Welcome to the Yellowknife Dog Derby website.
At the end of March every year, the City of Yellowknife receives guests from different parts of the country and the world. They all come together for The Yellowknife Dog Derby- one of the most anticipated for events of the year. Both participants and spectators come forth to share the excitement and entertainment of the race is not only renowned but also a part the World Cup of dog sled racing.
The race covers 150 miles on the Great Slave Lake. Taking place in three days, the race brings out mushers who compete for the top prize- the highest prize money in all races in the Northwest Territory.
History of the Canadian Championship Dog Derby
The Yellowknife Dog Derby is traced as far back as 1930s when races took place on the Great Bear Lake close to Eldorado Mine. By 1946, the races in the area started featuring in the newspapers.
In 1955, the Northwest Territory (NWT) and Game Association made a decision to organize an annual Sleigh Dog Race in the city. The first winner of the race was Alfred Drygese, who won $50 for running the 40-mile race in five hours and twenty seven minutes. Prizes ranging from rifle shells, sacks of flour and groceries were offered to other winners.
Following the success of the race, the number of participants rose from 8 to 13 racers. The prize also rose to $500 in 1956.
In 1964, the championship management was taken over by Elk’s Club. One of the main changes it carried out on the derby was to expand the distance to 150 miles.
In 1972, the management of the Championship landed on The Rotary Club, which went ahead to manage it for 27 years. These years saw the increment of the prize money as well as the involvement of more people, who came from as far as Austria, France and Spain. People close to the area were also not left out.
Some of the other memorable mushers in this race include Frank Kelly, Peter Norberg, Dan McQueen, Philip Goulet, Jonas Sangris. The members of Beck family are also renowned participants of the race.
Over the years, the race has been considered a long distance race but the changes in parameters, as set up by Iditarod in 1973, affected this. According to the parameters, long distance races cover a distance of 1000 miles and takes more than two weeks to be finished.
Currently, the championship is organized by The Canadian Championship Dog Derby Association.
The Canadian Championship Dog Derby Race In 2012
The 2012 event took place on 23rd to 25th March. The racers were to start and finish the race at Frame Lake, which is located behind City Hall. 2012’s event had a total of 10 Mushers, some of who have been participating in the race for quite a while.
The winner was Blayne Streeper, also known as Buddy, who finished the race in 9 hours, 19 minutes and 25 seconds. He received the prize money of $10000 and earned 124 points. The second place was taken by Aaron Peck, who was behind Buddy by 13 minutes and the third place was Richard Beck, who was just three minutes away. They took home $8000 and $6000 respectively. Yuka Honda finished last but he also went home with $1000.
Dog Sled Race Rules
Just like every race, the Yellowknife Dog Derby comes with its own rules. The 150-mile race comes with 3-50 mile heats, each with Mass Start. It features 12 dog pool and 10-dog daily limit.
For starters, the contestants need to register for the race before it starts. The managing body has the right to reject an entry due to the past conduct of any contestant. Contestants should not participate in the race if they had been convicted of animal abuse or neglect. The racers are required to take care of their animals, making sure that they are vaccinated against diseases, and present a vaccination a minimum of three weeks before the race starts.
Since the dogs will be marked using a microchip technology, before the start of the game, it is recommended that the racers contact the Sponsor veterinarian, whose address is at the website, for a pre-scanning so that they can save time and effort as the drug testing will be carried out at the same time.
The Dogs should not contain any foreign substances or unnaturally high levels of substances as this may lead to the disqualification of the team and forfeiture of the prize money.
In terms of equipment, the racers should make sure that the equipment they are using is not only in right condition but also approved by the race officials.
The Mass Start procedure is used in starting out the heats of the derby. A draw shall be done to determine the starting positions.
These are some of the rules that the racers will have to follow during the race. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action, warning, penalty or disqualification of the racer from the rest of the race.
The players are required to complete their registration forms and fax them to the organization. The registration forms consist of a waiver form and Musher Biography.
Aside from that, they are required to pay entry fees to the Canadian Championship Dog Derby Association.
The Yellowknife Dog Derby Race 2013
The excitement and entertainment of the derby will happen again in March 2013. The event will take place from 30th March, and fans and participants are welcome to an awesome experience. The teams will be out there trying to outshine each other and to showcase their stamina in trying to win the prize money.
Apart from the race, the fans can also enjoy the scenes, attractions and other events in Yellowknife. Events such as shopping, fine dining and arts are some of the things to consider. Individuals interested to take part in the event can also sign up as volunteers by contacting the management team. They have the option of volunteering for a few hours or the whole event, as per their wish.
The Yellowknife Dog Derby has become a racing tradition, with fans and participants within and without. The event has been made possible by the management body as well as a number of sponsors and volunteers who work together to make it a success.
Read about certain breeds of sled dogs used for racing.