Dog sled racers enjoy weekend

By Victoria White

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Kate Barker, from Auckland, was one of many who raced through the Linden Estate vineyard at the weekend. Photo / Warren Buckland
Kate Barker, from Auckland, was one of many who raced through the Linden Estate vineyard at the weekend. Photo / Warren Buckland

Ideal conditions, an exciting track and a record number of teams made the Ridge Runners Sled Dog Racing Club 25th anniversary race weekend a success.

With 40 teams, or "mushers" coming from places ranging from Kaitaia in the north to Christchurch in the south, organisers said it had been one of the largest sled dog races in the North Island.

Teams competed within four classes in three races, on a track which wound through the Linden Estate - the Vineyard Classic, 25th Anniversary Run, and the Bootie Blowout.

Ridge Runners Hawke's Bay representative Ash Fritz said it had been a "pretty intense" three days.

"The weekend went really well," he said. "These races are really good, because the people that do the sport all get to know each other and we become a big family."

Six competitors were from the Hawke's Bay branch created by Mr Fritz - Huskies Hawke's Bay.

Aside from some wind, it had been ideal conditions for dog racing.

"It was definitely cool enough," he said. "It's always a bit of a risk having it in Hawke's Bay because the temperature might not get cold enough but it worked out fine."

While dog races had been held at other wineries, Mr Fritz said it was their first time at Linden Estate.

"It was an awesome vineyard to be able to run a race in," he said.

"It was an exciting track as well, with some hills, rather than just flat."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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