German championships

by vickie pullin

So the team headed out to France to train and race the snow – which went off to a good start training 5 hounds on the sled (too much fun).

On day 3 the news came of our race been cancelled due to lack of snow, absolutely gutted And desperately trying to find another race or plan it sounded like Europe was struggling all over, but then luck had it we could get a race over at the German champs. So 8 hour drive it was then. We did one last training day packed up and hit the road…..

Driving in Germany we found out the race was 10.8k which for my team is a long way, after much thought I decided to run the euros at the front tov and vax and then the greysters at the back and leave Rio out for this one as she is young and it was too far for her. My plan was if too much for the dogs then we simply stop. But there was no need for the that- over the 3 days the dogs did epic. Proud does not even come close.

Day 1. Mission to get round safely. Mission complete. One small tangle other than that no problems. Super chuffed and a bonus we were sat in second.

Day 2. We ended up catching 1st very quickly and then the dogs worked really hard chasing – we went for the over take but the dogs opted for a snow dip to cool off. I pulled up and let the dogs catch a breath then set of again. Again catching 1st but again dogs looking hot and working hard so made the call to stop for a while. Once we set off again 1st was no where to be seen but this was a good thing as it meant the team could run in safely and complete another clean run. Today I learnt a lot about my dogs and how hard they work and how best to race them. I should have over took sooner and just let them run holding he brakes increased work load and made life hard for my team. Once I got in and checked all dogs I spend all afternoon rehydrating and making sure he team would be fit for day 3 as this was a long race. So much fluid I was up most of the night dropping dogs – totally worth it.

Day 3. Mission to complete the race safely. So after the first 2k we had a near miss with an on coming team (everyday a school day!) but all ok and no tangles then we saw 1st place, we got so close last 2k and then the dogs try to cut the corner (Training needed) to catch them and we got stuck in the deep snow. After recovering the team and sorting a tangle and checking the dogs for the first time in the 3 days I thought right team we have a race to do…. with only about 1k left and dogs looking awesome it was suddenly all the play for. So we set of with no sign of 1st place and jay ran or hearts out. The dogs were epic and completed the race so strong with wagging tails – I was over the moon and greeted with the team ahead, we congratulated each other and praised the dogs on the finish line and headed back to the van to sort the dogs out. Later on I was told we had won the race by 2 seconds I was absolutely over the moon, a huge bonus to an already fantastic race. To win first on the snow was unreal and the greysters first race on snow. Just love my dogs too much. Absolutely amazed with what they achieved and had so much fun sharing it with them.