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Dog dies in mishap on Yukon Quest trail

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Tok musher Peter Butteri had more than a half-hour lead over Fairbanks musher Joran Freeman coming into the Circle checkpoint Monday in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Butteri arrived at the checkpoint 235 miles from the race start in Fairbanks at 11:55 a.m. Freeman followed at 12:35 p.m.

Bill Steyer of Fairbanks and David Monson, also of Fairbanks, followed within two minutes of each other around 3 p.m. Shannon Brockman of Nenana was in fifth place, about five hours behind the leader.

By 6:30 p.m., 13 teams had reached the Circle checkpoint. From there teams head toward Eagle 175 miles away.

Race officials reported that Colorado musher Bill Pinkham had a dog die in a mishap Sunday night. Pinkham's team was coming down Eagle Summit outside Central when Pinkham lost control of his sled and it flipped over. The dog, Friendly, became tangled in lines.

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

So far, five mushers have scratched in the 1,000-mile race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, which this year carries a $125,000 purse.

Deborah Bicknell of Juneau and Terry Asbury of Healy dropped out of the race in Eagle Creek. Frank Turner of Whitehorse, George Carroll of Two Rivers and Peter Ledwidge of Dawson quit at Mile 101.

Turner, who has raced every Yukon Quest since it began in 1984, said he withdrew because too many of his dogs were injured. Some were experiencing shoulder injuries and another injured a back leg on an icy section of trial, he said.

Thirty-six mushers remain in the race, which began Saturday.

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



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