Sled dog race offers wintry Cariboo charm

The 20th Anniversary Cariboo Challenge Jack Gawthorn Memorial Sled Dog Race is sprinting closer

Local sled dog musher Craig Conklin made and donated a pine bed frame for the Cariboo Challenge dinner auction on Jan. 14. Countrywide Home Furnishings owner Wendy Wormald is previewing it at the store up until auction day.

Local sled dog musher Craig Conklin made and donated a pine bed frame for the Cariboo Challenge dinner auction on Jan. 14. Countrywide Home Furnishings owner Wendy Wormald is previewing it at the store up until auction day.

The 20th Anniversary Cariboo Challenge Jack Gawthorn Memorial Sled Dog Race is sprinting closer and expectations are high for another stellar event based at the 108 Heritage Site, Jan. 13-15.

The prize purse of $6,000 is sure to draw many fast-paced teams and key event organizer Len Doucette says up to 45 registrations are anticipated.

The Musher’s Dinner and Auction on Jan. 14 at The Hills Health Ranch will offer a hearty, baron-of-beef meal, a live auction and an opportunity to meet the mushers.

The many great auction items this year include a handmade queen-sized bed frame incorporating sled dogs in its design, crafted by local musher Craig Conklin.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the dinner at 6:30 p.m., and Doucette suggest folks get their mitts on some tickets early, as it often sells out quickly.

Tickets are $24, or $12 for children 12 years and under, and can be purchased in advance at The Hills.

Between the races, a silent auction will offer yet more fun, and spectators can also enjoy a huge bonfire, visit with the mushers and their dogs and partake in some hotdogs and chili from the concession stand.

Race classes including four-, six- and 10-dog races, categories for both purebred and non-purebred, a skijoring race and a two-dog junior race for children aged 12 and under.

Once again, there will be an always-popular weight pull contest that doesn’t require a sled. It is free to enter, and Doucette notes it typically brings out family pets to compete against the sled dogs.

The scenic race location will encompass 108 and Sepa lakes, as well as the green belt lands and golf course.

Any proceeds from the event after operational costs will benefit the 100 Mile & District Historical Society.

Volunteers for the event and donations for the auction are still needed, so if folks can help with either, they can call Doucette at 250-791-5225 or e-mail info@cariboochallengesleddograce.com.

For more information, or to register for the races, visit www.cariboochallengesleddograce.com or contact Doucette.