Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo provided – Pictured L to R: Matt Norton, Jessica Norton, Samantha and Sawyer Wawiernia.)

Sled dog racing has been a sporting event testing the relationship between man and his best friend, the dog, ever since 1908 in Alaska.

The typical setting for sled dog racing can be pictured in feet of snow as contestants race in arctic temperatures with husky dogs, but that is not the only form of the sport. Dryland racing is an emerging form of sled dog racing in the United States, with origins in Europe, and is becoming popular because it does not require any snow which allows for more teams and more races.

Although the sport may not be as popular as it once was, that does not mean it is no longer around. Coming up on April 13 and 14 will be your chance to be a spectator at a local sled dog race in Vermontville.

H&H Racing of Vermontville will be the hosts of the sled dog race, which is presented by Great Lakes Sled Dog Association (GLSDA) on their 2.7-mile sled dog track, The Farmer’s Loop, that has been sanctioned by the International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA). H&H Racing is led by lifelong friends Jessica Norton and Samantha Wawiernia along with Norton’s husband, Matt, and Wawiernia’s 12-year-old son, Sawyer. Collectively the team, which started six years ago, has competed in races all over the country and are excited to be hosting their first race at The Farmer’s Loop. Wawiernia specializes in six-dog team and Norton specializes in four-dog team, which both mushers are placed first in per ISDRA rankings.

Registration is still open for mushers at The Farmer’s Loop sled dog race, where there are already entries rolling in. This race has all divisions of dog racing including one-dog up to six-dog teams: four dog rig class, six dog rig class, two dog scooter class; one dog classes, bike and scooter, will run the 1.5-mile trail. There will be a junior division at this race in mid-April, which can be teams of one to two dogs, junior mushers must be 16 years old or younger. H&H Racing, which stands for Hounds and Huskies, wants to feature the junior as much as they can because they are the future of the sport.

You can register yourself and your dog for the race on Facebook at The Farmer’s Loop Sled Dog Race, under the events tab where there is a link to register. The Farmer’s Loop is located at 7545 Brown Road in Vermontville. There will be parking available, and the event itself will be held on April 13-14 beginning at 8 a.m.