Temperatures are still great for regular runs but starting to have to pick our times carefully but having lots of fun mixing and matching the teams up, dogs are enjoying free runs in the local, secure 5 acre field and we had lots of laughs trying to get some of the more obliging sibes to do a bit of agility but with limited success, rolling in fox poop was far more appealing!
Dogs are getting ready for Summer by removing their coats too so there has been lots of baths and grooming and hoovering! Work starts back up on the travelling husky hotel, we have added a towbar with which to help carry our new Rowerland passenger rig that we have ordered which is coming from Poland hopefully July time. We wanted to upgrade our 3 wheel passenger rig to a stronger, sturdier 4 wheeler. It's such a useful tool for us to train the dogs as our training trails do not allow the use of quads with or without engines!
I (Lou) was invited to judge the Christchurch & New Forest Canine Society Open Show this month and I had a wonderful entry of 19 siberian huskies. My critique and pictures of the main winners below.
I would like to thank the Committee at Christchurch & New Forest Canine Society for the honour of being invited to judge today, 19th May 2019 and for your hard work in organising the show. The venue was lovely and the outside grass rings were super and the steward was excellent. Thanks also to the exhibitors for the privilege of judging your dogs, I was delighted with my entry of 19 Siberians and really pleased with the quality of the entry.
Puppy Dog or Bitch 4/2 1) Trailhunters Tsutey 10 month old, grey and white puppy dog with a happy, mischievous expression, correct double coat, and good moderate bone. Great front angulation with an excellent shoulder and nice depth of chest. I would prefer a tad more length and angle of croup to complete the picture but he was well handled to best advantage. BP 2) Trailhunter's Eywa 10 month old, grey and white puppy bitch and littermate to one. Very pretty, typical foxy head and loved her expression, good reach of neck and very balanced proportions. Moved a tad close in the rear today and looser in movement than one at this time, but this will come with maturity. Nice prospect.
Junior Dog or Bitch 3/0 1) Johnston's Snooperz Newton at Losttrail (Imp DEU) Striking monochrome and white male just out of puppy. Top end of standard but all in proportion and he made easy work of the ring, light on his feet, with effortless, efficient gait and shown in beautiful condition. Superb shoulder placement, strong, level topline on the move with correct length of croup and tail carriage, showed great reach and drive. Out moved everything in this class today. Smashing boy. RBOB 2) Trail Hunter's Eywa Please see above.
Post Graduate Dog or Bitch 5/0 1) Norman's Skimarque Shades of Midnite Two year old dilute black and white, very nicely balanced girl with an attractive head, liked her size and moderate bone. Held her topline on the move and had correct length and angle of croup leading to a nice tail carriage. Beautiful, correct double coat. She was enjoying her day and the handler did a good job settling her on the move. Movement was true and positive. 2) Johnston's Alka-Shans Tesla Cool (IMP DEU) Agouti and white two year old girl, attractive head, balanced, nice sized bitch, finer in bone than one. Super feet. Another happy girl enjoying her day and rather bounced around the ring but could see elements of the easy, smooth movement that her angulation would suggest. Look forward to watching her progress as she matures. Open Dog or Bitch 4/3 March's Trailhunters Miki 1) Grey and white eight year old piebald girl with a very feminine, foxy head and a sweet, keen expression. Well arched neck leading to great shoulder placement supported by firm muscle, strong, level topline on the move and correct length and angle of croup leading to an elegant tail carriage. She was in full coat and one of the best muscled dogs today. Easy, no fuss mover. This girl just gets better! BOB Norman's Skimarque Anna Pavlova 2) White, feminine girl and another nice eight year old. This breed just gets better with maturity. Loved her beautiful foxy head and mischievous expression. Super front end angulation and depth of chest, correct moderate bone. Full of the joys of spring which affected her movement and she didn’t hold her topline on the move today but a delightful, typical female.
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.
Zinny & Mars and Kara Muffin
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
Mars - Picture courtesy of Yvonne Davis
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 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 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 massage 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!
Snik, Laika, Kara Muffin & a Pickle. Combined ages of the team matched the mushers age!
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.
British Siberian Husky Dog Racing Championship - YouTube
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.
Cracking first race weekend of the season at Rendlesham Forest. Stunning, technical trails, dry weather and great to see everyone. Day one we ran veteran Snik for the first time on the bike, he much prefers running in a team but it's nice to give the dogs new experiences and they came a respectable fourth place. We then ran a Three dog with Zinny & Mars in lead with Kara Muffin in wheel. Great run, if a bit cautious on the brakes but a nice 5th out of 13 teams with a time of 09.52 over 2.4 mile trail averaging 14.49mph. We popped Pickle in wheel position the second day replacing Kara but she wasn't as happy with the super quick trails which are unlike what we train on, so a bit more time was spent on the brakes so she would feel comfortable and we were a minute slower the second day, but the teams were happy and had a really great experience and we can now move forward and look at the best teams to match the dogs. Zinny's second race and we are really pleased with her progress working with Mars in lead and Kara who is nearly 8 still loving life with the seppala people. We ran Kara in the Bikejor the second day, her second time on a bike to third place, 2.8 miles, she had a brilliant time!
Finally Autumn has arrived and temperatures are nicely lowering enabling us to get out for lots of runs, we usually run the dogs four times a week and dogs are increasing fitness and we are having fun training single leaders with Mars and Zinny who are doing a smashing job. We are using two different forests making the most of the lots of turns in one which is a few hours drive, and the straighter trails of our local forest 30 minutes away. We hope the combination will work well and prepare the dogs for our first race planned in Suffolk which is a combination of fast trails and tight turns.
Early in the month Mars and Zinny had a second visit to Chief BVA eye pannelist Ian Mason and we are delighted there is no change and we have two 0/0 scores including tests for glaucoma. The scheme is a means of identifying inherited and non-inherited ocular conditions and we are super pleased with the result. Zinny also had her hips tested by Sharon Loades and scored 4/4.
The leaves are starting to fall and woolly jumper and socks weather is upon us. We have had a busy Summer despite taking a break from shows, the new van is now suited and booted with new dog cages and we are getting some sensible enough temperatures to run dogs and we all enjoyed the first runs after Summer on the Thetford trails with good friends and we took the opportunity to passenger on other excellent dog teams. Pickle and Zinny enjoyed their seasons and we are glad they will be over in time for the race season! Work not flirt girls!
We were really pleased with the fitness of the dogs after their summer break due to temperatures, I think our last run was on the 24th June, and we now concentrate on training and building fitness and having fun. Whilst we were in Thetford we visited our dog's chiropractor, Helen Lightfoot for a doggy team MOT before season starts and called in to Forstals for new harness fittings and other equipment made by Ali Koops at SASS Sled Dog Equipment. We are looking forward to getting our dogs out on different trails this season and having lots more adventures!
Team veteran after a night run. Cassidy (7) with Uncle Snik (12) in wheel, Half sister Laika & Tonrar in lead both (9)
Heat wave continues in the UK and for us Southern folk so the harnesses have been hung up in exchange for more free runs for the sibes. Pickle has joined the others dogs by removing her jacket for the Summer and we are all looking forward to some rain and colder temps. We are keeping busy with working on the new husky travelling hotel.
I was honoured to be asked to judge the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain stakes classes at the Three Counties Showground this month and enjoyed a really quality entry. My critique is below.
I would like to thank the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain for the honour of the invite to judge the stakes classes yesterday,15th July 2018 and to the exhibits for the privilege of their entry. I was spoilt with the quality of the entries. Junior dog or Bitch (4,0) 1st JOHN'S Azgard Kampa For Alepenkye Feminine grey and white bitch with happy, mischievous expression, typical foxy head, almond shaped, correctly set eyes and good ear set. Light on her feet and moved with ease, was shown well and in good condition. Super Prospect 2nd SNELSON'S Salazka’s Mr Abernathy Masculine, monochrome and white chap enjoying his day. Very balanced proportions with great angulation front and rear and showing plenty of reach and drive on the move, moved true, with purpose. Correct slope of croup. Well-muscled. Very nice boy, just preferred head type on 1 today. 3rd WAKKER'S Barking Brooks Mountain Mist At Ceannabeinne (imp, USA) Monochrome male with a delightful, keen expression. Good angulation and balanced front and rear, nicely arched loin and correct croup, feeling the heat in this class today and just did not move as his well as his angulation suggests. Limit Dog or Bitch (10, 3) 1st COOPER'S Janskcoo’s Strength ‘N’ Honour JW Classy grey and white bitch with typical foxy head. Everything in moderation and so balanced. Nicely sloping pasterns, correct croup. Excellent shoulder and rear angulation, well supported with muscle and covered the ground of the large outside ring with ease, grace and purpose. Quality Bitch. 2nd KEEN'S Norste Dusty Miller at Nashanessen Impressive white male with a mischievous, alert expression, nice depth of chest, great shoulder angulation and had superb reach and drive, complimented by hard muscle he moved true, with power and happy purpose. Very nice feet and slope of pasterns. Super boy. 3rd SMITH & MARCH'S Janskoo Echoes In Eternity Pretty grey and white bitch with the most beautiful foxy head and gentle expression, good arch of neck and correct angles front and back, moved well but did not have the reach and drive of 1 & 2 in this class today. Open Dog or Bitch (10, 2) Stunning quality of entry in this class making some hard decisions, all very worthy exhibits. 1st KEEN’S NASHANESSEN’S STANLEY Masculine agouti and white, with typical foxy head, loved his moderate bone and overall proportions and was a picture of power and balance. Moving true, he was light on his feet and ate up the large ring. Great feet, nice slope of pasterns and bend of stifle. Very nice boy. 2nd PLATT'S RYKALOV SPARKS AT WIGHTFLIGHT Striking agouti and white male with a happy, keen expression. Another impressive boy with a well laid back shoulder, he covered the ground well showing reach and drive, he powered around the ring with ease and purpose. Superb feet. Being super picky today, preferred the bend of stifle of 1. 3rd GRISBROOKE’S AZGARD SPINDRIFT Splendid agouti and white male, loved his foxy head and mischievous expression. Well balanced with great shoulder angulation and rear, good feet and correct sloping pasterns enabling him to cover the ground with power and ease. Nice arch of loin, correct angle of croup, everything is there, look forward to watching this boy mature. Louise Evans (Demoneira)