With more snow falls predicted this coming week the countdown begins for the 25th Dinner Plan Sled Dog Challenge, Australia’s original and most challenging sled dog race on snow, which is being held over the weekend of 11th – 12th August at Dinner Plain, 8km east of Mt Hotham.
Celebrating 25 years this annual event attracts the strongest Mushers and the fittest of sled dog teams from Australia and New Zealand. 78 entries will see around 350+ sled dogs attempt to achieve their fastest times as they dodge and weave their way through Dinner Plain’s stunning terrain and snow gum lined trails.
Pitting their athleticism and courage against each other and against the combined elements of difficult terrain, possible blizzards, snow, ice and fog, teams will set out from Dinner Plain Village at 9am each day.
“More than any other race, it tests the depth of the connection between the Musher and their dogs,” said race organiser, Robert Stevens. “In this particular environment one is totally dependent on their dogs, particularly their lead dogs; they need to be fast on their feet, intelligent and responsive to voice commands, whilst guiding the entire team through possible hazards.”
One of the draw-card weekend attractions will be the thrilling 6 and 8 dog class, which is being held on both days. Waiting for the time clock it can take up to 10 people to hold back these larger teams, when they do launch from the starting chute the awesome pulling power and speed exhibited by these larger sleddog is something not to be missed!
The Dinner Plain Sled Dog Challenge is open to experienced Mushers only, who must qualify by competing in at least 3 dry land races and be over 15 years of age. The most common breeds of dogs raced are Siberian Huskies, which are quick on their feet, and Alaskan Malamutes, which are renowned for their endurance; however other breeds have been known to compete also.
To book accommodation in Dinner Plain, visit www.visitdinnerplain.com.