Matthew FailorHometown: Willow, Alaska
Matthew Failor, 36, was born and raised in Ohio. He says, “My family taught me a love of the outdoors; camping, fishing, canoeing, backpacking, hunting, were all things we did on family vacations. My mom and dad and brothers and sister all enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. My three brothers and I are Eagle Scouts.” He moved to Alaska in 2006 for a summer college job as a dog handler at Gold Rush Sled Dog Tours. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Photography from Ohio State University in 2007. He moved to Alaska permanently in 2008 to work with Matt Hayashida and train with him and his dogs. He has worked for various mushers and in 2010, he started handling for Martin Buser and ran his first Iditarod as Martin’s handler. He recently moved to Willow to run dogs under his own name. 17th Dog, Team Matthew Failor, is excited and eager to get back out onto dog mushing’s greatest stage, the Iditarod. “The dogs and I spend all summer, fall and winter together living as a family and learn to work towards a common goal, improving in everything we do and never stop learning. Twenty eight canines have become my immediate family now, however, Ohio will forever be called home.” Matthew is currently a dog trainer and has been manager of Alaska Icefield Expeditions for 12 years. He says he enjoys sports, staying active and is an avid outdoorsman.