sledders from across the West mush at Hardware Ranch
MUSH! A team heads into
a turn at the Hardware Ranch. / Photo by Cory Broussard
By Cory Broussard
March 1, 2006 | HYRUM -- The dogs barked and pounced
eagerly on the melting snow of the Hardware Ranch, waiting
for their musher to release them onto the morning's
The Cache Valley Mushers Association held their second
annual Cache Valley K9 Challenge in Blacksmith Fork
Canyon Saturday and Sunday. A crowd of about 150 people
gathered to watch mushers from Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon,
California, Idaho and Utah lead their dogs around courses
that ranged from four to 125 miles.
The 10 dog teams attacked the 125 mile course that
had a change of elevation of 1,500 feet and ran overnight.
Temperatures dropped to negative 2 degrees and two sleds
were lost to anti-freezing problems. The Cache Valley
Sheriff's Office was on hand in the event of such problems,
however, and no injuries were reported.
Another division of six-dog teams tackled a 25 mile
course as visitors cheered them from the starting line.
One team was penalized when the overanxious dogs dragged
their musher and sled from the line almost a minute
early. Eric Gunnerson, trail boss for the event, said
that he was very happy with how the race turned out.
"We've still got some learning to do," Gunnerson said.
"I want to sit down with the mushers and find ways to
improve next year's challenge."
A junior and novice class of 4-dog teams was held
for mushers under 18. The teams ran a 4 mile course.
"In my opinion the novice and junior races are the
most exciting," Gunnerson said. "They leave and come
back in just a couple of hours!"
John Bunnerson was the winner of the 10 dog distance
division. A prize of $500 was awarded.
"Whether we win or not, it doesn't't matter, as long
as you came," Bunnerson told the crowd at the awards