Sled dog race comes to Kemmerer
The 2023 Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race is on, and competitors will run through Kemmerer on February 1 for the fifth stage of the race. The field consists of 24 teams with the race starting in Jackson Hole. This marks the 28th running of the iconic event. Teams from 10 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, and one team travelling from Germany are present.
After the Kemmerer leg, racers will be in Alpine on Feb. 3 for stage six of the competition. On Feb. 4 the racers are in Driggs, Idaho, for the finish line and their final banquet. For a complete list of the race events and more information visit www.wyomingstagestop.org. The prize for this year’s winner is $165,000.
Trista Gordon, director of events and recreation for the City of Kemmerer, is excited to be working with the Pedigree Stage Stop Race. She is also this year’s chairperson for the city of Kemmerer Sled Dog Race Committee and said the town has been a part of this race, which is the second largest sled dog race in the country, for at least 20 years. Gordon said, “We received a lot of donations from local businesses so the impact to taxpayers is minimal because local businesses were happy to chip in.” Gordon said the cost to host the race is $2,000 and donations are paying for that.
The mission of the Stage Stop Race is to promote healthy and active lifestyles for people and their pets. The organization aims to showcase the strong bond and dedication between human and canine participants, inspiring people to enjoy the outdoors with their animal companions.
Local schools benefit from the race as well with mushers coming into the classrooms. Students get to take fieldtrips to tour the racers’ trucks and sleds, ask questions, and meet the dogs. Part of their educational experience involves research, learning about weather and mapping as well as reading the biographies of the mushers and dogs. Kids will be cheering for the teams on the sidelines. Katie Williams, lead teacher for the race and fourth-grade teacher at Pinedale Elementary School, said, “It is an honor to be associated with such a wonderful display of sportsmanship and passion.”