The Kennel Club’s Club Manager, John Golding, tackled the challenge of a lifetime earlier this year - and raised over £10,000 for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust in the process. John successfully completed a six-day dog sledding expedition on the Lapland Husky Trail in April, braving temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees celsius!
The Arctic adventure was John’s first ever experience of camping outdoors anywhere, and to do so in one of the most hostile environments on the planet was no mean feat. He faced a physically demanding 14 hour day throughout the trek, which saw him personally looking after a team of six Huskies. John was determined to raise as much money for the Charitable Trust as possible, whilst satisfying a lifelong ambition to run a team of dogs in the snow.
"It was an absolutely fantastic experience and definitely the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve done in my life," said John. "The scenery is so beautiful and the atmosphere so quiet. All you can hear is the runners on the sled, the clinking of the chains and the sound of the dogs’ paws going over the snow.
"It was wonderful to build up the relationship with the team of dogs over the course of the week and getting to know each dog’s individual personality. My lead dog was quite a character! The feeling of elation and sense of achievement at the end of the trek was great but there was also a sadness at leaving the dogs behind."
The Lapland Husky Trail started in Norway before crossing over the border into Sweden, and every day the all-important routine of looking after the Huskies began bright and early. The tasks included feeding and general preparation of the dogs, as well as putting up and taking down tents, making hot drinks and generally helping around camp. Each long day started and ended with the Huskies first, as they were central to the challenge, before John could enjoy the benefits of some food and rest himself.
John’s commitment to the challenge has seen him raise a staggering £10,696 for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. "I am absolutely delighted to have exceeded my own personal fundraising target for this expedition as I didn’t dare hope to raise this much. I would like to convey my sincere thanks to everybody who made a donation and supported me in this wonderful adventure," he said.
Mike Townsend, Chairman of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, congratulated John on his achievement. "John’s expedition to raise such a great amount for the Charitable Trust is a wonderful example of his commitment to help make a difference for dogs. We are incredibly grateful that he chose to represent both the Kennel Club and the Charitable Trust in such a challenging and far flung place as the Arctic," he said.
Anyone wishing to support the Charitable Trust can do so by sending a cheque for any amount, no matter how large or small, to Cas Oakes, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB. Cheques should be made payable to The Kennel Club Charitable Trust.