Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

FLYING TO THE FINISH – Vico Fauveau and Sneaky Boy, front, and Ben Simard and Rye come in to the finish of the DPSAY one mile canicross Saturday at the old fire hall in Whitehorse.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

BLISSFUL BREAK – Sneaky Boy receives the coveted tummy rub from Vico Fauveau.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

COMIN’ IN HARD – Ilana Kingsley and Allie race to a fourth place finish in the one mile canicross.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

READY TO RACE – Amélie Janin and Wave wait their turn to start out on the one mile canicross. They tied for second in the race and also entered the Yukon Quest 100.

Yukon Quest holds first Barkfest in three years

The Yukon Quest held the first Barkfest in three years in Whitehorse Saturday.

By Morris Prokop on August 10, 2022

The Yukon Quest held the first Barkfest in three years in Whitehorse Saturday.

Quest Executive Director Bonnie Michaudvile explained what was going on.

“It’s a signup for the Yukon Quest 2023 races. We got the Yukon Quest 450 to Dawson, the 250 to Pelly and the 100 to Braeburn.

“It’s going great so far. We didn’t have an event last year and of course the year before there were no races so, in my eyes, this is a great turnout and we’ve got mushers signed up, so that’s a bonus.”

Michaudville added, “The rain is staying away, the sun is shining and the dogs are having fun and so are we.”

DPSAY (Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon) also held a canicross race.

Greg Newby and Axel tied for second.

“Axel runs with her mama in lead so she’s Ilana Kingsley’s lead pair from Yukon Quest,” said Newby. “She signed up for the 250. But Axel’s the daughter and really didn’t know what to do at first because she wasn’t with her mama. So she figured it out and we had a good run.”

Newby and Axel came in pretty fast at the end.

“I had a little energy left at the end. We were a little slow in the middle. I was ahead of her for the first half, almost. She finally caught on. Realized what’s supposed to happen. She’s a good little dog.”

Newby didn’t find running on the Millennium trail distracting for the dogs.

“They’re lead dogs. They can’t be distracted. Totally focused.”

Newby’s partner, Ilana Kingsley, and Allie finished in third.

“She runs in lead but she doesn’t know what to do unless she’s with her mom,” related Kingsley.

Kingsley said the race was “great. It was fun. Allie was pulling me so that’s good. That’s always a plus.”

Vico Fauveau and Sneaky Boy finished sixth.

“It was going great,” said Fauveau. “It was his first race and he wasn’t the best but he did a lot of training and ... he has a lot of potential.

“He’s still young and he has a lot to learn, but I’m proud of him. He didn’t lunge at any dogs. I was scared of that. But, no, it went great.”

Ben Simard and Rye won first place and a harness.

“That’s kind of nice,” said Simard. “I didn’t expect that. This is the first race that I do ... it was fun. It was hard, though.

My new resolution would be to stop smoking, I guess.

“That’s the dog I start mushing with – my first dog. He’s (from) a kennel but seven years old now. I get him at three years old from my buddy’s kennel cause he miss one eye and is not best runner for big race or intense competition, but small little race like that is a lot of fun for him.”

Amélie Janin and Wave tied for second and signed up for the YQ100.

“It went really well,” recalled Janin. “I never run canicross with this one dog and I haven’t done canicross for a very long time, so it went way better than I expected.”

Janin has 11 dogs right now, including two retirees.

“Right now my only ambition is to have enough for the start… to have no injury so I have enough for the start day but I’m a camper. I just go out and have fun. I’m not much of a racer.”

The minimum amount of dogs for the YQ100 is seven.

“I’ve been mushing for about 10 years and the small-sized kennel is good for me,” she added.

Normand Casavant , the “Singing Musher”, signed up for the 450. He has done the Quest five times.

“It always went well except the year that I was sick but the four time that I finish, I was in the top 10 all the time, so I’m happy and with a happy team all the time.”

Casavant said he’s not sure what to expect this year as this will be the first time racing for most of his dogs.

“I didn’t race since almost six, seven years, now ... but we are doing that race just for our own pleasure, to be in the bush.

“I live in Mayo, so it’s gonna be wonderful to do that 450 miles race. It won’t cost me too much money – that’s why I’m happy to see that and it’s gonna be from Whitehorse to Dawson, so it’s on my way, so I’m really happy to do the 450 this year.”

At this time, the Quest has four mushers signed up for the 450, four for the 250 and six for the YQ100.

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