Wiltshire Publications

Issue 455 – Westbury woman takes part in national sled dog race

A WESTBURY woman recently competed in the largest sled dog race in the UK, which was held on snow for the first time in 15 years.

Hazel Mead, who owns ten pedigree huskies, competed in the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Sled Dog Rally in Scotland on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of January.
Hazel, who has competed in the race three times said, “This year was extra special because they had so much snowfall up there for the first time in 15 years and we could race on sledges rather than three-wheel rigs. It was fantastic.”
She had to make a 500 mile, 11 hour trip to Avimore in Scotland to take part in the time trial race, and was rewarded with 19th place, from a field of 225 ‘mushers’ and more than 1,000 sled dogs.
Hazel said, “They had eight feet tall drifts up there, it was just amazing. The dogs absolutely loved it, they are bred to pull, and in the sub zero conditions they were in their element.”
Hazel and her team of three huskies, Bear, Diesel and Brook, navigated the 4.3 mile course in just 20 minutes. Teams of between two and eight huskies pull their mushers around the track against the clock. Hazel said she was pleased with her 19th place finish,
She said, “It’s not too bad, although I have done better than that in the past. It was top 20 at least. I actually came off the sled on my best run so I would have been faster. I was just thinking ‘hold on, hold on!’”
Hazel got her first husky for her 21st birthday as a gift from her parents. She said, “It was mainly the look of them that attracted me, because they are so beautiful. It just grew from there really. I bred a litter, she had eight and I kept six and it’s gone from there. I don’t breed them to sell on, I just do it for fun.”