Friday, March 31, 2017

End of Season Dog Fan Club Draw

To mark the end of the season we made one final Dog Fan Club draw. Thank you all so much for joining our Dog Fan Club. We love that you love our dogs as much as we do!

The Dog Fan Club is now closed but check back at the start of October when we will open it up again for the new season.

Congrats to Lyn MacDougall, Violet's fan and Jaylee Bousman and Emily Lucas who are fans of Creamer.

Violet made the "big time" this year, culminating in running the Iditarod in the Red Team. She is a talented sled dog and the biggest snuggler. She will literally climb up into your arms and happily be carried around.

Creamer ran with Chris in both the Two Rivers 100 and the Northern Lights 300 this year. We are excited about her prospects next season.

You both win a "Lead On, Aliy!" T-shirt promoting the the "Lead On' campaign in association with ANDVSA and Matson, plus a signed Verizon "Better Matters" Poster. We hope you enjoy your packets thanks to two of our Lead Dog sponsors, Matson and Verizon.

To find out more about the Lead On campaign, and how to donate go to All moneys donated during March, April and May will go towards helping children from the villages along the Iditarod Trail attend the Lead On! Conference in November.

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Thanks again for being part of our Dog Fan Club! We appreciate your support.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

ID: Black Team Video

From Ceremonial Start in Anchorage to the Finish Line in Nome, here is a small portion of the Black Team's journey in the 2017 Iditarod.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ID: Black Team Wrap-Up

A few weeks after the race Allen gives his thoughts on the team that carried him 1000 miles from Fairbanks to Nome.

What can you say about Scout that's not already been said? He's outlasted almost all his siblings and still came in lead at the finish line of another 1000 mile race - his #12! That should say it all in a nutshell. There is nothing he hasn't done in the last few years in any race we put him in, and still never ceases to amaze with his longevity. He's a great dog.

Olivia was on all the championship teams and we were a little worried about putting her in this team; it was kind of a last minute decision but she had no injuries this year and she performed like a superstar. This was #11 1000 mile race for her.

You keep throwing adversity in Waylon's face and he keeps coming out on top, whether it is having a dog with no hair or just had one of his toes amputated; he still never ceases to amaze. He ran in lead for at least half of the race. He has a lot of heart and I wish we had more dogs just like him and we would be even more successful.

Willie is another "old one" and this will probably be his last 1000 mile race. It's good to have all these older dogs that were on the winning Quest teams and 2nd place Iditarod teams. It is good to see him pass the torch on to the youngsters and teach them as well as he has. Good boy Willie.

Scooter is the best cheerleader a team could ever have. She will always make you smile, even at mile 800 when we just did a long run and I asked them "are you ready to go" and she is up going "ape" like she hadn't run all year. She was the motivator to get the team up and ready to go, just like she has always been. She's a great dog, she eats well and another great "oldie".

Chemo is steady. He has always been steady. He's not the fastest dog we've ever had but I had him in lead for 300 miles at the beginning because he is a steering wheel and could get us through any difficulty with ease. He is just a relaxed kind of a dog and I enjoy having him on the team.

It's funny to say but now even Outlaw is getting older; it's hard to see him as an "older dog". He's had a few injuries this year and we wondered how he would do in another 1000 mile race but he came through and worked through all the injuries and performed well without ever hesitating. He's a good steady wheel dog that likes to go.

Probably the best asset that Clyde has, and has always had, is his appetite. If we could have more dogs with his appetite we would have a much better team; that's why we have bred him several times in the last couple of years to get that trait. With appetite you have energy and usually they always finish because of that - him and his offspring.

Chipper the fireball - all 32 pounds of her. Running the Quest wasn't enough for her and she thought she should run Iditarod in lead for most of the time. She is 32 pounds but has the heart of a 70 pound dog - whenever we get to a checkpoint people think she's a puppy but she soon lets them know that she is not with her attitude.

Lydia is another petite gal that likes to lope and go fast as much as she can. She also was in lead for a few hundred miles but the hardest thing about her is you can't see her when she's in lead so you don't know what she's doing. But, again, she pulled through and finished another 1000 mile race and that makes her a superstar.

Chena was probably the biggest stand out on the team. She can easily be in the "A" team and probably will be from now on. She led for several hundred miles also and she's a driving force when in lead. It's hard to tell because when the team is resting she acts like she wants to rest forever, until you get up to go. Then you see what type of dog she really is - which is a driving force.

Nomex has definitely come in to his own. He was probably second to Chena and surprised me more than most dogs. He has been prone to injury - in the Quest he had to stop 500 miles in. But he recovered and we were worried about him getting injured again. Thankfully he proved us wrong! He was always happy, energetic and liked to eat, and always wanted to flirt with the girls.

Tinder was a great dog for probably three quarters of the race. Gastro intestinal issues hampered him from finishing the race strongly. He didn't eat well for a while and that hurt him as far as energy level, thus I dropped him at White Mountain as he ran out of energy. Since we've been home he's been eating well, is 100 percent and will be a great dog in the future.

Hotshot's a funny dog. He was one of the last picks for the team because he actually tries too hard and to my pleasant surprise, going into the 24 hour layover he was a rock star. I was so surprised, I even told Aliy at the Galena that he's as good as any dog I had at that point. That's the good news. The bad news is, when we left our 24 hour layover he seemed like he was hurt on every joint thus he scampered into the the next checkpoint slowly and was not pulling for 50 miles so I decided to leave him at Huslia - the halfway point. As always, he tried a little too hard and that's probably where the injuries come from but it was good to see him make it halfway through he race.

Five is definitely like his father in his eating which helped him have a lot of energy. Most two year olds have a lot of hurdles to get through in a 1000 mile race and he kept amazing me with how strong he was at the end of every run. He started to get sore wrists, which I wrapped and I promised to drop him at the next checkpoint if he got sore, but midway through the run he excelled so I didn't drop him and didn't drop him... until suddenly we were at the finish. Can't ask any more from a two year old that what Five gave.

Scooby is another crazy two year old. He too, tries too hard but he got over that hurdle and started settling down into a steady trot and as the race went on grew stronger and stronger. He got more and more confident and realised that we were not going to stop. As the finish line approached he got excited, every though he's never been to the finish line he knew something was going on, I guess he sensed that from his more mature team mates. Hopefully that enthusiasm for the finish line will help us in the future coming into Nome with him on the team.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Olympic Litter in Harness

Why do they...? How do they...? What the...?

Anyone who has ever asked "How do you get the dogs to run?" should watch this video. The answer? "They just do".

Aliy and Ruth took the Olympic puppies for their first run in harness on Friday and they pulled from the moment the sled left the kennel to the moment they got back. It is always so exciting to see a puppy's inherent desire to pull without any instruction or practice.

Quito, Waylon, Nacho, Olivia, Biscuit and Nutmeg provided some experience up the front and looked just as excited as the pups!

We run the pups without neck lines for the first time to see what they do; to get an idea of what's on their mind. A neck line will often mask that. Later on, early next season, as they start learning trail manners we will periodically put neck lines on them to help them make the right decision with passing teams or crossing other trails.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Nome Council 200 Wrap Up and Video

Congrats Bridgett and the R&Bs!

At the starting line

Here are some thoughts from Bridgett about her stellar team:

Chena ran in lead the whole race - she is excellent. Chemo is great too but set a slower pace so he was moved back in a in a team position and was most powerful in the hills.

Chipper was as sassy as a dog can possibly be and ran in lead a lot including coming across the finish line in lead. Lydia was the most driven dog and also ran lead but looked to her sister Chena for the all the commands.

Topkok Shelter Cabin, Climbing the Topkok hills

Amber ran in single swing and was the cheerleader. Nomex can spot any kind of cabin, critter or snow machine from a far distance. He is the most aware was what’s going on and would tell me when we were coming upon anything.

Iron and Driver - the Big Boys - are awesome. When you tickle Iron’s belly he will roll over for a scratch. Driver is truly a sweetheart.

Outlaw and Clyde are tough and strong and you can tell why they win races. Willie has a heart of Gold - what a good boy.”

Chipper and Chena led over the line

Thanks to Kami for capturing some of this action.

All the dogs are now on their way back to the kennel having flown out of Nome this morning. Allen was in Anchorage to meet them and drive them home. Bridgett stays one more night to attend the Banquet and Prize giving.

Quadruple Dog Fan Club Draw

To mark the end of the racing season we did a quadruple Dog Fan Club Draw.

Congrats to Teresa Clark, Schmoe's fan, Jan Andersson, a fan of Olivia, Helen Gross who is a fan of Sanka, and Candace Korasick who is a fan of Cayenne.

Schmoe and Olivia

Schmoe is so enthusiastic, you can count on him to have a chat with you, whether he's lying on his dog house or running down the trail. Olivia is, quite simply, a superstar. There is nothing she cannot do: she's a media darling, supermom, Quest Champion, Iditarod runner-up and a happy, fun dog to have around.

Sanka and Cayenne

Sanka has a very promising career in front of her as she and her Coffee siblings and Golden Harness cousins head into their first season as "racing dogs". Cayenne is gorgeous! She so enjoys playing in the yard with her neighbour boys Scooby, Mismo and Scout, often racing around in circles interacting with all three at the same time.

You all win signed copies of both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod Race Guides plus a photo print portrait of your dogs, along with a few other kennel goodies. We hope you enjoy your packets.

We will do a final End of Season draw on March 31st. Everyone who has joined by the time of the draw and hasn't already won will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Nome Council 200 Winners!

Congratulations to Bridgett, Chemo, Chena, Amber, Chipper, Lydia, Nomex, Driver, Iron, Willie, Outlaw and Clyde!

They crossed the finish line in Nome in first place. We're so proud of you all.

We will get more details to you as soon as we have some.

Nome - Council 200 Race Update 2

The Team left the Council Checkpoint after an 8 hour rest. They will now travel back the trail that they took to arrive. This is now the SAME direction that the Iditarod teams go - of course this is super training for all the future Iditarod racers on the team. The dogs (and mushers) get more excited the closer they get to the finish.

Of course we are keeping an eye on the Blowhole and wind conditions at Johnson's Camp. All morning the wind has been very calm. Keep your paws crossed.

Here is a video from 2013 Iditarod of Aliy and the Red Team mushing on the western coast, you will see and hear the wind.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nome - Council 200 Race Update

Bridgett and her Red & Black Team are currently resting in Council. There is a mandatory eight hour layover at the checkpoint.

The team left Nome this morning at 10am with Chemo and Chena in lead, followed by Amber and Chipper, Lydia and Nomex, Driver by himself, then Iron and Willie and Outlaw and Clyde in wheel. After climbing over Cape Nome and passing Safety Roadhouse, they stopped to camp at the Topkok Shelter cabin - around 47 miles in - for three hours. After that rest the team climbed up over the Topkok hills and along the Niukluk River before arriving in Council.

The start was a mass start of the three entered teams, therefore there is no time differential to see out. They can leave exactly eight hours after they arrived and will return to Nome on the same trail they went out on. Nome friends Curtis and Kami were on hand to video the Start this morning. Thanks guys!

We have been watching the weather at the infamous "blowhole" as it can change in an instant from calm 3mph winds, as it was this morning when the team went through, to ferocious ground storms that Aliy and Pete Kaiser experienced on their way to Nome just a couple of weeks ago. Check out the Alaska Snow, Water and Climate Services website here. I believe Johnson's Camp is in the blowhole area.

We'll be watching the tracker overnight to see what's going on as they head home to Nome. GO TEAM!!

Two Rivers Valley Funale

We had great fun putting together the teams for the Valley Funale today. Chris and Ruth stressed a little before the race start since Allen and Aliy were going to be their only race handlers. As you can imagine, Allen and Aliy needed to fill some pretty big 'handler shoes' after a season of Super Handlers at SPK. But, the kennel is lucky because Mark showed up half way through the event and lessened the pressure. Plus the Earle Family was there to pick up any slack.
Thanks Crew!

Ruth ran a team of entirely Olivia X Nacho puppies. In the 20 mile/10 dog class she took Junior, Spark, Tinder, Daisy, Hotshot, Creamer, Perky, Barista, Sanka and Bean. What a fantastically happy and somewhat caffeinated group of dogs. The leaders kept a swift pace and Tinder and Daisy were super excited to be in swing position. Hotshot was feeling all better after leaving Iditarod early at the Huslia Checkpoint. And the extra caffeine - provided by five of the Coffee Pups in the Team - allowed Ruth to edge out Chris by just a few seconds.
Olivia and Nacho puppies are the present and future of SP Kennel! Great race Ruth.

Ruth and the Olivia "caffeine team" come across the Finish line.

Chris raced a team of all Quito puppies: Woody, Mismo, Izzy, Wedgy, Felix, QT, Jefe, Dancer, Bruno and McCaw in the 20 mile/10 dog class. The big grins that Mismo and Woody had when crossing the finish line were priceless. Both boys did not cross the finish line in Iditarod, so they were tremendously happy to be 100% again and leading the charge. Izzy and Felix were a brother/sister 'one - two' punch and Wedgy was excited to be racing. Chris has spent a tremendous amount of time with the youngsters so racing the twins: Bruno and QT, little powerhouse Dancer, and the two Big Boys: McCaw and Jefe was a thrill to watch at the end of the season.

Chris and the Quito Pup Team come across the Finish line.

Moira ran a Potpourri dog team. A what?!?! That means there was no theme to her team but they are a marvelous mixed group of wonderful SP Kennel dogs.... just like a basket of Potpourri. Moira's team for the 10 mile/6 dog class was Quito, Olivia, Scruggs, Schmoe, Pepe and Rodney. Olivia and Quito ran in lead. (They said that they had to be on the race since many of their pups were out there on the course.) Schmoe has been so happy since Iditarod that he convinced Aliy to put him on the team by being the loudest howler Friday night ... pick me.... pick me... Pepe hadn't race yet this season so he got a chance today. Scruggs hasn't been in a race harness since the Copper Basin 300 and really wanted to spend some quality time with Moira before she returns to New Zealand. And Rodney wins the Most Enthusiasmtic Dog at SP for finishing both the YQ and ID and desperating wanting to do another race! Moira, as well as her six happy huskys, finished with smiles!

Moira and the Potpourri team come across the Finish line.

The junior races were such fun! Junior and Dutch raced in the two dog class with both Jacob and Timber and everyone had a blast. Jacob did well to recover after an excursion into the fence and Timber held on to finish with a clean run. Nice work boys!!

Jacob and Timber compete in the two dog class with Dutch and Junior

Chloe and Waylon teamed up for the one dog class and did GREAT! At one point Chloe lost her footing, ran behind the sled for a while then got right back on! They finished second in their class.

Chloe and Waylon; the kids races

Because we talk often about Rodney's appetite we decided to put our money where his mouth is and entered him in the "Hungry Dog" competition. He did well, but was clearly not the most "greedy" dog in the neighbourhood!

Thanks to the TRDMA and Pleasant Valley Store plus all the volunteers for once again putting on such a fun community event.

- Aliy

Thursday, March 23, 2017

'National Puppy Day' Dog Fan Club Draw

Happy National Puppy Day! To celebrate we did a random draw of everyone who is a fan of one of our three puppies. Congrats to Marilyn Cozzens who is a fan of GOLD.

Gold has endless confidence and energy and is just as stout as his dad, with a nice thick golden coat to match. In the next week or two he and his sisters Bronze and Prata will get their first taste of being real sled dogs as they get hooked up to a sled for the first time. We can't wait!

Marilyn wins an Iditarod car sticker and signed Race Guide plus a photo print portrait of Gold. We hope you enjoy your packet.

Keep an eye out for the next random draw. Everyone who has joined by the time of the draw and hasn't already won will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nome - Council 200 Race

Just as you thought the racing season was over... Bridgett will be taking a team of SP Kennel athletes on the Nome Kennel Club's Nome - Council race!

The race starts in Nome this Friday night or Saturday morning (depending on the weather) and the trail takes the teams through Safety towards White Mountain before hanging a HAW to Council. They then return back to Nome the way they came. It provides an opportunity for the dogs "experience the Topkok Hills and the Bering Sea coast, to run a section of the historic All Alaska Sweepstakes Trail, and visit the historic community of Council."

Bridgett knows the area well having lived in Nome for several years.

11 Iditarod finishers (who were all chomping at the bit a day or two after finishing the race): Chemo, Chena, Outlaw, Clyde, Chipper, Amber, Iron, Driver, Lydia, Willie and Nomex are hanging out in Nome for an extra week with Bridgett and get to add this race to their resumes.

Follow along on the trackers at and we will try to keep you updated as we follow along from the kennel.

We're excited for this team to finish off their racing season with something a bit different. For more info about each athlete click here to take you to the race roster.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ID: Heading Home

Today the dogs flew on their first leg of their journey home - from Nome to Anchorage.

We fly the dogs back on a cargo plane and the crew at Everts are experienced at shipping dogs teams from Nome - we are confident they are in good hands from the time we drop them off till we pick them up. We load the team into kennels that we'd shipped out prior to their arrival then they are secured and packed onto pallets before being carefully and skilfully forklifted into the plane.

Dutch takes the wheel in Nome

Chemo and Chipper enjoy the scenery in Nome

Commando with Bridgett and kennel friend (and Spark sponsor) Deb prior to getting secured and packed into the cargo plane.

Scout and Spark arrive safe and sound; unloading the sled

We'll stay one more night in Anchorage until the entire human crew gets here and we drive home to the kennel, picking up our mates from Margie's on the way.