Dog dies in mishap on Yukon Quest trail

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Top mushers in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race were closing in on the Circle checkpoint at late morning Monday and race officials reported that a dog died in a mishap.

Colorado musher Bill Pinkham lost his dog, Friendly, Sunday night. The team was coming down Eagle Summit outside Central when Pinkham lost control of his sled and it flipped over. One of the dogs became tangled in lines.

Pinkham tried to resuscitate the injured animal but after about five minutes realized it was dead. Pinkham loaded the dog into his sled and continued on to the next checkpoint in Central.

Thomas Tetz of Carcross was leading teams leaving the Central checkpoint. Tetz left Circle just before 1 a.m. His nearest competitor, William Kleedehn of Carcross, left central at 1:30 a.m.

Kleedehn was followed by David Butteri of Tok and Bill Steyer of Fairbanks. By late morning, 11 mushers had left Central.

From Central, the front-runners have a 75 mile run to Circle.

So far, three mushers have scratched.

Deborah Bicknell of Juneau dropped out of the race in Eagle Creek while Frank Turner of Whitehorse and Terry Asbury of Healy quit at Mile 101. Thirty-eight mushers remain in the thousand-mile race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse. The race began Saturday.

The first musher to reach Whitehorse will win $30,000.

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