2017 Musher Profiles

1.) Jean-Marc Champeval

52 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: Whitehorse Canine Massage: Maintenance, Performance and Recovery Massages (867-332-3054); Aurora Booties: Our dogs just love Cindy’s booties! (@Aurora Booties on Facebook); Special thank you to Celine and Stephane for the headlamp.

Nationality: French and Canadian

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s):Finance and Budget Analyst – Yukon Government

Kennel Name: Can I Mush

Name Origination: My wife Christiane bought 5 retired dogs from Gerry Willomitzer to do some recreational dogsledding…I should never have tried to run the dogs after work for fun!

Kennel bloodlines: Gerry Willomitzer 

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 20

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?7

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: The team will be based on Blue’s two litters. They are 4 years old and 20 months old. They will be running the YQ300 with their mom. Hopefully it will help the yearlings to get through their first big race!

How did you get started running dogs? My wife’s sled dogs were available for me after work.

What do you love most about running dogs? Running dogs!

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY)

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To finish the race having happy dogs that are proud of themselves.

What music do you listen to on the trail?The music of my thoughts.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  It is always an “interesting” discussion between my daughter Eugenie, my wife and I. This is how the dogs end up with a mix of all kinds of names: Harry Potter, Painters, Physical traits, Personality traits…

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2015-16 – Carbon Hill – 7th; 2015 – Silver Sled – 10th; 2015-16 – Cinnamon Bun Run – 6th; 2015 – Percy de Wolfe Junior – 4th
 

2.) Claudia Wickert

35 year old YQ300 Veteran

Nationality: German

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s):GIS/Lands Technician

Kennel Name: Fox Creek Kennel

Name Origination: We live close to Fox Creek.

Kennel bloodlines: Kleedehn/Studer, Gatt

Breeds Included: Alaskans

Number of dogs in kennel: 27

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?9

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: We will be training 8 yearlings this winter. I am very curious to see how they perform, who will make Fabian’s team and who will be running with me.

How did you get started running dogs? As a guide. 

 What do you love most about running dogs? Pulling the hook…

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY)

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I am running a mix of yearlings and older dogs. I want them to have a good experience.

What music do you listen to on the trail?None.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? We pick a theme. 

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Two Rivers 200 – 13th; 2015 – YQ300 – 5th
 

3.) Melissa Schenke

29 year old YQ300 Rookie

Nationality: Canadian

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s):Registered Nurse

Kennel Name: Change of Pace

Name Origination: My dogs and I both came from very different lifestyles when I started my kennel.

Kennel bloodlines: Studer/Kleedehn, Willomitzer, Gatt

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 25

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?7

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Willis is the glue that holds this kennel together! Whether he actually makes a team for this race or not, his presence will be felt through all the pups he has helped to train over the last 2 years.

How did you get started running dogs? As a handler and guide for Uncommon Journeys.

What do you love most about running dogs? Running dogs!

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY)

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? A last hoorah for some of my older dogs and a good training run for my pups. Goal is to keep up with Claudia – unless she is running my “B” team, then I should try to stay ahead of her!

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? Each litter gets a theme: Flowers (Zinnia, Rosebud), Game of Thrones (Ghost, Khaleesi, Rhaegal).

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances:2016 – Bun Runner – 8th; 2015 – Percy de Wolfe – 13th
 

4.) Jacob Heigers

51 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: My long-suffering bank manager.

Nationality: South African/Canadian

From: Grizzly Valley, YT

Occupation(s):Construction

Kennel Name: isiBindi/Riverice

Name Origination: Our pack comes from the convergence of two kennels. ‘isiBindi’ is from the Zulu word, meaning courage. “Riverice’ means, well, exactly what it says. You need a bit of both, and lots of crazy, to run dogs.

Kennel bloodlines: Seppala, SH, AH, Chukchi 

Number of dogs in kennel: 30

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?9

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Will be running with the 2nd and 3rd generation of our foundation dogs.

How did you get started running dogs? It’s all a daze now.

What do you love most about running dogs? The smile of a happy husky.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race?  I’m running for my daughter.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? We plan it carefully and choose a theme, but end up giving random names instead!

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Hudson Bay Quest – 7th and Veterinarian’s Choice Award; 2016, 2014 – CBR and Silver Sled; 2014, 2013 – Percy 100 & 200 – Red Lanterns
 

5.) Olaf Thurau

53 year old YQ300 Veteran

Nationality: German

From: Bremerhaven, Germany

Occupation(s):Mechanic

Kennel Name: Sweet Muzzle

Name Origination: My wife Diana chose the name.

Kennel bloodlines: Our own

Breeds Included: Icebells, Mackey

Number of dogs in kennel: 34

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?22

Please share with us some stories about your dogs:Maxim is the mother of our 12 youngest dogs and she had a great season in 2016. The 4 ‘P’s’ were born April 2014 and the 8 “N’s’ in April 2015. We want to teach them as much as possible this winter, and we’re looking forward to seeing how they’ll make it.

How did you get started running dogs? We got our first Sibe, Sam, in 1993, then our 2nd in 1998, 3rd and 4th in 1999 and so on. I fell completely in love with these dogs and the sport.

What do you love most about running dogs? I don’t only love running the dogs, I love everything there is to do with them.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I like this race and my goal is to finish with happy dogs.

What music do you listen to on the trail?Nothing. I like the silence.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  Whatever name fits the dog. We also like to give a litter names which all start with the same first letter.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – YQ300 – 9th; 2016 – Copper Basin 300; 2013 – YQ300 – 4th; 2012 – Carbon Hill – 11th
 

6.) Kyla Boivin

34 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: My friends and family. More sponsors TBA.

Nationality: Canadian

From: Dawson City, YT

Occupation(s):Mother/Dog Musher. For work, whatever pays the bills.

Kennel Name: Dog Gone Racing

Name Origination: If it wasn’t for the dog gone racing, my life would be simpler – and more boring. And where have the dogs gone? Racing!

Kennel bloodlines: Kleedehn, Guimond, Cowboy Smith, my own

Breeds Included: Husky dawg

Number of dogs in kennel: 15

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?34

How did you get started running dogs? My dad trapped with dogs when I was growing up. Got my own team in 1995.

What do you love most about running dogs? Being on the trail with my favorite friends – my dogs.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I have never run it, I’ve always run the 1,000 mile. My goals are to give some race experience to my young team.

What music do you listen to on the trail?The sound of the dog’s feet rolling down the trail.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? Interesting words! I only have 3 rules for dog names: 1) No people names, 2) No naming a dog after another dog, and 3) must be 2 syllables or less.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Percy de Wolfe – 4th; 2008 – Yukon Quest – 13th; 2007 – Yukon Quest – 15th; 2003 – Yukon Quest – 15th
 

7.) Magnus Kaltenborn

27 year old YQ300 Veteran

My sponsors: Maren Bradley, Caribou Crossing Trading Post, friends and family

Nationality: Norwegian

From: Mount Lorne, YT

Occupation(s):Dog musher

Kennel Name: Far and Away Racing Kennel

Name Origination: It seemed to fit in so many different ways 

 Kennel bloodlines: Buser, Gebhardt, Osmar, Studer/Kleedehn 

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 30

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?9

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Our kennel all consists of a wild bunch of predominantly young dogs from a few different litters, with a few older experienced dogs mixed in. You can usually hear us coming for miles around.

How did you get started running dogs? As a handler for Martin Buser.

What do you love most about running dogs? The dogs, the outdoors and the competition.

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY)

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To see what’s what.

What music do you listen to on the trail?Chris Ledoux, Turbonegro

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? We pick a theme for each litter, our most recent litter are named after ultra marathons: Hard Rock, Badwater, Wasatch, Barkley, Kona, Kepler, Silverton and Leadville.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2011 – Iditarod – 33rd; 2011 – Northern Lights 300 – 6th; 2010 – YQ300 – 2nd; 2010 – Copper Basin 300 – 19th
 

8.) Thomas Verin

43 year old YQ300 Rookie

My Sponsors: ALX Exploration Services, C&D Feeds, Octogon Report, Alpen Huskies, family & friends.

Nationality: French

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s): Wood-shop craftsman in the mining industry, co-owner/operator & guide at Alpen Huskies (www.alpenhuskies.com)

Kennel Name: Alpen Huskies

Name Origination: We come from the French Alps and flew from there with a team of 12 dogs 2 years ago.

Kennel bloodlines: King, Swingley, Sorlie

Number of dogs in kennel: 23

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?16

What do you love most about running dogs? Travelling with them in the silence

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? 1) To survive, 2) To finish, 3) To learn a lot.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? It depends on their characters and the inspiration of the moment.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Christmas Classic – 8th; 2015 – Carbon Hill – 4th; 2014 – Alta-Via (Italy) – 1st; 2010 – Femundlopet 400 (Norway) – 48th
 

9.) Chase Tingle

33 year old YQ300 Veteran

My sponsors: Bill and Rita Tingle, Connie, Terry and Zuni Eddy

Nationality: American

From: Two Rivers, AK

Occupation(s):Guide

Kennel Name: Tukaway Sled Dog Kennel

Name Origination: Tuk is my first dog. She lead me down every wrong path we could have ever taken, but we ended up right where we wanted to be!

Kennel bloodlines: Currier, Mackey, Little

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 25

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?11

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: The core of my team is built around my seven 2-year olds. They are an incredible bunch of dogs all named after different kinds of Jeeps. Most of them ran in my YQ300 team last year as yearlings. This year, let’s see what they can do a year older!

How did you get started running dogs? Guiding in my home state of New Hampshire.

What do you love most about running dogs? It’s nothing but a good time!

Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? Other than preparing the team for our future Yukon Quest run, it seemed like a good reason to drive to Whitehorse for a cup of Tim Horton’s.

What music do you listen to on the trail?Dog feet on the trail.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – YQ300 – 16th; 2016 – Two Rivers 200 – 20th; 2015 – Solstice 50 – 18th; 2014 – YQ300 -2nd
 

10.) Hans Gatt

58 year old YQ300 Rookie

Nationality: Canadian

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s): Musher/Sled Builder

Kennel bloodlines: Gatt

Number of dogs in kennel: 25 race dogs

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?28

How did you get started running dogs? Watching a race.

What do you love most about running dogs? Watching them perform at their best is magical. 

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? ITC

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I have never run the 300 and it looks like fun.

What music do you listen to on the trail?None – I focus on the dogs.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? Susie does it. 

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2010 – Iditarod – 2nd; 2002-04, 2010 – Yukon Quest – 1st; 1997-98, 2000-01 – Wyoming Stage Stop – 1st
 

11.) Susie Rogan

50 year old YQ300 Veteran

Nationality: Canadian

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s):Property Management, dog kennel

Name Origination: Haven’t stopped to think one (kennel name) up.

Kennel bloodlines: Gatt

Breeds Included: Sled dogs

Number of dogs in kennel: 25 race dogs, plus retirees

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?8

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: I will be running a team of 7 dogs from one litter who will be 20 months old, along with some 3 year olds, so it should be a lot of fun. The first race for most of my team. These are very noisy, energetic, happy pups.

How did you get started running dogs? Skiijoring. Got too many dogs, bought a sled. Then met Hans, who is into sleds. 

 What do you love most about running dogs? The dogs and the wilderness. Same as most people, I guess.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I’m doing this for fun, period. My goal is to introduce a bunch of great young dogs to distance racing.

What music do you listen to on the trail?I don’t bring a gadget. Nothing.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? I pick each name individually, no themes. Maybe I’ll be listening to a song and it jumps out at me, ex. Rambler (I was listening to an amazing version of Midnight Rambler). 

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2013 – Yukon Quest – 10th; 2012 – Percy de Wolfe 200 – 3rd; 2011 – YQ300 – 5th; 2009 – YQ300 - 4th 
 

12.) Gerry Willomitzer

47 year old YQ300 Veteran

My sponsors: Skookum Asphalt, Nuway Crushing, Eldorado Logbuilders

Nationality: German-born Canadian

From: Shallow Bay, YT

Occupation(s):Log Building Contractor

Kennel Name: Blackjack Racing Kennel

Name Origination: A leader named Jack and mushing is a gamble 

Kennel bloodlines: Kleedehn, Mackey, Seavey

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 50

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?20

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: We are training up a new, young group of dogs for “another kick at the can” (=a few more years of distance mushing).

How did you get started running dogs? As a handler for William Kleedehn. 

What do you love most about running dogs? The dogs, and being away from phones and email.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? Train a young group of dogs.

What music do you listen to on the trail?The sound of silence… (and Deep Purple).

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? We (myself and my wife Darcy) name them after themes. We just had a litter born on Mother’s Day, so they will be Mother Jones, Mother Theresa, Mother Superior, Mama Mia, etc.; you get the idea.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Wyoming Stage Stop – 7th; 2004-14 – Copper Basin – 2X 2nd place, 2X 3rd place; 2003, 2009, 2011 – YQ300 – 1st in 2011; 2007-13 – Iditarod – best placement: 13th; 2004-07 – Yukon Quest – best placement 3rd
 

13.) Nathaniel Hamlyn

22 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: Family and Friends

Nationality: Canadian

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s):Student – Fisheries and Oceans (Technician)

Kennel Name: Step Up Kennels

Name Origination: I am always trying to improve both racing and overall kennel management. Therefore it seemed fitting, a catchy motivational name.

Kennel bloodlines: Palfrey, Buser

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 13

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?6

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Gremlin is my favorite dog, the perfect mix of crazy and mellow. He is really calm at home but gets everyone amped up when it’s time to work. That is the temperament I like in my dogs. 

How did you get started running dogs? My parents bought two Siberian huskies who dragged me around. I learned from friends afterwards how to manage a team and got hooked.  

What do you love most about running dogs? The lifestyle that comes with the sport, including camping and living in the woods with 13 furry friends.

Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY)

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race?  I entered to get a taste of the Yukon Quest and challenge myself in a 300 mile race. My goal is to finish with a good-looking team.

What music do you listen to on the trail?Mostly country, some rap and rock too.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? Most were already named when I bought them. However, any upcoming litters will be based on themes (ex. Gun parts/brands). 

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Silver Sled – 5th; 2016 – Hudson Bay Quest – 6th; 2016 – Bun Runner – 4th; 2015 – Percy de Wolfe – 5th
 

14.) Roger Lee

53 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: W.A. Lee, Ron and Melody Stokes, David Nymen, Restoration Science and Engineering - Anchorage

Nationality: American

From: Birkenhead, England

Occupation(s):US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, BSc Bioenvironmental Engineer

Kennel Name: Team Janssen

Name Origination: Scott Janssen, the “Mushing Mortician”’s, family name

Kennel bloodlines: Gebhardt, Seavey, Reddington, Osmar

Breeds Included: Racing Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 83

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?3 years dogsledding experience, 16 years skijoring

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Standing out for me, “Queenie” and “Cutie Pie” have amazed me as leaders, and “Cosmo” and “Iceman” have given me constant morale, strength and encouragement. All the dogs astound me with their drive and enthusiasm. I hope to be able to take the lessons learnt from my previous races and many training runs and have an enjoyable 300 mile extravaganza experience out of Whitehorse for the dogs and myself.

How did you get started running dogs? I started winter hiking and cross-country skiing before being introduced to skijoring when I moved to Alaska in 2000. I volunteered as an Iditarod dog handler, completed qualifying races and signed up for the Iditarod.

What do you love most about running dogs? The spirit of adventure, the excitement of running a dog team, the silence and calmness, and traversing wonderful wilderness to experience the gold rush and mail trail pioneer spirit.

Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? ITC

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? As a training experience for a 2017 Iditarod run. Also to improve my relationship with the dog team and fine-tune our trail and checkpoint discipline.

What music do you listen to on the trail?Heavy metal/rock.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? Team Janssen family members/friends/animals.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Copper Basin 300 – 22nd; 2016 – Northern Lights 300 – 20th; 2015 – ACE Race – 20th; 2015 – Knik 200 – 25th
 

15.) Scott Janssen

55 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: Janssen Funeral Homes, Rosenacker & Associates, The Robbins Agency, Wilkens Electric, Dr. Jim and Keri Lord, Andy and Ginny Hepola, Live Oak Bank

Nationality: American

From: Anchorage, AK

Occupation(s):Mortician, Funeral Director, Musher

Kennel Name: Team Janssen

Name Origination: Family name

Kennel bloodlines: Gebhardt, Seavey, Reddington, Osmar

Breeds Included: RacingAlaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 83

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?15

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Eagle is a 4 year old female; she became my best leader during the 2015 Kusko and Iditarod. She is also my smallest dog! I hope to have two other mushers run dogs from my kennel in the race.

How did you get started running dogs? Friend/sponsor of Paul Gebhardt for 20 years.

 What do you love most about running dogs? The freedom/isolation.

Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? ITC

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I love the country it runs through and just have always wanted to run the Quest!

What music do you listen to on the trail?Norman Greenbaum, Spirit in the Sky; Classic Rock – Pink Floyd, The Doors, etc.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? After family members/friends/animals/”Gods”

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2015 – Kusko 300 – 18th; 2015 – Knik 200 – 5th; 2012 – Iditarod – 38th; 2011 – Iditarod – 42nd
 

16.) Jason Biasetti

41 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: My family and friends

Nationality: Canadian

From: Dawson City, YT

Occupation(s):Landscaper

Kennel Name: Biasetti Kennels

Name Origination: Oh, I am sure you will figure it out.

Kennel bloodlines: Kleedehn, Studer, a little bit of Britten and Mackey

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 16

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?9

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Nice and Inca are my two leaders from my first litter and they will be leading a young dog team on the trail.

How did you get started running dogs? I was introduced by a friend.

What do you love most about running dogs? Being on the trail with my dogs.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To finish with a happy dog team.

What music do you listen to on the trail?None.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? I just choose them. 

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Percy de Wolfe Jr. – 1st; 2015 – Percy de Wolfe – 3rd’; 2014 – Percy de Wolfe – 8th

 

17.) Michelle Phillips

48 year old YQ300 Veteran

My sponsors: Alaska RV Discovery Tours, Fujitsu, Carstar, Southern Lakes Resort, Johnson's Crossing Lodge, Intuition Liners, all of our friends, dog sponsors and family.

Nationality: Canadian

From: Carcross, YT

Occupation(s): Musher

Kennel Name: Tagish Lake Kennels

Name Origination: We live by beautiful Tagish lake

Kennel bloodlines: Our own

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 60

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?Many! 18

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Our dogs are our family! We have so many special dogs it’s hard to know where to start.

How did you get started running dogs? I met Ed!

 What do you love most about running dogs? Being with our dogs, the nature and the peace.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To have a great time.

What music do you listen to on the trail? Rock and Roll.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names? Themes, lots of different themes.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: Lots! Both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod.

 

18.) Lynne Witte

62 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: Royal Canin USA, dogbooties.com

Nationality: American

From: McMillan, MI

Occupation(s): Retired Elementary Teacher

Kennel Name: Nature's Kennel

Name Origination: Named after a favourite dog of Ed Stielstra's. I am running a young team from their kennel. 

Kennel bloodlines: Stielstra, Berkowitz 

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 150

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs? 8

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: My lead dogs, Puddle and Snow White, will lead a young team from Nature's Kennel.

How did you get started running dogs? Skijored and then started running sleds.

What do you love most about running dogs? Being outdoors with my dogs and travelling new trails.

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Luce County Mushers.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To run a young team and finish with healthy dogs.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  All of the names in a litter are based off of a litter theme.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2015 – Midnight Run; 2015 – Tahquamenon County 50 Mile; 2016 – Copperdog 100 – 2nd; 2016 – Ironline – 3rd

 

19.) Brian Kandler

34 year old YQ300 Rookie

Nationality: American

From: Mason, MI

Occupation(s): Government Affairs

Kennel Name: Kandler Racing

Name Origination: Currently accepting suggestions for a better kennel name...

Kennel bloodlines: Several. Many talented people have contributed to the lines of our dogs.

Breeds Included: Alaskan Husky

Number of dogs in kennel: 18

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs? 10

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: I have a dog named Emma who often runs lead in races. In the summer and fall, when not racing, she likes to do backflips trying to pick apples from the low-lying brances of an apple tree in our yard. Despite being a smaller dog, her persistence frequestly pays off; whether helping the team move down the trail, or jumping to secure another apple.

How did you get started running dogs? Started by letting a pet dog pull me on cross-country skis.

What do you love most about running dogs? Watching happy dogs do what they love and living an outdoor lifestyle.

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Luce County Mushers.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? I entered the race to see new trail and new challenges. My goal as a rookie is to take excellent care of my dogs and enjoy the race.

What music do you listen to on the trail?The music of the trail. I love music, but I haven't taken it with me on the trail.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  Litters of puppies are named based on a theme, like a movie or favorite sports team.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2015 - Great Northwoods Sleddog Challenge - 4th; 2015 - Midnight Run - 9th; 2016 - Midnight Run (100) - 8th; 2016 - Can-Am 100 - 5th

 

20.) Craig Houghton

44 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: My wife, mom, dad, sister and the Douglas Racing Team.

Nationality: Canadian

From: Fort St. James, BC

Occupation(s): High School Principal

Kennel Name: Craig & Sean Racing Dogs

Name Origination: My son and I work the kennel together, so the name just made sense.

Kennel bloodlines: A variety; Grant Beck, Terry Quesnel & my own.

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 20

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs? I've been racing for 20 years.

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: My kennel is a shared kennel between my son, myself and another musher, Ann Douglas. we all work together to get the kennel ready for racing . Ann Douglas works with all of the pups, and my son and I run the older dogs. This is a great system which keeps every dog working, all mushers training and doesn't break the bank!

How did you get started running dogs? I grew up running dogs. My father used them for trapping and camping trips.

What do you love most about running dogs? Watching each dog grow into an amazing  athlete.

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Fort Saint James Sleddog Association

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To see the trail, be part of the event and see how well I have trained my dogs compared to other teams.

What music do you listen to on the trail? None. As a school principal I value the silence!

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  The names come from a theme that my son and I decide on for each litter.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2016 – Hudson Bay Quest – Red Lantern; 2015 – Caledonia Classic – 2nd; 2015 – Yellowknife 150 - Red Lantern

 

21.) Marcelle Fressineau

62 year old YQ300 Veteran

My sponsors: Alayuk Adventures

Nationality: Canadian

From: Whitehorse, YT

Occupation(s): Adventure Outfitter

Kennel Name: Alayuk

Name Origination: Alaska-Yukon; like the Yukon Quest.

Kennel bloodlines: Fressineau

Breeds Included: Alaskan Huskies

Number of dogs in kennel: 50

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs? 29

Please share with us some stories about your dogs: Normally I will take 5 white dogs who are from my leader, Mr. X.

How did you get started running dogs? Skiijoring with one dog.

What do you love most about running dogs? Training.

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? ITC

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? For the training.

What music do you listen to on the trail? The silence.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  Every litter begins with the same letter.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2015 - Iditarod - 62nd; 2014 - Iditarod - 49th; 2013 - YQ300 - 6th; 2012 - Yukon Quest - 18th

 

22.) Aliy Zirkle

47 year old YQ300 Veteran

My sponsors: Matson Navigation Co. of Alaska, Verizon of Alaska, Eagle Pack Dog Food, Pleasant Valley Store, Bob Huston, T-Rose Vet Service, North Pole Vet, Howling Dog Alaska.

Nationality: American

From: Two Rivers, AK

Occupation(s): Dog Musher, Speaker

Kennel Name: SP Kennel

Name Origination: My first sled dog.

Kennel bloodlines: Zirkle-Moore

Number of dogs in kennel: 51

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs? 25

How did you get started running dogs? It's the best way to see ALASKA!

What do you love most about running dogs? I'm by myself with my best friends.

 Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports? Two Rivers

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To win!

What music do you listen to on the trail? None.

How did your dogs get their names/ How do you choose names?  Sponsors choose them.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2014 - Iditarod - 2nd; 2013 - Iditarod - 2nd; 2012 - Iditarod - 2nd; 2000 - Yukon Quest - 1st

 

23.) Fabien Cayer-Barrioz

31 year old YQ300 Rookie

My sponsors: Friends & family.

Nationality: French

From: Rencurel, France

Occupation(s): Rescuer

Kennel Name: Taiga Kennel

Name Origination: I really love the Taiga landscape.

Kennel bloodlines: Alaskan

Number of dogs in kennel: 20

Musher Question and Answer

How many years have you been running dogs? 5

How did you get started running dogs? Training dogs with N. Vanier for an expedition.

What do you love most about running dogs? The dogs.

Why did you enter the 2017 YQ300 and what are your goals for the race? To have fun with my dogs.

What music do you listen to on the trail? Nature.

List recent sled dog races and/or best performances: 2015 - Gin Gin 200 - 23rd