Last weekend, the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally entered its 31st year. The destination, with a backdrop of Cairngorm Mountains, is ideal for the race, because the flat ground enables the dogs to pull loads over long distances.
All generations attend the show to witness the speed of the races. Siberian huskies are bred to be endurance athletes and are known for their ability to pull sleds in northern regions. When pulling a grown man, these animals can run at around 18 miles per hour.
In 1984, the first ever Rally took place at the trails alongside Loch Morlich. Since starting with 12 teams, it has progressed to become the biggest race of its kind in the United Kingdom. More than 3,000 people venture to Scotland each year to watch the event.
Sled dogs were brought to the UK for the first time in 1968 and now, the country is notorious for dry-land racing. Spokesperson for the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain, Judy Wakker, said “Teams go out at one minute intervals, and at the finish you might have three or four teams finishing at once.”
Scotland is known for its cold climates and snow-covered mountains. However, when a sheet of snow does not blanket the ground, mushers race on a three-wheeled rig at the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally, with all ages participating.
It’s not just the Siberian husky breed of dog that visitors can see darting along the designated cross-country ski course, because the race also features Samoyeds, Alaskan Malamutes, Canadian Eskimo Dogs and Greenland Dogs.