The Year That Was 2018 – CTSHC Sled Dog Derby

The only other race weekend I would make it to in 2018 was the Central Territories Siberian Husky Club two-day meeting held on August 25th and 26th. Three events are held on this weekend at Waitarere Forest. The Autumn Burn and Sled Dog Derby on Saturday and the Siberian Husky Challenge on Sunday morning.

This year I was unable to make the Autumn Burn due to recovering from a winter virus and wanting to have the energies for the rest of the weekend. So, didn’t make the morning Autumn Burn race. I arrived mid-afternoon Saturday and hooked in with organisers and convoyed into the forest for the Sled Dog Derby.

Sled Dog Derby convoy
Sled Dog Derby set up

Everyone settled in their parking spots then gathered for the mushers briefing. The grounds here were wet and muddy in places. The trail was looking good though.

Sled Dog Derby conditions
Sled Dog Derby musher meeting

I spotted some beautiful sunlight filtering through the forest, creating lovely warm tones that I couldn’t resist.

Sled Dog Derby forest sunlight

While we all waited for the temperature to drop down cool enough for racing to start, I enjoyed capturing the feel of the afternoon. The connection between dogs and mushers.

Sled Dog Derby environment
Sled Dog Derby exercising dogs
Sled Dog Derby human dog connection

Catching the start of the single dog scooter class. Power and determination shown by all, no matter what the breed of dog.

Sled Dog Derby single dog scooter
Sled Dog Derby single dog scooter
Sled Dog Derby single dog scooter
Sled Dog Derby single dog scooter

Two dog scooter class followed with equal energy. Dog handlers an integral part of the start and quick to step away when the dogs are released.

Sled Dog Derby two dog scooter
Sled Dog Derby two dog scooter

On finishing the race, it is time for recovery, a drink of water, rubs and cuddles from the musher.

Sled Dog Derby after race drink
Sled Dog Derby after race rub

By the time the rigs were lining up to start it was early evening and darkness had fallen. This image showing one of the multi-dog rig teams lined up ready to go.


Sled Dog Derby rig race


Being dark now and my energies depleted, I packed my gear away for the night and readied for the drive out of the forest and home for a good sleep, to return again Sunday morning.


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