SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Allen's Talks About His Champion Team

I sat down with Allen and asked him about his team of Yukon Quest Champions!

Firstly he said he was really proud of his team and how they responded to all the challenges in the race. Some have been there before, many times, others haven't had as much experience and he said they all performed really well.

Quito (left) really is the "Golden Girl". She lead the team straight up Eagle Summit without missing a beat. She'll be the Golden Harness winner at the Yukon Quest prize-giving - an honor that is richly deserved as she has been such a strong leader for a couple of seasons now. She lead the team when it really mattered and showed she is the kennel's MVD. Who can forget her loping over the finish line in Fairbanks looking like she'd just been for 10 miles, not 1000 miles!

Olivia is another "Golden Girl"; she's a good steady leader that takes commands well and will go through any situation when asked! That's why Allen will normally have her in lead at the end of the race or during any difficut situation.

Scruggs is a good steady leader, but not a loping leader. In the last three years he has been as steady as any dog in the kennel and is a very important member of the team; always.

Scout is a great leader also; he was up there with Quito over Eagle Summit. He has a lot of drive in him and focus which is important over 1000 miles.

Beemer is kind of a moody dog but he's not flamboyant and sometimes, Allen said, he can forget he's there! He's always steady and that's what you need for a race like this.

Chica is a quietly understated dog and was an essential part of the winning team. She was lunging at the harness to leave checkpoints and steady and strong. She is one of three "Spanish" dogs in this team (along with Quito and Nacho), all of them are awesome!

Allen was extremely disappointed to leave Scooter in Dawson. She is such a good cheerleader for the team and had performed strongly in the first half of the race. Scooter is still a young dog at three years and could potentially be another Quito in terms of "super-stardom". She eats very well, she's a FAST dog and she lopes a lot which sometimes can cause injuries - which it did this year. If we can keep her injury free she will be as dominant a team dog as Quito is a lead dog.

Puppet surprised Allen. He has always rated her as a really good sled dog and she and he have a strong bond but in this race she really came into her own, she ran better than she ever had and was the hardest pulling dog up hills as Allen has ever seen. She can be skittish and a bit temperamental (you can't raise your voice with her), as long as you stay happy she will give you her all.

I.V. didn't make it all the way this time. She is inexperienced at 1000 mile races and the lessons she learned will be really valuable for her very bright future. She definitely could be the future Quito: she is a talented leader, she's fast and she's an eater. In fact, she's a copy of Quito in her early years. She has an exciting future!

Biscuit is a star always! No one is as steady as Biscuit, nor has as much energy - after nine miles or 900 miles. When you say "are you ready?" he is jumping in the harness no matter what. He is one you can put into lead in challenging conditions and you know he will go, whatever is in front of him.

Tatfish is always fun to have around. He works so hard and provides such entertainment along the trail that Allen was sad to leave him behind in Pelly Crossing. He's Biscuit's brother and what you say about Biscuit you have to say about Tatfish. They have been steady for years now and have won many races for us. When you say "Are you ready?" they are going to go - always. Storms, water... it doesn't matter.

This is the first race Allen has raced Waylon (right), he was surprised with his stamina. Waylon is a small dog with short hair so he needed extra attention to be kept warm in cooler conditions but that attention was repaid when he finished strongly after 1000 miles. He is a cheerleader; when you get ready to go he is cheering the team on, barking and lunging. Everyone loves cheerleaders!

Willie is an outstanding team dog although he can lead the team if asked. This is the first long-distance race Allen has run Willie and he was "super great!"

Nacho another Spanish superstar! He has endless energy and is such a good natured fella, he is great to have on any team.


kellerfrau said...

Yo! SPK supporters!

The Official Yukon Quest Team still needs your help!


"If you couldn't make it to Whitehorse or be along the trail to Fairbanks to volunteer in person, consider making a contribution to this Fundrazr which goes toward the veterinary care so critical to the dogs & also ensures we continue to provide the Facebook photos & updates for both the 30th running of the Yukon Quest & the 2013 YQ300!!
Donate $25 & we mail you a Yukon Quest 30th race patch or bumper sticker. Donate $50 for a patch & bumper sticker for supporting 30 years of the Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race.

Join me - I just gave 26 Dollars - you know, one for every second that Allen had to make up this year - YAY!

Lisa B said...

What a nice shout-out to the wonderful personalities and talents of the WINNING team. Congratulations once again - so very happy for Allen and the dogs. Well earned and well deserved - SP Kennel is the best!

Lourdes, VT said...

What can I say? It's a team of CHAMPIONS!!!

Melissa K. said...

Thank you for the details on all the superstars. I'm proud of all of them. Quito really deserves her Golden Harness.

Margaret said...

Thank you so much for this post on the CHAMPIONS...

I've read it over and over, and am so proud of all 4-legged team members and 2-legged ones, too!!!

What an achievement! The only husband and wife to have won the Quest!!!

Congrats yet again!

Jim S. said...

A few thoughts on the race..... The best MUSHER won with the best DOGS and the best HANDLERS and CREW from the BEST KENNEL. Thank you all for the great coverage of an exciting race. Looking forward to Iditarod.