The United States' Northeast Dog Sled Championships took place in the snowy hills of Vermont on Monday (20 January).
CU Sled dogs in their kennels
SV PAN Dog pulls child on sled
SV PAN Child pulled by three-dog team
SV Another three-dog team racing in Junior Class
SV Seven dogs pulling adult
SV PAN Another adult team racing
LV PAN Man sledding with three-dogs
SV Other adults racing (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: DAVID NOLAN: "The parking lot at a dog-sled championship looks more like a disorganised canine circus but somehow racers from all over New England and Canada seemed to know when to pull the right dog out of his mobile cane, hitch him up and enter the correct race. Juniors -- sixteen and under -- are limited to one and five dog teams. It's a break-in stage where kids sound like a pro quarterback calling signals. And it's a class where they, and not the dogs, exercise control. That situation reverses in the Senior competition. Higher classes depend on bigger teams. Their spirit is fierce as they wait for the meet to begin. Mixed-bred teams are common. Not everyone has the pure-bred Siberian husky that whisked Sergeant Preston across the North American tundra in pursuit of criminals for the Royal Canadian Mounties. Seniors track an eight-mile course, starting a long run through a spacious Vermont field, over a hill and through the woods. The strategy is purely physical, running with the dogs who follow the trail instinctively ... and usually run tirelessly -- although there's no guarantee that the dogs will finish in front of the sled."
Initials BB/1838 EW/MR/BB/1852
SPORT: DOG SLED RACING
This film is serviced with a commentary by reporter David Nolan.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United States' Northeast Dog Sled Championships took place in the snowy hills of Vermont on Monday (20 January). Racing enthusiasts brought dogs from all over New England and Canada to compete.
The Championships were divided into two sections -- Juniors (age 16 and under) and Seniors. Junior racers are restricted to teams of one or five dogs, whereas Seniors have as many dogs as they can handle.
Senior racing depends very much on the dogs' instinctive ability to follow the winding trail. But, in junior racing (with fewer dogs) the individual skill of the sled-racer plays a greater part in the strategy of the run.
The eight-mile (13 kilometre) Vermont course ran across fields, over hills and through woods to the e finish line. Not all the teams competing were made up of pure-bred Siberian huskies. Pedigree dogs can be difficult to get, and today's dog sled racers also use mixed-bred teams to good advantage.