It was a muddy start to the weekend for the many mushers attending the Northern Victorian Sled Dog Club Classic.
The popular annual event at Moira Park, in the Kialla bush, had mushers travel from across Australia to compete.
Club president Cate Macnamara said with about 180 mushers and more than 500 dogs, it was a great event for the whole family.
She said the three-day event covered a number of different races, accommodating the young up and coming mushers right through to the more experienced.
Ms Macnamara said the ‘‘pee-wee’’ heats had children as young as 16 weeks take to the track with parents and their dogs for a 500m race.
‘‘The pee-wees get points for having the right safety equipment and having good dog etiquette,’’ she said.
‘‘It teaches them good sportsmanship and looking after their dogs from a young age.
‘‘We like to include and encourage the young children.’’
Ms Macnamara said bigger races had up to eight dogs pulling mushers on a 6.5km track.
She said the sled dog classic was the largest dryland sled dog race in Australasia and attracted entries from Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, NSW, Canberra, Victoria and Tasmania.
Ms Macnamara said the weekend was a great success with ideal weather conditions and a relaxed atmosphere.
She said the event was only made possible by the many volunteers and major sponsors who supported the event.
- Laura Briggs