Thursday, February 26, 2009

Derby 2009 Revisited

I'm excited about the upcoming Red River Sled Dog Derby, having written about it a few weeks back, because of its strong connection to my area's past.

The organizers have issued a public statement regarding the upcoming race, including that all open slots have filled...
February 23, 2009

The organizers of the Red River Sled Dog Derby are pleased to announce the second running of the race scheduled for March 7-8, 2009. Teams consisting of 12 dogs will run the 164 mile race on the Red River of the North from Halstad, MN to East Grand Forks, MN and return to Halstad, MN. The teams will be competing for a race purse of $4,000 plus prizes. Currently there are 21 teams registered to participate from Minnesota, Ontario, Montana, Wisconsin, and Colorado.

The Red River Valley has roots in dog mushing history. The area is mostly open farmland with a rich history of the fur trade with Fort Gibraltar & Fort Garry in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was in 1802 that Alexander Henry (Pembina, ND) used sled dogs to transport furs and other trade goods. Jolly Joe Rollete traveled from Winnipeg to St. Paul, MN using sled dog in the winter. It is in commemoration of the history and of the 1917 Winnipeg to St. Paul Dog Derby, that the race is being run.

Dr. John Reichert, an experienced sled dog race veterinarian, will be leading the team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Each dog will receive an examination before the race and during the race. Veterinarians will be on hand during the race and at the finish to monitor the health of the teams.

This year’s race marshal is Ed Dallas from Deerwood, MN. Dallas is an experienced dog musher and race marshal. Dallas was a cast member in the Walt Disney movie, Iron Will, playing the role of Gunnar Tveit, the great Norwegian musher. The movie chronicles the story of the sled dog race from Winnipeg, Manitoba to St. Paul, Minnesota held in 1917.

During the race, it will be possible to view the teams prior to the start of the race, while they rest at Frog Point, or while they rest in East Grand Forks.

Volunteers are still needed for this year’s race. If interested in being a volunteer, please contact Helen Corlew at 701-345-8554 or email .

A big thank you goes out to our contributing sponsors. Sundog Sponsors ($500 or more): Spokely Farms, Mark Stortroen, and Chandler Farms.

River Mile VIP’s ($150): Halstad Telephone Company, Halstad Elevator Company, and Dr. Glen and Nancy Yoshida.

River Mile ($75.00): Burd and Rise Insurance, Dr. Joy Dental Clinic, Red River State Bank, Ag Country Farm Credit Services, Valley Hardware & Supply, Rogenes & Rye Farms., A. & S. LLC, and D. & D. Blading.

Also, a big thank you to our sponsors who are helping in other ways: Ward Muscatell Subaru, City of Halstad, Pixell Movement, Prairie Rose Inn & Convention Center, Red River Animal E-Clinic, Northstar Sled Dog Club, Eagle Tree Feed Store - Pia Thurland, Frog Point - Traill County, City of East Grand Forks, Forx Amateur Radio Club, Acme Electric, Prairie Bilt Sleds

Grafton Community Helpers, Whitey’s, Acme Electric, PDQ Sanitary Services (701-775-8569), and Titan Machine Equipment.

It is not too late to become a sponsor for this year’s race. If interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Jocelyn Lerol at or 701-352-2029. The tentative schedule of events includes the following:

March 6

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Musher Registration at Red River E-Clinic in Fargo

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Pre-Race Vet Checks at Red River E-Clinic in Fargo

6:00 pm Musher Bib Draw & Pre-Race Banquet - Prairie Rose Inn & Convention Center (Tickets Required)

March 7

7:00 am to 11:30 am Breakfast - Halstad American Legion Building (this is a
fundraiser for the Girl’s JO)

8:00 am Race Staging

10:00 am Race Start in Halstad, MN

2:00 pm Teams will start arriving at the Frog Point Checkpoint

6:00 pm Teams will start arriving at LaFave Park - East Grand Forks Checkpoint

March 8

8:00 am to 12:00 pm Breakfast - Halstad American Legion Building (this is a
fundraiser for the Girl’s JO)

10:00 am Teams will start finishing the race in Halstad, MN

4:30 pm Musher’s Awards Banquet in Halstad, MN (Tickets required)

The public is welcome and invited to attend any of the race weekend’s scheduled events. Some events do require a ticket for admission. For more information on the race and the mushers, please visit .