The Dog Powered Sports Association of Yukon (DPSAY) has the winter season planned out, including a few new events.
The organization started in the early winter of 2008 with the goal of promoting dog powered sports and providing a regular race series for mushers, skijorers and those with dogs who want to try skijoring but have few resources.
Five years later the organization is thriving with a dedicated group of volunteers.
Coming off of a successful summer racing series, Virginia Sarrazin, DPSAY race coordinator, says they already have five winter races planned. The plan is to have approximately one race per month beginning Dec. 15, with the races taking place at various locations from the Annie Lake area up to Fox Lake.
“People seem to enjoy the various trails more as it’s all new,” Sarrazin says. “It’s also more challenging and therefore more fun when the dogs are on new trails.”
Also going ahead this year is the annual River Runner, a mid-distance skijor/sled race from Whitehorse to Mendenhall. It will take place in February for a fourth consecutive year as a Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous event.
In addition, DPSAY is making the leap from events surrounding dogs to events with (gasp) no dogs or, DPSAY socials, as they call them.
These are get-togethers at local establishments where folks can hang out and not worry about going to check, or feed, or water dogs in the truck, which is common at races.
“We never see each other without dogs, so what better chance to get out and socialize with each other,” says Amil Dupuis-Rossi, DPSAY spokesperson.
The first social of the year took place on Oct. 30 at the Town Club in the Town & Mountain Hotel. The event was an opportunity to buy memberships, hang out, and win prizes. Guests talked about training, the upcoming winter, weather, trails, the new gear out there, snow accumulation and, of course, dogs.
And dog poop. There is never a shortage of sharing on what’s coming out the back end of your dog(s) when a group of dog people get together.
Nevertheless, even those without a dog are welcome at DPSAY socials. The common denominator at these events is people who love being active and who love hanging out with dogs (and sometimes people, but mostly dogs).
An upcoming event is the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Stretch Class by Dr. Gail Jewell, DVM, Holistic Veterinarian, Canine and Equine Chiropractor. The first class has filled up, but a second class will be offered on Sunday, Nov. 17.
For more information about the upcoming class, socials and/or races, contact DPSAY by email at DogPoweredSports@gmail.com. Information can also be found on their Facebook page and website at DPSAY.wordpress.com.