'Old' spin put on new race: PSDRA to host last sled dog race of the season

Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009

As the winter winds down, it has held on long enough for the Peninsula Sled Dog and Racing Association to hold it's last event of the season, and this Sunday's race offers something new for something old.

"We wanted to encourage people to keep their older dogs in shape and not just let them fall by the way side, so we're trying something new with this last race of the year," said PSDRA Presdient Jill Garnet.

This Sunday will be the Ty Clark/Claude Bradford Memorial Race, which typically offers several different types of competition to dog owners.

"This will be a one-day race, and it will be a one- or two-dog skijoring, and a four-dog and an eight-dog class, but new this year there will be a four-dog senior sled dog race," Garnet said.

As to how the idea was born, Garnet said PSDRA members came up with it, after seeing some of their canine companions reach their golden years.

"One of our goals is too keep older dogs in shape," she said.

Not everyone has a whole team of senior dogs though, and Garnet said that will be taken into consideration for the event, but the more older dogs a person has, the better they may do.

"At least one dog in the team has to be 8 years old or older," she said, but explained that points will be given for dogs 8 and up, and will contribute to a time handicap. For example, someone with a whole team of 11-year-olds could come in a close second or third, but will move up in the standings against someone with only one 8-year-old after the calibration for dog's ages.

For those interested, the race meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the first race beginning at 10:30 a.m. The race orders, entry fees and lengths for the races are: skijor,$15 (4.5 miles); four-dog, $25 (4.5 miles); senior, $15 (four-dog, four-mile senior sled dog race); and eight-dog, $35 (8.5 miles)

Races pay to third place.

Registration prior to race day is encouraged and can be accomplished through the PSDRA Web sight at http://www.psdra.org/raceregistrationstep1.htm. On-line registration will close 24 hours before the race start time in order to process entry paperwork, but late sign-ups can be also done between 10 and 10:15 a.m. on the day of the race.

For more information on PSDRA, visit their Web site at http://www.psdra.org/.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@peninsulaclarion.com.

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