JEFF KING (Alaska, USA) – long distance mushing
There is not much we need to say to introduce this four-time Iditarod Champion. Howling Dog Alaska has been one of Jeff’s main sponsors for many years now. And here we are, with yet another season ahead of us!
Jeff King is often recognized as the “Winningest Musher in the World.” He holds four championship titles for the 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1993, 1996, 1998, and 2006. Jeff took first place in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest in 1989 in addition to earning twenty-four other first-place titles in races across Alaska and other parts of North America. Jeff was inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2006, at age 50, he became the oldest musher to win the Iditarod. Jeff King has twice received the prestigious Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award for exemplary care of his dog team. He has logged more than 150,000 miles on a dogsled over the past thirty-five years.
Jeff enjoys living just outside of Alaska’s Denali National Park and sharing his life with his sled dogs. He is well known for several inventions in the dog mushing equipment field. In the summer months, his kennel Husky Homestead welcomes visitors from around the world to watch his sled dogs in action, hear stories of adventure, learn about Alaskan Huskies, the tradition of dog mushing and the life and spirit of Alaska, the last frontier. A natural-born storyteller, Jeff shares a lifetime of adventure stories in public speaking engagements and in his book Cold Hands Warm Heart.
Visit Jeff’s Husky Homestead website.
ALIY ZIRKLE & ALLEN MOORE (Alaska, USA) – long distance mushing
Howling Dog Alaska is very proud to have this famous wife & husband duo, known not only for their outstanding race performance but also for dog care that is second to none, on board again this season.
Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore own and operate SP Kennel – a premier Alaskan Husky sled dog kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska. They are dedicated to their individual dogs through excellent health, nutrition, training, and care. Aliy and Allen are both Yukon Quest Champions. Allen has won the Copper Basin 300 six times and Aliy has placed in the top five in the Iditarod for the last few years (placing second three consecutive years: 2012, 2013 and 2014).
The future of SP Kennel is evolving. This mushing season, Aliy and Allen will be racing less. The goal in doing this is that they can focus more on individual performances. They will rarely have two teams entered in an event. As you all know, in the past, they raced many events with many dogs and many teams – for instance, it was common for them to have three teams in the Copper Basin 300. However, now their goal for fewer SP Kennel teams to compete and thus, fewer logistics, less preparation, less chaos, and less individual stress and more FOCUS. Their goal this year is simply to win! Quality over quantity.
SP Kennel is a “dog first” Kennel. After a racing career – whether it be long or short – their dogs retire and are placed in carefully screened and selected homes. With cutting back on racing this season, this obviously means that Aliy and Allen need fewer dogs as well and their SP racing dog population can reduce. This summer and fall they actively rehomed dogs that might not have retired at this age in years’ past. But same as in the past, they weren’t in a rush to move any of their dogs because Aliy and Allen needed to find the ideal spot for his or her future forever home. SP Kennel now has dogs all over the world and part of many varied lifestyles.
Check out SP Kennel’s website.
Aliy’s and Allen’s harness of choice has been our Distance Harness for many years now.
MELISSA STEWART & JASON STEWART (Alaska, USA) – long distance mushing
Jason and Melissa Stewart own and operate Owl Creek Kennel in Knik, AK. Owl Creek Kennel’s origins go back to the mid-80’s and was started by Melissa’s parents Mike and Patricia Owens in Nome, AK. Jason’s and Melissa’s goals for this season are not as ambitious as they were in the past since they welcomed their daughter (a future junior musher) to their family a year ago. Jason and Melissa, both Iditarod finishers, will take a break from this 1000 mile long race this year. However, they will enter their team in several mid-distance races throughout Alaska.
Here at Howling Dog, we have a special “soft spot” for Melissa and Jason, as the lineage of the majority of their dogs goes back to dogs bred in our Howling Dog Kennel.
Connect with Melissa and Jason through their Owl Creek Kennel Facebook page.
The harness of choice for Melissa’s and Jason’s dogs is our Tough Skin Harness ULTRA.
AMANDA VOGEL (Minnesota, USA) – mid-distance mushing
Amanda lives in northern Minnesota, just south of the northwest Ontario border. She is the owner and operator of Snomad Racing. Besides competing in races such as the 400 mile John Beargrease Marathon, Snomad Racing also travels for exhibitions and speaking engagements; works on TV, film, and modeling projects, and puts winter and mushing products to extreme tests for sponsors committed to making the toughest gear and equipment on the market. When Amanda is not training and racing, she is found volunteering for the Kabetogama Fire and EMS departments, raising pups, exploring woods and waters, and laughing with good friends. Amanda is excited about a group of young dogs she will be working with this winter.
Snomad Racing offers sled dog rides during their fall training season in the comforts of a fully enclosed and heated 5 seat side by side!! If you’d like to meet Amanda’s dogs and learn about training, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to meet Amanda’s dogs or to learn more about the training of canine athletes, visit Snomad Racing Facebook Page.
KATI & MARTIN DAGENAIS (Quebec, Canada) – sprint mushing
Dagenais Kennel is a premier limited class sprint racing kennel located in Quebec, Canada, specializing in 6-dog and 8-dog class.
Kati’s team won almost every race they entered from the beginning of her racing career (since 2008). Kati & Martin traveled to Alaska where she won the Limited North American Championship in 6-dog class, where her team broke the track record on relatively slow trail conditions. Kati also won the IFSS World Championship in North Pole, Alaska in 2013 in the 8-dog class. In 2015 Kati & Martin and their team traveled to Germany to compete in yet another IFSS World Championship. They returned home with a bronze medal! And last, but not least, in a very tough European Championship in Italy last season Kati had the fastest time in the 6-dog class on the last day of the race.
Besides racing the Québec sprint circuit, Kati & Martin plan to fly to Europe yet again to meet their biggest competition in the 2019 IFSS World Championship in France. We look forward to having Team Dagenais represent Howling Dog Alaska at the highest level!
Visit Dagenais Racingsleddogs Facebook page.
The harness of choice for Team Dagenais is our Light Weight Harness.
JULIE BLOCH (France) – sprint mushing
After sitting the last season out due to the arrival of her son Esteban, Julie is back! Julie is an accomplished sprint 6-dog class racer.
Julie is very good with her dogs and works with them a lot on obedience. She spends as much time to work them in individual training as she spends on training them as a team. It is really important for Julie to have dogs that are happy in their everyday “normal” dog life, but also in their working dog life. Such an approach shows positive results, as Julie’s team became the World Champions in 2015 in the 6-dog class. Julie also holds multiple French Champion titles (since 2012).
Julie owns a small kennel of about ten dogs. All of Julie’s dogs were born in her kennel and are the result of a very specific breeding selection. The plan for this season is for Julie and her team to do as well as possible in the 2019 IFSS World Championship in France. It will be a true challenge after a winter off and a pregnancy, but Julie belives that with the help of her future husband Sebastien she can do it!
Check out Julie’s Facebook page.
Julie has been supplementing our Staminex to her canine athletes for many years now.
ANDREY & ALLA NAYDENKO (Russia) – sprint mushing
Andrey and Alla are a NEW ADDITION to our Team Howling Dog. Welcome, guys! They live in Moscow, Russia and specialize in racing in the four-dog class (both dryland and on snow). Andrey and Alla are both accomplished mushers. Their kennel’s name is Crazy Sled Dog Team.
Their team has many victories under the belt, including being the Russian Champion twice. Andrey and Alla often travel to race abroad in Baltic countries, Finland and central Europe. Their biggest goal for this season it to travel to France to compete in the 2019 IFSS World Championship. Welcome aboard, Andrey & Alla!
Visit Andrey’s Facebook page.
RICH KISSELOFF (Illinois, USA) – skijoring, scootering & bikejoring
Once again Rich has teamed up with us for yet another racing season! It is imporant for us here at Howling Dog to be also represented in an individual sled dog sport. Rich has been with us pretty much from the start of his racing career. We have provided Rich with technical support and offered quality and functional gear. Howling Dog Alaska also supports Windy City Mushers Club – a group of mushing enthusiasts Rich founded a few years back in the Chicago area.
Rich is in for another exciting season – whether dryland or on snow. Same as Martin & Kati, Andrey & Alla and Julie, Rich is also planning on competing in the 2019 IFSS World Championship in France.
Visit Windy City Mushers Facebook page.