Oregon:When skiing goes to the dogs

Discussion in 'Canine News and Events' started by Michele, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Michele

    Michele Canine Chat Owner Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2010
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    A Norwegian sport with a military heritage, skijoring proves popular with a growing number of enthusiasts

    Peggy Dwyer of Livermore skijors with her standard poodles Peach, Brie and Diva at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer
    NORWAY — Champing at the bit to bolt, Endo, a 6-year-old German short-haired pointer/Alaskan husky mix, is released and given free rein by teammate Marc Vanderwood of Oxford. The two explode out of the gate and onto the 5-kilometer course along a groomed track through the snowy woods of Roberts Farm Preserve.

    In a different Norway more than a century earlier, the Norwegian military is credited as the originators of this sport, of dogs pulling a human partner on skis, known as skijoring. It was a means of transporting supplies across the snow, with a loaded sled between the dogs and the skier, according to Vanderwood, a veteran racer and promoter of the sport in Alaska and here in Maine. Before long, Marc adds, “It always happens, someone says, ‘my dog is faster than your dog, I can ski faster than you,’ and they started doing skijoring races.”

    The group at Roberts Farm Preserve last month “was a good mix,” said Geoff Shallard, one of nine participants. “We have a few people that are top-of-the-line elite, and then there is the rest of us, stepping down, who are just out here to get around the course and enjoy it”.


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