K9 Skijor Classic barks up Leadville in January | SummitDaily.com

K9 Skijor Classic barks up Leadville in January

Austin Richardson/Lake County correspondent

LEADVILLE – Do you know a dog that likes to run and pull? Do you like to Nordic ski? If you answered “yes” to both these questions, you might have a skijor team in the making.

A new event called the Leadville K9 Skijor Classic is set for Jan. 24 and 25 on the Colorado Mountain College Nordic system and Mineral Belt Trail on the south side of Leadville. Three separate classes will be run: 1-Dog, 2-Dog and 3-Dog. The course is a fun but challenging, 4- or 6-mile loop. This is a two day race with winners determined by combining the times from each day’s heats. Beginners are welcome. For more information, call Fritz Howard at (719) 486-3245 or log on to http://www.melanzana.com.

If you want to start training, experts say to keep it short and fun at first, and give your dog a chance to slowly adapt to pulling and working. A good way to start off is on foot, on a distinct, familiar trail without a lot of distractions.

Several good sources exist for equipment and further information. Check out

http://www.neversummersleddogs.com for Colorado-made harnesses, lines and belts, or http://www.coldspotfeeds.com in Fairbanks, Alaska, for the largest selection of ski jor and sled dog stuff anywhere.

The book “Skijor With Your Dog” is a great overview of ski joring, and http://www.sleddogcentral.com is an extensive site for sled dog sports.

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