Published Date Written by Roger AmsdenHILL — Sled dog clubs in the area are playing musical chairs with race dates and, as a result, a New England Sled Dog Club race which was originally scheduled for Hill on Feb. 23-24, will instead be held this weekend.
The change came after the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby, originally scheduled for Feb. 8-10 in Laconia, was postponed to Feb. 22-24.
The New England club decided to move its race up by one weekend in order to avoid a conflict with the Laconia race, in which many of its members compete.
The NESDC website says ''this solution will provide everyone with the option to race this weekend and no longer poses a conflict with the new Laconia date (and will offer the added bonus of getting in another race to prepare teams for Laconia).''
The Hill Village race will be International Sled Dog Racing Association sanctioned and will get underway both Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. with skijoring (mushers pulled on skis by two dogs), followed by the three dog junior class, 4-dog class and open class (10 or more dogs). The one-dog junior class will follow and then the 8-dog and 6-dog classes.
The races will start from the Profile Falls Recreation area parking lot which was created several years ago by the New Hampshire Mushers Association.
Another sled dog race, scheduled earlier this month for Tamworth, where the New England Sled Dog Club has held races ever since 1924, when the club was first formed, was cancelled by the Tamworth Outing Club due to poor snow conditions.
In Sandwich, a Mid-Distance Sled Dog Race hosted by the Sandwich Sidehillers and the Yankee Siberian Husky Club, has been postponed from this Saturday to next Saturday due to poor trail conditions.
The race will see 25 teams of 6-8 dogs competing in a 45-mile race and 25 teams competing in a 20-mile race.
There will also be sled dog rides offered at the annual Ice Harvest and Winter Carnival at the Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth this Saturday.
The event, which was postponed due to last Saturday's snowstorm, will see members of the Chinook Owners Association of America, offering short dog sled rides. The Chinook, New Hampshire's state dog, is a breed developed in Tamworth by Arthur Walden and which gained fame in Antarctic exploration.