Allen has 14 strong, experienced racers with him and all of them can not wait to get out on the trail.

Allen is taking with him Champ, Chena, Clyde, Commando, Driver, Felix, Five, Dutch, Junior, Kodiak, Nomex, Rodney, Spark and Violet.

The most experienced dog on the team is Clyde who has run the Quest three times and this is his 9th 1000 mile start. He has seen and done it all.

Felix, Kodiak and Commando have run the trail twice and Dutch, Spark, Champ, Rodney, Nomex and Junior once – in the opposite direction starting in Whitehorse.

Quest rookies are Chena, Driver, Five and Violet although all but Five have two YQ300’s under their harnesses. Five has not seen any of the Quest trail before (other than those that are part of our regular, local trails)

The final configuration of the team is yet to be confirmed as Allen has a wealth of great leaders to choose from, but at this stage it looks likely he will lead out with Chena and Junior.

Today was the day for final tasks and finishing touches. To the dogs, Allen’s sled and the dog truck that has to do a couple thousand miles over the next couple weeks.

Jeff brought each dog in to the dog room one-by-one and gave them a thorough going over. He weighed them all, attached necklines and their YQ tags to their collars, cut toenails and put “pink ointment” salve onto every foot to sooth and protect. This is the same ointment that Allen will have out on the trail.

Violet is weighed
Jeff attached a neck-line to Violet’s collar
Violet’s first YQ1000 tag
Foot salve time!

We also start the omeprazole/antiacid regime the day before the race and continue until after they have come in from the trail. For those not familiar with this medication there has been extensive research by Dr Mike Davis et al, about the benefits of dogs having an antiacid regime while racing long distances. This lessens the chance of getting gastric ulcers and is just one other thing we do to keep our athletes healthy. The product we use requires it to be given at least three hours after a snack/meal and at least half an hour before. This can be tricky to continue on the trail but this is factored into each run and Allen will stop the team on the trail at that particular time, if need be, to ensure this important medication is given.

Thanks Jeff!

There are a number of dogs that missed out on making the team and will certainly be kept in the frame for the two Iditarod teams. We understand sponsors and fans of these dogs are disappointed but they have all contributed to training runs and the overall strength in the yard. You can’t get to the point of choosing 14 great dogs without several more in the wings pushing for their spots. Dogs 15 and 16 were very close to being chosen.

Other reasons your favourite missed out may also be that they are still in rehab from some soreness earlier in the season, they may not be eating as well as they should right now or they just are not quite ready to run 1000 miles yet. They will continue to train and be cared for by the team at home.

15 Responses

  • I just did a picking of Allen’s team and only got 7 out of 14 but their are so many great dogs to choose
    from. Thanks Jeff for caring on all the dogs with the details that are a necessary for this race. Being
    a fan of Violet it was nice to see her tended too in the pictures. Good Luck Allen & Dogs–Good
    Night and Off To The Races Tomorrow! I think I can say we fans are READY!

  • There are fantastic athletes on the Black Team! I was glad to see that a few of my favorite SP Kennel dogs are on the team: Clyde, Dutch, and Chena.
    GO BLACK TEAM! This is going to be a fantastic race!

  • It is always exciting to see who is just right for each race – so many great animals, yet some are so consistent from year to year. Ditto to what Steve Parker said. Chena and Commando both have been very kind to me when I have visited the kennel; I am tickled to see Chica’s pups on the team, Rodney and Five, and glad that Felix, Quito’s and Biscuit’s son is continuing their fine tradition. The stars and planets certainly seem to be in alignment for Kodiak, Dutch, Clyde, Champ, Spark. They are consistently making the grade, aren’t they?

    When I think of five newbies, well that is just amazing to see them grow up and become champion seeking dogs – what a thrill that these dogs are representing SPK on the trail.

    Good luck to all of you.

  • I am so excited! I hope for a powerful race for Allen, and I’m especially rooting for the rookies, Chena, Driver, Five and Violet, to make it the distance.
    I wonder why, LOL!

    May Allen and every single member of his team stay strong, healthy and enjoy an amazing race.

    I love all those pictures of Jeff and Violet! I want to caption the one where she is being weighed with, “Did I eat enough lamb Jeff?”
    Thank you Jeff, for helping take care of all our beloved pups!
    Downloading pics of Violet and Jeff next…
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Looks like a powerful and trail savvy Black Team to me!! This is going to be fun to watch…..time to get this race started! Cool “the girls” will be leading the Team out! Way to go Junior and Chena! Nice Allen has a lot of leaders to choose from in this Team!

  • Such a great line up of dogs! Very special that this is Violets first 1000 mile race. Go Violet! What an experience this will be for her. Good information on the antacid given to the dogs. That was new info to me. Love seeing the dogs being taken care of so well. SPK is awesome!

  • There is so much behind the scenes work that goes on every day to keep dogs, mushers and equipment in top shape. This must increase exponentially for a race. Kudos to the crew and handlers!

  • What a great team! Safe travels down (and up) the trail. Help each other on the trail guys (woof, woof). We know you can do it! We’ll be watching from PA.

  • Best wishes to all on the Black Team! It looks like they will get lots of practice in using their passing skills starting in position #23. That must be Chena and Junior’s specialty.

  • This looks like a strong team! I am so glad Rodney is healthy and ready to go! Clyde and two of his boys, all that girl power, let’s go!! Have fun and bring it home and most importantly, safe trails. Go SPK Black!!

  • Thrilled to see Five on the team! Wishing everyone a great race and like Beemer and Viper and their family, we will be cheering from PA as well!


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