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ASHTON, Idaho. — Fernando Ramirez and his dog team placed third overall representing Luna Lobos, Park City’s family owned-and-operated organization. In the third race in as many weekends, this competition brought the two-legged and four-legged athletes to Ashton, Idaho to attend the American Dog Derby – the oldest all-American dog sled race.
View a video clip, courtesy of Luna Lobos, of Ramirez’s competition here
Longer race, longer pace: dog sledding differs from the thousandths of a second in luge or Michael Phelps’ famous fingernail final. Ramirez crossed the finish line on Friday with a time of 2:31:46 and on Saturday with a 2:41:09, for a two-day combined total of 5:12:55, putting him a relatively impressive 27 mins 51 seconds behind the 2nd place finisher.
Team Luna Lobos had multiple top-ten showings this weekend in the classes running four dogs per sled. There was also boisterous participation in the six-dog class with a team that included Pepper, Timber, Juno, Humberto and Skunky Monkey.
Luna Lobos brings people, animals, equipment and nature together on many levels, from (a sometimes wait-listed) single ride for out-of-towners to career athletes and everything in between. Pictured below is Noah Chec and Skunky Monkey. Twleve-year-old Chec is a local and one to watch.
The Junior Musher program exposes Park City athletes like him to many experiences, along with some strenuous exercise. As Chec put it, “the most challenging thing is running uphill with the dogs.” But, he added, “my favorite part is bonding with the dogs and being out in nature in the snow.”
Although Chec did not travel out of state for this race, if the past five years of doggie dedication training camps to the sport are any indication, fans may find him doing just that before long.