We had great fun putting together the teams for the Valley Funale today. Chris and Ruth stressed a little before the race start since Allen and Aliy were going to be their only race handlers. As you can imagine, Allen and Aliy needed to fill some pretty big ‘handler shoes’ after a season of Super Handlers at SPK. But, the kennel is lucky because Mark showed up half way through the event and lessened the pressure. Plus the Earle Family was there to pick up any slack.
Thanks Crew!

Ruth ran a team of entirely Olivia X Nacho puppies. In the 20 mile/10 dog class she took Junior, Spark, Tinder, Daisy, Hotshot, Creamer, Perky, Barista, Sanka and Bean. What a fantastically happy and somewhat caffeinated group of dogs. The leaders kept a swift pace and Tinder and Daisy were super excited to be in swing position. Hotshot was feeling all better after leaving Iditarod early at the Huslia Checkpoint. And the extra caffeine – provided by five of the Coffee Pups in the Team – allowed Ruth to edge out Chris by just a few seconds.
Olivia and Nacho puppies are the present and future of SP Kennel! Great race Ruth.

Ruth and the Olivia “caffeine team” come across the Finish line.

Chris raced a team of all Quito puppies: Woody, Mismo, Izzy, Wedgy, Felix, QT, Jefe, Dancer, Bruno and McCaw in the 20 mile/10 dog class. The big grins that Mismo and Woody had when crossing the finish line were priceless. Both boys did not cross the finish line in Iditarod, so they were tremendously happy to be 100% again and leading the charge. Izzy and Felix were a brother/sister ‘one – two’ punch and Wedgy was excited to be racing. Chris has spent a tremendous amount of time with the youngsters so racing the twins: Bruno and QT, little powerhouse Dancer, and the two Big Boys: McCaw and Jefe was a thrill to watch at the end of the season.

Chris and the Quito Pup Team come across the Finish line.

Moira ran a Potpourri dog team. A what?!?! That means there was no theme to her team but they are a marvelous mixed group of wonderful SP Kennel dogs…. just like a basket of Potpourri. Moira’s team for the 10 mile/6 dog class was Quito, Olivia, Scruggs, Schmoe, Pepe and Rodney. Olivia and Quito ran in lead. (They said that they had to be on the race since many of their pups were out there on the course.) Schmoe has been so happy since Iditarod that he convinced Aliy to put him on the team by being the loudest howler Friday night … pick me…. pick me… Pepe hadn’t race yet this season so he got a chance today. Scruggs hasn’t been in a race harness since the Copper Basin 300 and really wanted to spend some quality time with Moira before she returns to New Zealand. And Rodney wins the Most Enthusiasmtic Dog at SP for finishing both the YQ and ID and desperating wanting to do another race! Moira, as well as her six happy huskys, finished with smiles!

Moira and the Potpourri team come across the Finish line.

The junior races were such fun! Junior and Dutch raced in the two dog class with both Jacob and Timber and everyone had a blast. Jacob did well to recover after an excursion into the fence and Timber held on to finish with a clean run. Nice work boys!!

Jacob and Timber compete in the two dog class with Dutch and Junior

Chloe and Waylon teamed up for the one dog class and did GREAT! At one point Chloe lost her footing, ran behind the sled for a while then got right back on! They finished second in their class.

Chloe and Waylon; the kids races

Because we talk often about Rodney’s appetite we decided to put our money where his mouth is and entered him in the “Hungry Dog” competition. He did well, but was clearly not the most “greedy” dog in the neighbourhood!

Thanks to the TRDMA and Pleasant Valley Store plus all the volunteers for once again putting on such a fun community event.

– Aliy

14 Responses

  • Well YAHOO y'all! what a fun day for everyone.. especially the doggies.. I cant believe Rodney didn't win! Really? great job to the handlers this yr. I wish I could have been there today. glad there was plenty of snow. Happy Spring Trails and Tails to all.
    Padee Fairbanks

  • Looks like everyone had a great time. It must have been quiet at the kennel with so many teams at the Valley Funale, plus Bridgett at the Nome-Council 200. Hopefully Gold, Prata and Bronze held down the fort! Thanks for another great post. Moira, you will be missed!!

  • Sounds like an incredible, fun event for all. Thanks for the great recap – wish we had been there for the excitement. Congrats to all the SPK dogs and people.

  • Fun times! Between the two races (Nome & TRDMA), a huge majority of the SPK racing dogs got one more race to finish the season. Very cool. Beautiful blue skies in the pics. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have so been looking forward to the Funale! What a great day for everyone. Congrats to the kids (up-and-coming mushers for sure!), Chris, Ruth and Moira, and the handler crew. And a huge congrats to all the dogs, but especially supermoms Olivia and Quito. I just love SP Kennel!

  • Wow, you folks know how to put th FUN in FUNale!!! The kennel was just about cleared out between the local fun and the Nome Council race! I love hearing about the local festivities….what a feeling of community!! I'm always impressed with seeing the young kids on the race course as well…how fun!! Sounds like Chris, Ruth and Moira finished off their season with some smiles and happy, happy dogs! Well done SPK!! Great season!! Thanks for bringing us along for the ride!

  • Looks like a fun day for all! Thanks Chris, Ruth & Moira for all your
    hard work. Also to Jacob (for getting up to finish-Trooper you are)
    and Timber-future SPK Mushers! Chloe had a terrific dog with her and
    looked fantastic! Way to go kids! Fun day and the sun was shining on you. I missed Violet on the teams so hope she is ok. Congrats to all and SPK for the talented canines. Great Season!

  • This is one of my favorite events to hear about. I saw a small video of the Greedy Dog Eating Contest. Heard a man ask, "do I need a dog?" 🙂 I think, if my boat ever comes in, the three top events I would enjoy the most are the Copper Basin 300, Yukon Quest and the Two Rivers Funale.

    Thanks for the wonderful write-ups and pictures this racing season. As always SP Kennel shines!

  • Ditto to all above comments – so many things to say that all add up to THANK YOU SP KENNEL!!!

    I suspect Rodney will have to explain himself to Daddy Clyde re: how come he did not win eating contest.

    It is a privilege to be able to share in the exploits of Red and Black Teams, their mushers – and let us not forget R&B Team too – WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!

    Best always, safe trip to Moira,


  • Hooray to see Woody and Chris out there running together! Looks like you all had a great time as a community! Two Rivers looks like a great place to be a person or a dog!

  • I was busy checking on Bridgett as she powered up to Council and doing doggy chores and forgot yesterday was the day. Thank you to Chris, Ruth, and Moira for tending to the youngsters so well this season.

    Also kudos for including some that needed the benefit of finishing a race. What – the coffee litter beat the Quito x Kosak/Quito x Biscuit litters? Rematch! Rematch!

    That Spark is really starting to flame up, isn't he? Great future for SPK. ALL the yearling ran on this race, along with Wedgy and Pepe .. and had fun! That's what it's about isn't it?

    Seeing the photos of the youngsters – now that made me happy.

  • Awesome photos and recap!! Everyone has smiles in their faces and looks like it was loads of fun. Well done to the kids for hanging on and not giving up. Was happy to see Woody in harness again looking fit and happy!
    Well done everyone !!!!


  • The official race results on the TRDMA site show Chris finishing ahead of Ruth by over a minute. Not that I'm biased or anything (WAY TO GO WOODY!) Either way it turned out, it looks like everyone had a blast!

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