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How is a Sled Dog Race run?

NEGRC hosts race throughout the winter season within state forests in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. There are usually 6 Pointscore Race weekends over the season. The following is the class running format:

  • 1 dog class

  • 2 and 3 dog classes

  • 4 and 6 dog classes

  • 8 dog class

  • Canicross Mens and Womens classes

  • Bikejoring Mens and Womens classes

  • Novice, Junior, 1 and 2 dog Veteran classes

  • 1 and 2 dog Touring classes

  • PeeWee and Mini PeeWee classes

In our short temperate winters, Dryland Sled Dog Racing is the one of the best ways for all medium to large breeds like Hounds, Pointers, Border Collies, Kelpies, German Shepherds and Arctic dogs (Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Akitas, Samoyeds) who like to run.

Teams navigate the tracks following coloured markers;

  • red on the right - turn right

  • red on the left - turn left

  • blue to confirm a correct turn

  • yellow for hazards

Mushers call commands to their dogs at the markers and on track circumstances

  • "gee" turn right

  • "haw" turn left

  • "easy" to slow

  • "trail" to other mushers before passing

  • "on by" to make a safe pass

Mushers race their dogs on the marked trail on a two wheeled Scooter or three or four wheeled Rig tethered by a harness and gangline. A Gig - Refers to a three or four wheeled) rig drawn by two or more dogs. It can also refer to a scooter drawn by one or two dogs. Rigs and scooters are strong but lightly built with 20" to 26" wheels, good brakes and rigging for ganglines and night lights.

Mushers can also compete in Bikejoring where a standard bike is used instead of a Scooter or Canicross where you can run with your dog tethered to the musher by a walking or running belt.

Teams depart from a start chute at timed intervals, typically 30 seconds or 1 minute apart and are individually timed for the distance using a time trial format or heats. These times are then compared to determine the winner of the race after all heats.

Each team is obliged to conduct itself, mushers and dogs, in a polite manner observing the race rules that guide each competitor's conduct.

To check out the NEGRC Queensland full calendar of events, click here.

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