In sled dog racing, a lot of equipment for the sport is required the bigger the team you are driving. Fortunately, most equipment is easy to get, borrow or purchase within the sporting community. You might even find that you have some items at home that you have used for other activities such as bike riding or dog walking.
The following two items are a MUST HAVE no matter what class you would like to compete in. These items are also very important for training on the trails or at home.
1. SAFETY KIT
A safety kit is required to go out on trail with your dog. It is normally fixed to your scooter or rig in small bag or on your person in a bumbag. Based on NEGRC Queensland and ASSA Rules, Safety Kits must include the following:
Cutters - A device must be carried that are suitable to cut through the lines that you are using. Side cutters must be carried for cable lines and parachute cutters (or equivalent for) material/poly lines. Open knife blades or pointy ended cutters are not permitted.
Snubline - a lead or line with a clip that allows you to tie up your dog, rig or scooter safely (generally to a tree or similar) so that you can fix any tangles or issues you may be having. This can include a quick release system for ease of getting back onto the trail once the issue is resolved (generally required for bigger teams).
**NEGRC Queensland New Members receive the cutters and bumbag safety kit as part of their new membership. You should receive this from one of the committee on your first training run with your dog. You will need to provide the snubline - a dog lead is appropriate for this purpose**
Based on NEGRC Queensland and ASSA Rules, an Australian Safety Standard Bike Helmet is required at all times on trail with your dog. The exception for this rule is Canicross class, where no helmet is required to compete.
3. FRESH WATER
Many of the forestries that we compete and train in do not have access to potable water. It is imperative that you bring water from home. It is recommended about 2L per dog per day. And make sure you bring extra, just in case!
4. DOG COLLAR
Dogs must be wearing a standard webbing collar (not chained) with an O or D ring attached. This can be a limited slip collar however, full slip collars are not permitted. No slip collars are recommended.
Harnesses are specifically designed for dogs to wear that are conducive to pulling and running. They should be fitted properly to ensure injuries and rubbing do not occur. Types of harnesses include (just to name a few):
**If you have any questions about fitting a harness to your dog, please ensure that you see an NEGRC Queensland Committee Member**
***If you are a New Member to NEGRC Queensland or just looking to give sled dog racing a go, we recommend that you don't go and purchase a harness straight away. Our members and committee will be more than happy to lend you a harness for your dog for your first couple of runs. This will also help you find the right harness for your dog both in sizing and in style***
The following list of equipment is also essential but with different requirements depending on the class you wish to enter. If you are confused by what is required of your class, please see one of the NEGRC Queensland Committee Members or our Visitor Liaison (Maranda Wegrzyniak) and Musher Delegate (Steve Shale).
1. RIG, SCOOTER, BIKE or CANICROSS BELT
This is the vehicle driven by the competitor and pulled by their dog team during the competition. According to NEGRC Queensland and ASSA Rules, the following is required equipment depending on your class:
SCOOTER (1 and 2 Dog Teams only - including Touring and Veteran classes)
The scooter shall be equipped with an efficient brake on the rear wheel and it is recommended that a brake be fitted to the front
The minimum wheel diameter shall be 40 cm (16 inches)
Studded tires are not allowed on scooters
Handlebars on Scooters must be plugged
RIG (2 Dog to 8 Dog Teams only)
A Rig may have either three (3) or four (4) wheels
The minimum wheels diameter shall be 16 inches (40 cm)
All rigs shall be equipped with an efficient brake on the back wheels. Having brakes in the front wheels is recommended
A locking brake (handbrake) which can be blocked
Studded tires are not allowed on rigs
Handlebars on rigs must be plugged
BIKE (Bikejoring Teams only)
The bicycle shall be equipped with efficient braking
Studded tires are not allowed on bikes
Handlebars on bikes must be plugged
RUNNING/WALKING BELT (Canicross Teams only)
The hip belt must be at least 7 cm wide over the spine
Any form of metal hook or ring that is considered sharp or pointy end or may not be strong enough, will not be permitted. A load rated Carabiner or similar is recommended
Gangline - this is the centreline that runs down the middle of your team and provides the pull onto your rig/scooter. For 1 and 2 Dog Teams, Bikejoring and Canicross, this gangline MUST have a shock absorber attached to the end of the line (at the scooter end).
Tugline - this is the line that comes off the gangline and attaches to the dog. There is generally no visible tugline on a 1 Dog Team as it is generally a continuation of the gangline. A 2 Dog Team line creates a 'V' at the end of the gangline as the 2 tuglines are attached to the 2 Dogs.
Neckline - this is the small line that connects the Dog Team section together at their collar.
To read the full ASSA Race Rules, click here.