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Mushers on thin ice!

MUSHERS WERE literally skating on thin ice when they tackled the truly Siberian conditions with their four-legged friends at the Aviemore Sled Rally in Glenmore, Scotland two weeks ago.
More than 230 teams and 1,000 dogs took part in this year's sled dog rally, organised by the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain and sponsored by Arden Grange.

The treacherous icy conditions, which have also created havoc on the area's roads that week, led to all the races having to be cancelled on Saturday morning.

Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain spokeswoman, Judy Wakker, said that the trails were covered in thick ice – putting the skids under a substantial part of the racing timetable.
She added: ‘All the people who were there went out in the trail with shovels and pick axes, trying with anything that had a pointy edge to break the ice, but to no avail. It was a great team effort all round.’

Contesting the races were teams of two to eight dogs, pulling sleds at up to 20 miles per hour over the four-mile track which sits in the shadows of the Cairngorms.

Mrs Jo Brecknell (39), from Tomatin, took part in the two-dog class with her two-year-old huskies Reef and Panda and picked up a fourth place in their first outing of the season.

‘I expected to come somewhere in the top ten places, so I was very pleased to come fourth.’
Mrs Brecknell was also placed best overall female musher and the dogs achieved the best placed bitch team award.

She has been competing for the last ten years and won the three-dog race in 2000 with some of her now-retired huskies.

The Arden Grange Aviemore Sled Dog Rally is the biggest event in the British husky calendar. ‘This is the biggest entry we have ever had,’ added Judy Wakker.