forest shot 560MacGregor Point Provincial Park played host to the inaugural Dryland Sled Dog Derby November 11 and 12.

Hub Staff

McGregor Point Provincial Park went to the dogs during its inaugural Dryland Sled Dog Derby November 12 and 13.

Over 28 mushers and their dogs participated in multi-dog races throughout the two days, such as 4 Dog Rig races, 2 Dog Scooter, and the 4-Mile Canicross, where people, using different pieces of equipment and harnesses, run with their dogs through marked trails.

The weekend’s Race Marshall, Jim Cunningham of Cobourg, Ontario, has overseen events like the Yukon Quest and Alaska’s legendary Iditarod and said MacGregor Point is a great venue with ready trails.

Organizer of the event, Lisa DeGennaro of Saugeen Shores, said there are plenty of races around Canada in the winter and that the dryland racing is gaining in popularity. DeGennaro plans to make the Dryland Sled Dog Derby an annual event at MacGregor Park.

DeGennaro, who represented Team Canada at the Drylands World Championship in 2015, will be racing for Team Canada this winter at the Haliburton Highlands Dog Racing Derby, that will see over 100 teams come together from approximately 23 countries.

She said the sport really bonds you with your dogs and hopes the weekend event gives the sport more exposure.

“It’s a really great way to burn some energy off your dogs. And if you have a problem dog that’s just too high energy, this is really good,” she said. DeGennaro went on to say you don’t need to be a specific fitness level for the sport.

Racers and their dogs travelled from the Muskoka area, Windsor and even Quebec to be part of the inaugural event, with many going on to represent Team Canada later this year in Haliburton.

water shot 560A team participating in the 2 Dog Scooter Race, November 12 at the Dryland Sled Dog Derby.

Keysuk 560Keysuk, a purebred racing Siberian, worked the camera in between races November 12.

mark 560Mark Clements of Chatsworth got some love from his dog Blue at the Dryland Sled Dog Derby, November 12.

jim front back 560Jim Cunningham has been a Race Marshall for 18 years and highly approved of the trails at MacGregor Point Provincial Park.