International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race coming to town

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The Kemmerer and Diamondville area will be going to the dogs next week when the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race comes to town.

The race starts Jan. 28 in Jackson Hole and ends Feb. 5 in Park City, Utah.

When a person thinks of sled dogs and racing the Iditarod, they think of the furry Siberian husky personified in movies like White Fang and Call of the Wild. According to Mark and Doris Ramsperger, the Siberian husky is more a working dog than a racer.

“The Siberian Husky has too much hair and will overheat in a race,” said Doris. There is a mixed husky breed called the Alaskan Husky that has shorter hair and doesn’t overheat during a race. “Many of the racers you will see in the IPSSSDR will have a variation of the Alaskan Husky,” said Mark.

Mark and Doris have a small farm on the Hamsfork River where they have three Alaskan Huskies and an Australian Shepherd for their own dog sledding adventures.

“We don’t race our dogs. It is more of a recreational hobby,” said Doris. Mark enjoys using the dogs when going out on the trail because they are quiet.

“Snow machines are very noisy,” said Mark. “When you have dogs, it is noisy at first but once on the trial all you hear is their hard breathing as they pull the sled.”

All of Mark and Doris’ dogs are rescue dogs and are named after a town along the Iditarod race course. Their first dog, Koyuk, came from Happy Tails. He was the first Alaskan Husky they owned and they wanted more. Doris then looked to rescue places in Alaska and found Ruby and Copper.

The Australian Shepherd is named Ciggy and he actually adopted the Ramspergers.

“He was at our place and no one claimed him,” said Doris. They took him as part of the family and part of the sled team.

Another reason that they don’t race is the time and effort that is needed to race. They have a small sled for winter and they have a makeshift sled for summer. Just because there is no race, doesn’t mean the dogs stay idle.

Source: kemmerer gazette

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