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Races on dogsleds

Races on dogsleds – one of the most interesting, original and modern sports. There was it at the beginning of the 20th century, proceeding from especially practical application of draft dogs on Far North.

Today races on dogsleds conquered the whole world. Even in the thirties the last century this sport was the obligatory program of the Olympic Games. If earlier draft dogs met only where eternal snow, now them breed on all continents – even in South Africa and Australia. will tell how there was this sport what kinds of races exist and what dogs are suitable for these purposes.

History of emergence of a new sport

Races on dogsleds appeared at the time of "Gold-rush" - then, at the beginning of the 20th century the mass hobby for this sport began. It should be noted that in those days dogs were the only type of transport as only they could cope with snow and the Arctic climate.

"Gold-rush" brought to Far North not only people who dreamed wealth, but also the most various of their canine friends. It was necessary to be influenced by all burdens of riding life to Newfoundland dogs and German shepherds, a collie and St. Bernards, setters and pointers, and also various metises of large and average breeds of dog. Many of these dogs were simply physically not adapted to draw freights, and some could not pass acclimatization therefore over time all these dogs were lost. And here local laykoida and the dogs of breed delivered from Kamchatka, Chukotka and Kolyma "huskies" perfectly felt on cold and, besides, they liked to work in a team. Soon gold diggers did not experiment any more – each of them had the team (at some and not one), thus all of them sought to get the most hardy and strong animals capable long to pull loaded sledge. Men worked hard, and from time to time as entertainment carried out competitions – races on dogsleds to define at whom animals stronger are more hardy, quicker.

As for sports races, their history is connected with the best-known riding dog – Balto. In 1925 in the city of Nome diphtheria epidemic began. Urgently the vaccine from this artful illness was necessary. It was possible to get it in the city of Nenana – here she was brought by rail. The route from Nome to Nenan was very difficult therefore it was decided to use some dogsleds. But here the glory was received only by two mushers (masher) – drivers of dogs: Gunar Kaasen and Leonard Seppala. A team of dogs Seppala which leader was a large dog of That. Leonard Seppala went from Nome towards to dogs who carried a vaccine for children but as the road was difficult, Seppala did not achieve the object. Afterwards the team of Gunar Kaasen which leader was a medium-sized dog of Balto left. The leader as if understood that lives of people therefore could overcome together with a team long distance for rather short term depend on speed. In gratitude for work and rescue of human lives, Balto the monument was established still during lifetime.

In memory of those events, since 1967 and to the present, race marathon of Ayditorot is annually carried out – she in accuracy repeats a way of those dogs who carried a vaccine to Nome. Length which dogs have to overcome, equals 1800 km. To take part in the longest race, it is necessary to train much, and still – to pass some selection competitions. To participate in a marathon is a dream of many owners of draft dogs who are engaged in races on dogsleds.

What races on dogsleds exist

Today such sport as races on dogsleds, has a huge number of types – everything depends on length of race, quantity of dogs and participation of the athlete. There are such classes of races:

  1. Not limited. In a team there have to be not less than twelve dogs.
  2. The limited. Organizers accurately stipulate quantity of dogs who can take part in race.
  3. Juniors. Racers more young take part than 18 years in race.
  4. Sprint. Dogs have to overcome a short distance – speed of a pace is checked.
  5. The remote. Race on long distances – has three subclasses:
    • long distances (to 500 km), there are a lot of control points and points of rest;
    • average distances (to 500 km), there are not a lot of control points, rest is not provided;
    • multi-stage races. Includes some stages, for example, sprint, average distances, long distances.
  6. Relay. Race consists of several teams which replacing each other have to deliver as soon as possible sledge with freight to the finish.
  7. The cargo. Race by which rules of a dog have to carry a certain freight, on a certain distance.
  8. Orientation to districts. Racers have to pass the unfamiliar route by means of the card and a compass.

Sports with participation of draft dogs

Today it is not obligatory to go for thousands of kilometers to the country of eternal ices and snow at all to play sports with draft dogs. Besides, there are so many kinds of sport that it is not obligatory to buy dozen layek or huskies at all now. And, it is possible to go by dogs not only in the winter, but also in the summer!

  1. Pool. Towage of sledge (sledge). Carrying out time – winter. Participates one or two dogs and the athlete. Dogs are put to small sledge. From above on sledge freight keeps within (depends on the weight of dogs and on their floor). The person is towed on skis behind sledge (he is connected with them by a depreciation cord).
  2. Skidzhoring. Carrying out time – winter. One dog and the person – towage of the skier participates.
  3. Sit-ski. One dog and the person participates. Carrying out time – winter. A kind of a pool, only a difference that in sledge the person sits. The main difference from the previous sports – the racer does not help a dog in any way. This sport it is possible to check, whether there is in general at an animal an aspiration to pull freight and to be a draft dog.
  4. Cards reysiz. Towage of wheel crews. Carrying out time – summer. One-two dogs and the athlete who is in four or three-wheeled to the card (cart) participate.
  5. Bike reysiz. Carrying out time – summer. Towage of the person by bicycle one or two dogs.
  6. Pedestrian race. Carrying out time – summer, fall, spring. One dog and one athlete participates. It is generally used as a way for maintenance of dogs and people in a good physical form out of competitions.

Choice of a draft dog

Certainly, to take part in riding sports, it is necessary to get a dog which ancestors were specially brought by the person for towage of sledge, for which race on snow-covered fields the same passion as hunting for hunting dogs. Nevertheless, as practice shows, riding it is possible to make a dog practically of any breed, the main thing that your canine friend on whom you lay hopes, had the strong constitution, was above average height and possessed ability to training. In a team of such dog you will not put, but to teach to tow the skier or sledge – it is quite possible. Perfectly proved in riding sport of a kurtskhaara, dratkhaara, German shepherds, Dobermann terriers, airdales. These dogs excellent sprinters – they are capable to win if sprint is necessary.

If you seriously decided to be engaged in races on dogsleds, pay attention to dogs of breed a Siberian Huskies, an Alaskan malamute, the Samoyed, the Chukchi draft dog, a Gronlandshund, chinuk, and also to metises of these breeds of dog. It should be noted that good working draft dogs look at all not as champions of the same breed on beauty because for these dogs thorax volume is more main, endurance and desire to go forward, but not a color, length of a tail and posts of ears is long paws.

It is necessary to buy a dog for races not more young than half a year – by this time it is already visible, the puppy or not as he runs is harmoniously difficult, whether there are at it no exterior shortcomings which will disturb the equal course. It is best of all to look for for himself the workmate for sport in specialized nurseries which part the working line, but not show dogs. If all of you decided to get a kurtskhaar or a dratkhaar, how practice shows, animals who are not adapted for hunting are suitable for riding sport.

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