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.
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.