On January 25th, the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race will take off from the Jackson Town Square for its 18th annual running. This year marks the expansion of the race's course from Wyoming into Montana, Idaho and Utah, covering a distance of 360 miles in nine days. The route will take the dogs and their mushers north into the Montana and Idaho sectors of Yellowstone National Park and then turn south along the Wyoming border before looping into Utah just northeast of Salt Lake City and finishing on February 2nd in Evanston, Wyoming.
The All-Alaska Sweepstakes was the first sled dog race run under an organized set of rules, in 1908. The Iditarod, first run in 1973 and also an Alaskan race, is the most widely known race, credited with renewing interest in dog sled racing after the invention of the snowmobile. Both of these races are long-distance courses, from three hundred to more than a thousand miles' duration. Mid-distance races range in length from one hundred to three hundred miles, and sprint races from four to twenty-five miles.
Frank Teasley. race Director, founded the IPSSSDR in 1996. Similar to the Tour de France, the International Pedigree is a staged race, in which a different segment of the race is run each day, and at night the teams rest at that day's destination. Sleds start at intervals rather than simultaneously, and run against the clock. A team of four veterinarians, all members of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association, will follow the dogs from stop to stop. Sponsored by Pedigree Food for Dogs, the race advocates responsible pet ownership and raises awareness of dogs' contributions to our lives. Pedigree also donates one year of food for one dog to each of the seven animal shelters along the race route. Learn more and see videos of these great, full-of-heart dogs in action at the official IPSSSDR website.
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