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Ontario’s largest sled dog racing event mushing into Kearney

'Unique event is committed to offering race classes for professional and beginner mushers of all ages and classes' amid beauty of Almaguin Highlands
Dogs in action at the Kearney Sled Dog races

Ontario’s largest dog sled racing event comes to “Ontario’s biggest little town” just an hour south of North Bay next weekend.

Kearney is a quaint community of 800 people, located on the western border of Algonquin Park, just south of North Bay. The races are held annually in February, drawing teams and mushers from Alaska, Quebec, Manitoba, Ontario and northeastern and central U.S.

Kearney hosts more than 70 competitive mushers along with novice and future mushers. This long-standing tradition has been running annually since 1994.

"We are grateful for our close-knit community that has been consistently supportive of the race for the past 25 years. We encourage our spectators and visitors to use the services this great little town has to offer," says Chair Kaitlynn Tidwell on the event website.

The Kearney Dog Sled Races are International Federation of Sleddog Sports accredited for 2024. Mushers racing toward world championship points can earn them in the 1-Dog Skijor, 4-Dog Sled, 6-Dog Sled, and 20 Mile 8-Dog Class.

"We host five race classes of different distances for the professional or beginner musher and trek through the beautiful northern wilderness," explains Tidwell. "We also host a race specifically for the up-and-coming young mushers.

"Our unique event is committed to offering race classes for professional and beginner mushers of all ages and classes. Our top priority is introducing new mushers to the sport in a controlled, fun, and exciting manner."

The popular event attracts fans from all over the world.

The Kearney Dog Sled Race Committee has the mission to preserve the heritage of this exciting dog sport and to continue to support international enthusiasm for sports competition, education, and awareness of this very special style of dog according to the website.

"The race courses feature challenging hills to climb, hardwood bush, lakes and marshes to enjoy while racing through the natural beauty of the Almaguin Highlands. The trail poses many challenges in its technical, yet exhilarating sections for our racers and their dogs to enjoy," says the website.

The race is on February 10 and 11 at the Kearney Legion between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. 

If you plan on attending the Kearney Dog Sled Races, visit the official Facebook page or Instagram for lots of up-to-date information.


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Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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