Snow and conditions on the ground are just right for the first time in years for dog lovers who race huskies and sleds on forest tracks.
The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain said the snow is perfect for racing – providing Aviemore, Scotland, where the next meeting is due does not have a big thaw.
Racing huskies is a popular sport for country families and singles living in forest and mountain parts of the UK.
A lot of the time, the racers have wheeled rigs like chariots for time trials and races around forest tracks because of the lack of snow, but this year, contenders have their fingers crossed that the weather does not improve too much.
Unfortunately the snow can be a mixed blessing, although racers and supporters want good snow, the conditions mean they can’t get to the tracks with their dogs and kit. A recent race in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, was called off due to the weather.
Sled racing is a big pull for the crowds
A spokesman said: “It is the right kind of snow for husky racing – slightly powdery – and will be the first time we will have raced on snow since the mid-90s.”
The club is sure the A9, the main road to the Highlands, will be open and competitors were buying snow tyres and snow chains to make sure they could reach the track and race.
Almost 200 teams will hit the snow for this year’s race, at Aviemore rally is on January 23 and 24, on tracks around Loch Morlich in the shadow of the Cairngorms.
The rally features teams of between two and eight dogs running at up to 20 miles an hour over a four-mile track.
Along with the Siberian huskies, rally dogs include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs.
Big outdoor meets like this are great outdoor dates for country singles to get together. The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain organises a series of races over the winter months.