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Mush, you mutts! Truckee sled dog races February 15, 16.

Mush, you mutts! Truckee sled dog races February 15, 16

As their drivers hurl commands and imprecations, the teams' dogs strain at the harnesses. Snow flying from blurred paws, the winning team crosses the finish line--six happy dalmatians. At the annual Sierra Sweepstakes Sled Dog Races, no one's picky about pedigrees. Past entrants have included big breeds from American coon to foxhound.

Still, the two-day series of races and sledpulling contests is fairly serious business, and competitors vie for a purse big enough to keep them in husky chow for several days. It's fun--and free--to watch some 60 teams compete. Races are run throughout each day from 9:30 to 5.

Courses are set in a loop, so you can see the start and finish; teams leave at timed intervals. Weight-pulling contests are held in four classes, from dogs under 50 pounds to more than 110 pounds. Here, a single dog is harnessed to a weight-loaded sled; from a dead stop, he must pull the sled 16 feet within 60 seconds, while his handler coaxes him from the finish line.

The event is held on February 15 and 16 at the Truckee Tahoe Airport, 2 miles south of Truckee on State 267. Admission ($1, 50 cents under age 12) supports the Guide Dogs for the Blind program.

Photo: Young driver in the pee-wee event gently urges her team of one down the chute at Truckee sled dog races
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sierra Sweepstakes Sled Dog Races
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1986
Words:238
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