AMWA - Great Ridge 9th - 10th February 2019
On the 9th & 10th of February the Alaskan Malamute Working Association visited Great Ridge for their annual Long-Distance Trek event. The Trek is open to all pure-bred KC registered (and certain rescue) Sled Dogs which are Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs, & Canadian Eskimos. The purpose of the Trek, which is a non-competitive event and is not timed, is to allow Mushers the opportunity to work their dogs in Harness over longer distances which is really what they are bred to do. There is a choice of 4 distances – 8, 13, 16 and 26 miles which can be done on either day one, or for those who wish to repeat it, again on day two. There are different team sizes ranging from 1 – 8 dogs. They use a wheeled cart called a RIG which the team of dogs are connected to using a Gangline. The only control they have over them is by voice commands. The dogs do genuinely enjoy working in harness. They tend to get very excited and at times noisy and just want to go. It’s the stopping that can be fun!!
The trails are all marked with colour marker boards for the teams to follow. (Blue for straight on or confirmation after a turn. Red which indicates a turn on the side of the trail it is placed and Yellow for caution. As it is a non-competitive event, mushers will usually go out in groups dependant on what distance they aim to achieve. As some teams can be on the trails for a few hours it would not be uncommon to stop for breaks, hydrate the dogs and give them treats, and for the mushers to also have a drink and a bite to eat.
“Great Ridge is such an ideal as well as stunning location in terms of what it offers us in the way of challenging, demanding trails. We always have plenty of variety from lots of open grassy and compacted trails, countless turns through the woods, hills, mud, water and wildlife (pheasants and deer certainly focus one’s attention). In consideration of the amount of rain we have had over the preceding months the trails we chose this year were the best they have ever been which is a credit to the Estates staff. We are extremely grateful to Lord Margadale and to his staff for being invited back on what is now our fourth year, and to be able to put on this event in such a stunning location. We certainly look forward to returning in 2020!” John Binding, Chairman & Event Organiser.
For further information on The Alaskan Malamute Working Association please visit the following website: