Animals – Beelitz – sled dogs in dry training: European Championship – Society

Klaistow (dpa / bb) – Arctic flair in the middle of Brandenburg: 400 sled dogs and their teams were given a test for the coming winter in Klaistow (Potsdam-Mittelmark) for two days. At the European Championship in the sled dog race, mushers, as the dog sled handlers are called, and animals fought for cups. According to the organizer Jörg Pohmer, 197 participants from 14 nations have started with their sled dogs since Friday. These included teams from Slovenia, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Italy and France. The races were held in different disciplines over five different competition routes with a distance of between 800 meters and 21 kilometers. The routes led from the asparagus farm in Klaistow into the forest, across the fields and back to the parking lot to the finish line. The competition took place under 2G rules, i.e. for those who have recovered and who have been vaccinated.

A light drizzle of snow brought a bit of a wintry mood on Saturday – for the participating dogs such as the Siberian husky or the Greenland dog, however, the race was still “dry training”, reported organizer Pohmer. The 53-year-old won the European Championship in Hungary last year and wanted to defend his title. Ultimately, he and his newly assembled young dog team came in third in the long distance of eight kilometers and was not dissatisfied. The dogs are still capable of development, they still have to gain experience and learn to deal with stress, he estimated.

In the competition, up to 12 dogs could be harnessed to a car – the highest category in the race. The winners did not expect a lumberjack house or a small car, but instead food for the dogs and a trophy, emphasized Pohmer. “Sport and the cooperation between dog and human are more important here.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211127-99-165085 / 3

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