Rancho Luna Lobos remain positive despite crash in Pedigree Stage Race

WYOMING — The Rancho Luna Lobos, Park City’s local family owned and operated kennel and professional dog racing team, were faced with a difficult decision after stage three of the Pedigree Stage Stop Dog Sled Race as they experienced a crash in the midst of a blizzard and decided to pull out of the competition.

After two days of racing which included rolling hills and beautiful scenery, Fernando and the dogs approached a summit in the Pinedale stage of the race. Quickly becoming trapped in a blinding whiteout storm, the team lost sight of the trail three times due to poor visibility and struggled to find their way. Upon pushing through the deep snow at a high velocity, Fernando accidentally crashed into the dogs in what he described as an “accordion” like manner.

Fernando Ramirez (Rancho Luna Lobos) competes in the Pedigree Stage Stop Dog Sled Race in Wyoming. Photo: Angelos Media.

“This definitely shook the team and myself up both physically and more so mentally,” Fernando said on the team’s Instagram.” I stopped for about 15 minutes, checking range of motion of every dog. I had to put a wheel dog, Yukon, in my sled bag. He didn’t like it. From mile 22 to 35, I “walked” my dogs home going no faster than 8 mph. The dogs, or myself for that matter, were not in the right mind set.”

“The phenomenal Vet Team checked out all of our dogs making sure everyone was ok,” Fernando continued.” We all agreed that a few of my dogs need to sit the rest of the race out to recover properly. Even when everyone does everything right, accidents can still happen. We always put our dogs first in every situation. For their mental health and physical health, we need to pull out of the Pedigree Stage Race.”

Despite the disappointment in having to withdraw from the race, Fernando remained positive and focused on both the mental and physical health of the dogs. He also mentioned that while they are resting for now and attending to the animals, they will continue to assess their status and determine if they are able to compete in their remaining scheduled races.

Their next opportunity to compete will be in the Laconia World Championships on Feb. 11, 12, and 13.

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