yet even though yesterday was a bit disappointing. Already making plans for next weekend if there's enough snow for the Cannington race to run.

That's great! Your daughter has such great character, she sounds like a wonderful person :)

The day before though I did about the same thing, going partway up but then having someone else take them to the line while I slipped away into the crowd and they were fine.

Chalk it up to one of "those days" then :laughing:

:goodvibes: for the next races

TeriM
February 18th, 2010, 12:27 AM
Great pics :thumbs up. It is wonderful to have something that all of you (furries included) enjoying doing together so much :).

Chris21711
February 19th, 2010, 09:14 AM
Great pics Gail :thumbs up.....I just checked and it seems that Cannington is a go, so another :thumbs up....so are you gonna win the $10,000, ya' never know, best of luck to you.

Gail P
February 22nd, 2010, 02:55 PM
...it seems that Cannington is a go, so another :thumbs up....so are you gonna win the $10,000, ya' never know, best of luck to you.
I wish!!! :laughing: However the purse is divided up between the various classes. The Cannington race did run but had to be revised due to the lack of snow. They couldn't put in a 4-mile or 6-mile trail, so the 6-dog class was canceled. What they were able to do was get a 1-mile trail in, and all teams ran on that. Since they couldn't do the 6-dog class, they instead put in a 3-dog class and because some of the kennels have lots of dogs and more than one musher in the family, the 3-dog and 4-dog classes were run in 2 heats each to accommodate running more than one team in the same class. The total prize money was reduced, but still had a very good payout considering it had turned into more of a "fun run". I have no complaints about the amount that I brought home ;)

Pictures that a friend took at the Cannington race are now posted on the "Silhouette Racing Rescues" facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Silhouette-Racing-Rescues/312112968035?ref=ts It was an excellent weekend, not a lot of snow but a whole lot of fun, lots of joking around and a great atmosphere. My border collie team really gave them something to talk about, they were spot on this weekend and after the first day's classes I was 2nd place in my heat/3rd overall in the 3-dog class (19 teams entered) and 1st in my heat/2nd overall in my 4-dog class (15 teams entered). The race marshal joked that he was going to test my dogs for steroids :laughing: One musher from Minnesota, who is also coach to the Jamaica Dogsled Team musher said we left black and white sparks on the trail behind us! :p On day two my dogs ran well again but we slipped down in the placings. With such a short trail (only about a mile as opposed to 4 miles) it's not just seconds that end up making a difference but tenths and hundredths of a second. Overall I ended up in 4th in the 3-dog and 5th in the 4-dog classes. My daughter was 12th/15 in the 1-dog skijoring and 5th in the Novice class, in which she ran 3 dogs for the first time at a race.

hazelrunpack
February 22nd, 2010, 03:11 PM
Great results, GailP! :highfive: