The musher demonstrations were one of last year’s most popular events. The mushers will have their dogs camped out on the Festival Grounds throughout the day so that you can visit and chat in a leisurely setting. You can see the equipment used for dog mushing including different styles of sleds and carts as well as the vehicles used to transport the dogs to races.
We also have a number of scheduled demonstrations where the mushers will discuss the sport and provide short demonstrations of the dogs pulling carts. Those presentations will be at:
Saturday, February 27 – Maggie Valley Festival Grounds – 11:30, 1:00, 2:30 & 4:00
Sunday, February 28 – Cataloochee Guest Ranch Breakfast (8-9:30) with demonstrations after
We are excited at the slate of mushers who are scheduled to present at this year’s festival:
Best-In-Snow – Dan Rehak / Heather Walls – Pennsylvania – Best-in-Snow is a Siberian Husky micro kennel in Pittsburgh, PA that provides a home for retired long-distance racing huskies. These super athletic sled dogs now do recreational urban (dryland) mushing and sledding and participate in short (2-5 mile) races for fun and to stay fit and happy. Dan and Heather give educational presentations to schools, scout troops, and senior citizen groups to share their passion for the breed and the history and traditions of sled dogs. They have attended the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska 4 times as spectators; their dogs have run the race during their pre-retirement racing careers with their breeder and trainer, Canadian musher Karen Ramstead of NorthWapiti Kennels. Dan also does travel photography and action photography at sled dog events.
Rockin’ Maples Malamutes – Tracey Bargy and Vanessa Weidrick – Rockin’ Maples Malamutes is a small, family-run kennel specializing in raising working Malamutes. Although Tracey has had a lifelong affinity for the breed, she only began participating in recreational dryland mushing about five years ago. Since then, the size of her Malamute team and her passion for these strong, independent, and strikingly beautiful dogs has grown immensely! Tracey has shared this love of mushing with her youngest daughter, Vanessa, and they both have traveled far and wide with their Malamutes to participate in group mushing events. The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the sled dogs and is traditionally used for pulling heavy loads over long distances. The breed was developed by a native Alaskan tribe, the “Mahlemut”, making Malamutes a truly all-American dog. Malamutes have played an important role in many historical events, and even served as the basis for the character Chewbaca from the Star Wars series!
Stormhawk Siberians – Cruz Schubert – Indiana – I am owned and loved by four Siberian Huskies. Together we are a family, a team, and a unit. My eldest is Angel, age 5, her bonded mate is Kaos, who will be 5 in February. Their daughter Pax Angelus will be 4 in January, and the youngest team member is Tao, 20 months. Although we love races, we are not there to “win,” rather finish a new trail of adventures and be with likeminded people. Our motto is “Spiritual Enlightenment Through Sled Dogs,” as they’ve shown me how to live well, play hard, what a great work ethic is and what unconditional love really is all about. We are so looking forward to seeing you all there, and the dogs have kisses to give out!
The Chalo Sulky team pulls a dog sulky. The sulky can be pulled by one to four dogs. The team can pull wagons and rigs for hauling bamboo poles.