The dog teams in the 2023 Iditarod have blasted onto the trail! Most of us picture a musher raising puppies, training them into sled dogs, feeding, scooping poop, and making them into a team. But, what if a person wants to race with dogs, yet cannot keep a full dog kennel of their own?
Most years, there is at least one person running the race with a borrowed team. Sometimes, mushers will run the race with one or two dogs on loan from another musher’s kennel. For example, well-known musher DeeDee Jonrowe loaned one of her dogs, “Lion,” to #4, Mille Porsild, this year. Why? Maybe the team is missing a key bit of talent; the borrowed dog can fill that need.
#12, rookie musher Hunter Keefe, has a team of dogs belonging to Ramey Redington, son of Joe Redington, Sr. Joe was the man who started the race in 1973 to preserve the Iditarod Trail and the Alaskan sled dog tradition. #30, Christian Turner, from Australia, is running Mitch Seavey’s A team in the race. Mushers rate their dog teams; an A team is the most skilled. The B team is typically younger and just needs more practice. #22, Gerhardt Thiart, will also help Mitch Seavey by giving his B team dogs a learning run on the Iditarod; they will become more skilled for future races.
What are you wondering?
- Do the dogs run as well for a musher who is not their main musher?
- Is it the musher’s skill or the dogs’ skill that brings them into Nome?
Be sure to keep an eye on these mushers and their teams that contain borrowed dogs!
Until next time,