Sportsmanship Award

The Red and Black Team, with Musher Bridgett Watkins, was awarded the Sheep Mountain Sportsmanship Award at the Finish Banquet of the Sheep Mountain 150.

The story... as told by Bridgett:

"I was having the best run of the race in the mountains with the full moon lighting up the trail and the landscape. About two hours into the run Cutter and Roy, my wheel dogs, kept looking back at the sled. Finally I looked back and was instantly startled. I saw a wolf chasing my team!

"But, as I looked closer, I saw the small husky shaped wolf was wearing a red harness. Obviously a sled dog had gotten lost from it's team. So, I stopped and said hello, but it was scared of my team - who was loud and barking to go. It wouldn't let me catch it.

"So, for the next hour, it ran right next to my heels and I talked to it and tried to reach down and pet it. I stopped over and over again, trying to catch it. Finally, after I talked to it for a long time, it walked up to me and I was able to pet it. She was scared and I would be too, if I lost my team.

"But then I didn't know what to do. If I put her in harness in my team, I thought that I'd be disqualified for having 13 dogs. She certainly didn't want to ride in my sled bag and I was sure that my dogs probably didn't want to carry her through the remaining mountains. I also thought about the musher who had lost her and how worried they must be right now.

"So, finally I decided to tie her to a spruce tree that was right next to the trail. She would be standing nearly in the trail and I was sure that every team would have to maneuver around her. I felt bad leaving her, but I decided that was the best thing to do.

"When I got into the checkpoint I immediately told the Race Marshall about her and where he could find her if no one brought her in with their team. As it turned out, the team and dog were reunited and they arrived at the Eureka Checkpoint only one hour after me. Thank goodness that it all worked out!"