We are always on the look out for up and coming athletes to join the SnowPaw Family, this season we are pleased to announce we have chosen to sponsor Ash and the Hounds who will soon be heading off to Germany to compete in the IFSS European Championships in the DR4 category.
Read on to hear from Ash and learn more about her team and how she got into this wonderful sport...
I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to be sponsored by Snowpaw store. I get a lot of my dogs supplements and equipment from the Snowpaw online store so couldn’t believe it when the team offered their support. I am so excited to be part of the Snowpaw store team and look forward to working with them.
We are a small sprint distance kennel based in North East Scotland. There is myself (Ash) and my 5 dogs, 4 of my dogs are currently still training but one, my eldest is happily cheering from the side lines. He is enjoying his retired life at the good age of 17!
I am 34 years old and work in the veterinary industry as a receptionist for about 6 years. Dog health is very important to me and my knowledge on dog care has vastly improved since working in this sector. I do my best to put their health and happiness to the front of anything we do. I have been privileged to have a friend who is a vet. Herself and her husband used to compete at a high level with their sled dogs, so with her veterinary knowledge and her husband’s knowledge in the sport they have always offered great support, advice and guidance.
Brief background in the sport
I have been involved in sled dog sports since I got my first Husky Diesel. He is now 17 years old! Together we met new people, learnt new skills and just wanted more. In 2014 I went to Kandersteg to watch and the Scottish teams compete on Snow. It was an amazing experience, I learnt so much and had so many questions! I wanted to do some competitions myself.
In the years to follow I tried to get some more experience. I competed at Aviemore with my 4 dog Husky team and took 1st place. I also started to compete in the open class at SDAS, starting with 2 dogs and working up. I also took part in the ECF canicross race in South of France where I came 3rd with my Eurohound Kiwi. This year we became SDAS Scottish champions in the DR4 and British Champions at the BSSF National championships.
Our next adventure….the Europeans!
Alba: Small but mighty
About her: (Bred by me) My fellow female on the team. Sister to Nevis. This wee girl is not to be overlooked She may be small but she is by far the fastest. She keeps the pace up and the boys on their toes.
Nevis: Full on drive
About him: Brother to Alba. This boy is a gentle gaint but a full on power house in harness. He would run until he dropped so I need to be careful he doesn’t work to hard. He loves to be up front but will run in any position…..just let him run!
Odin: Full on excitement and energy!
About him: Born in Norway, bred by Lena boysen he came to me at 16 weeks old. A loving boy who aims to please and just loves to run! He gets rather excited and when it’s a team run he makes sure he isn’t going to be left behind. A powerful boy who is keen to get going, banging into his harness wanting to run.
Rab: Pup with potential
About him: Rab is all legs He is the youngest of the team and just turned 2. He is growing into a great sled dog. Driving well and developing nicely. Constantly exceeding my expectation. He has improved in drive, confidence and commands. He just keeps getting better!
Diesel: Faithful friend
Breed: Siberian husky
About him: 1 in a million. Words can’t describe how lucky I am to have had him in my life. 17 years old and has always been a gent! He takes everything in his stride and looks to the world with a smile. He is enjoying retirement and enjoys small walks on the beach.
Currently myself and the team are training hard for the Europeans In Germany. We are a close team and have been on this journey together. I feel very close to this team and everything I do is centred around them. At the beginning we started slowly. Due to a young age we started with teaching the basics skills. Line out, stand, wait. Moving onto canicross, then bike. Then team work. With help from my friend Dan and his dogs they helped us become a team. Danny teaching me and his dogs showing my pups the ropes. He helped me believe in myself and push me to keep going.
Since those early days we are now a truly bonded team. I love working with the dogs. In the summer I camp out in the van getting up at 3am to get the best temperatures to continue team training as long as I can. When the temps rise we brake training down to 1:1 bike work, shorten distance and work on commands. Then when the heat is just too much. It’s just some free running beach fun or swim sessions!
Like most mushers winter is my favourite time of year. Cool temperatures means hitting the trails and working on mileage. Really letting the dogs have fun! We train because we love it and compete in races to give us a focus. I like to do well but when I really think about it…I cherish the journey more. I am constantly learning and asking questions. I try to take the knowledge I learn and see what works for us as a team. What works for some may not work for your team but it’s all about development. I have always been scared to “bother” people or ask for help but I have been so fortunate to have made amazing friends (The Carter family and the Fitzgerald family) in this sport who have achieved so much. They have only welcomed us into their homes and helped me grow. I hope that I can offer people the same kindness in the sport as I have received.
We currently plan to keep learning and growing. We plan to live fast, find adventure and cherish the journey!
Wow, what an inspiration! Like all the SnowPaw Athletes we truly believe the best is yet to come with these guys, so much passion and love for our sport we can’t wait for the winter season to start to see them achieving and exceeding their goals!
In order for Ash to get out to the European Championships this November there are a lot of additional costs on top of the equipment and supplies we are providing to get her there such as:
- Pet travel documents
- Ferry costs
If you want to help support Ash get out to Germany check out her Go Fund Me page here