Monday, February 11, 2008

This year Siberians might win it!!!!!!

Like a lot of guys, my head is filled with useless obscure sports trivia. Except in my case, its sports trivia about a really obscure sport: Long Distance dog mushing. Of which, there are really only two events: The iditarod and the Yukon Quest.

Also within that obscure sport, I root for an even more obscure segment: Siberian husky mushers. They are the ultimate underdogs. Literally. Every year there are one or two teams in either race, carrying the torch, but they usually get the red lantern.

So why do they always get the red lantern You ask? Well the easy answer is because siberians are slow. But that doesn't really answer the question. It goes deeper than that! Because to get the red lantern, first of all you have to complete the race and not give up! You have to be mentally tough and stubborn! People that scratch, never get the red lantern!

Time and time again, these rookie mushers running siberians, get the red lantern. I think it says somthing about them. People tend to value the qualities in their dogs that they value in themselves. Like their chosen breed, these people are tough and stubborn! And loyal! They simply won't give up on their chosen breed even if statistics say they have no virtually no chance of beating the speedier crossbred sled dogs!

You gotta love people like that.

But this year, there is somthing happening that most people may not know. There is a guy, Mike Ellis, running a team of dogs, that are actually of the same bloodline, of dogs that were run in 1998, by "Hall of Famer" Andre Nadeau, who almost won the race, but lost a showdown with Bruce Lee, but managed to win rookie of the year, First to Dawson and First across the border.

These were siberian huskies from the kodiak bloodline. Neadeau, had let their registrations with the CKC slip. But that is what they were. Some people have argued that, once you don't register a litter of siberian huskies, they automatically become alaskan huskies. And that is why they came in second place in 1998 because alaskan huskies are faster and his dogs technically were alaskan huskies.

Somthing doesn't seem quite right with the logic there.

But besides that, you may wonder, how can these dogs be that similar to Neadeaus, since its ten years later and Eliis dogs are registered siberian huskies. Obviously they aren't descended from Nadeau's dogs.

True,they aren't but genetically they are very similar. That is because the kodiak bloodline is very inbred. Inbred in a good way. Go back a few generations and you see "Spook of White Water Lake" over and over again. Spook, was himself inbred, so back from Spook, you get a bunch of the same dogs also. Plus people have linebred on Spook. So its almost like Kodiak dogs are all twins. Genetically, they are really alike.

I could spot kodiaks in a line up. They have a distinct look. But the fact is, this is the only line of siberians that cam close to winning the Yukon Quest in recent history.

Mike Ellis is doing well too. Its early in the race, but he is towards the front of the pack. So watch this guy.

But another thing to watch for is that Lance Mackey is also running a dog from Nadeau lines. It may be a bit watered down from the pure husky lines at this point, but still, I am sure those kodiak traits are shining through after all that intense line breeding. And Lnce Mackey is always in contention to win.

Check out "boycuz" on Lance Mackey's website

4 Comments:

Blogger SusanE said...

I'd like to see a race where the traits of the old breeds were measured and valued. That the dogs had to meet the same survival standards that the dogs of the Inuit had to meet. I'd like to see a race of trapline dogs not thoroughbreds. Maybe I should be following the Hudson Bay Quest.

February 12, 2008 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Theo_musher said...

Yeah, That looks like a cool race! I love the dogs in that kind of race.

Ted

February 15, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Theo,

Enjoyed your take here...and now that it is over and although Ellis didn't win ...I understand he did set a new all Siberian record. WTG Mike! A little side-note though...and speaking of the red lantern. Blake Freking set a red lantern record by finishing in 12 days, 5 hours in 2005. Although he had a couple (2) alaskans on his team, 12 were Siberians. His alaskans never led either. So although not a Siberian record he had a number of Siberians who ran the race faster than Ellis. Blake will be attempting to break the Iditarod Siberian record however this year along with a couple others eyeing the same
(Ramstead, Curtis...).

Dave

February 26, 2008 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous search engine optimization said...

i would like to see this race..... can you tell me when it going to happen next time..... i will be highly oblidged......
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August 23, 2010 at 3:09 AM  

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