Scott Landry photos
FARMINGTON – Skijorner Jeff Shallaid of Yarmouth, glides across the finish line with his two standard poodles pulling him at the 6th Annual Farmington Dog Sled races held along Route 2/Farmington Falls Road. Shallaid said it was his team’s first time going four miles, noting “the conditions out there are perfect,” he said of the course.
More than 80 teams from across New England and Canada are competing across the snow-covered cornfields bordering the Sandy River at the 6th Annual Farmington Dog Sled races on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 7 and 8.
“Oh, it’s a lot of fun,” said Joy Turner of Jay today. Her family has been organizing the event for years and said she is looking forward to the big crowd of spectators last year’s event brought. The event is sponsored by the Downeast Sled Dog Club, the Turners and local mushers.
The race will take place on Bussie and Brenda York’s field just south of town on the Farmington Falls Road. An area will be plowed out for parking off the main road and no admission is charged.
Musher registration begins at 8:30 a.m Saturday and again on Sunday. The racing action begins 9 a.m. both days. Several classes will be competing, which include one-dog and two-dog skijoring; four-, six-, and eight-dog sled races will also take place during the two-day event. Within each class, pros will race for the $1,000 purse, while those in the sportsman category race for points and are awarded a plaque. The dog-sled races will run along a four-, six- or eight-mile stretch of trail, or one mile per dog in the team, on trails that have been packed down in preparation.
New this year is the Farmington Frolic Race where mushers race to harness and hook up their dog team to a sled and then take off and race along a 2 1/2 mile course.
Food vendors will on hand throughout the days and, if the weather forecast is correct, 35- to 40-degrees days are expected.
For more information, call the Turners at 645-2864.