Jamaican musher Devon Anderson is the first official entry in the Pro 4 Dog Rig Class Sled Dog Race at the first ever East Meets West Dryland Challenge, to be held at the Brainerd International Raceway, November 18-19, 2006. Anderson will be racing for the Chukka Caribbean Adventures Jamaica Dogsled Team with a team of dogs from the Ah-Regah and Elfstone kennels in Minnesota .
Dog sled racing is no longer just a show on snow — because of the absence of reliable snow in many parts of North America mushers have turned to new styles of racing that will be featured at the Challenge. Rig Racing, Bikejoring, Scooter Racing and Canicross will be run over a 3.7 mile course at the Raceway where the same dogs seen in front of sleds on snow covered trails will run over a special dirt and sand trail alongside of the asphalt track. Mushers and dogs alike will be right at home; they’ve trained with “gigs” on dry ground for decades.
To qualify for the East Meets West Dryland Challenge, Pro Class mushers must have successfully competed in other events of the same class size or greater.
“My finish at the UK Dog Sled Championships qualifies me to participate,” says Anderson . “I’m looking forward to going back to Minnesota again, and I’ve packed an extra jacket this time. I trained last year with Rick and Annette Johnson at the Ah-Regah Kennel; it seemed like a crazy dream at the time. It’s amazing to think that I’ll be back again representing the Jamaica Dogsled Team in this unique race,” Anderson opines.
To warm up for the Brainerd race, Anderson competed in the North Star Sled Dog Club Byllesby Dryland Classic in Cannon Falls , MN , from October 14-15, 2006. And following the East Meets West Dryland Challenge, Anderson will be taking part in the Nestlé Purina PetCare-sponsored sled dog rally at the 2007 Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the nation’s oldest and largest winter festival, January 26-February 4, 2007. He will also be a guest attendee at the 2007 Yukon Quest 1000-Mile International Sled Dog Race. Although Anderson will not be racing in this event, he was invited to participate in the opening ceremony, the mushers’ banquet and to witness the start of the race.
Sponsored by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville, the Jamaica Dogsled Team is the newest addition to the Chukka Caribbean Adventures family, just one of the many creative ideas of founder and CEO Danny Melville.
Formed out of a motley crew of mixed breed dogs found on the street or through the Jamaican Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (JSPCA), team membership means a new and better life of care and meaning for the team dogs. Anderson, along with the Jamaican sled dogs, are featured in Palm Pictures’ upcoming documentary feature “Sun Dogs” and their training continues at Chukka Cove Farm, Ocho Rios in preparation for the unique “Jamaica Dogsled Team Tour” and “Dogsled Encounter” to be offered later this fall.
For more information about Devon Anderson and the Jamaica Dogsled Team visit www.jamaicadogsled.com. Click on the “Cool Stuff” link and support the team, a portion of the proceeds will also benefit the JSPCA. The JSPCA works closely with Chukka and the team to monitor their dogs. To learn more about Chukka Caribbean Adventures visit www.chukkacaribbean.com; the East Meets West Dryland Challenge at www.isdra-dryland-racing.info, and the St. Paul Winter Carnival at www.winter-carnival.com.
Founded in 1983, Chukka Caribbean Adventures is now the number one land-based nature adventure tour provider in the region, offering twenty-eight tours in Jamaica , Belize , The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands. Collectively, the operations delivered over 200,000 adventure tours to cruise and hotel guests in 2005.