WHILE it might be a sport that you'd associate with a more Arctic climate than Ireland's, the sport of Sled Dog Racing is one that is taking off in Ireland and Gorey man Vinny Dixon is hoping it will catch on in Wexford.
While it might be a sport that you'd associate with a more Arctic climate than Ireland's, the sport of Sled Dog Racing is one that is taking off in Ireland and Gorey man Vinny Dixon is hoping it will catch on in Wexford.
Vinny started out Sled Dog Racing on his own, but now he has found other interested people and formed the South East Sled Dog Club.
'It all started when I got a Siberian Husky two or three years ago,' Vinny said. 'I found it very hard to walk it. It kept pulling the arms out of me. So then I looked into other ways of walking the dog, and strapped it to the bike.'
As a result, Vinny found a sport that was loved by man and dog and was great exercise for both!
While Huskies would be the breed that people would most commonly associate with pulling sleds, Vinnie has moved onto a different breed. 'At the moment, I use Pointers myself,' he said. 'Not many people would know it, but the Pointers are actually a lot quicker pulling a sled than the Huskies. I use a three-wheel sled, but you can also use a scooter or even a bike.'
Vinny demonstrated this fact recently as he finished first in the open class of the IFSS World Cup, which was held in Roscommon. Fellow Wexford-based enthusiasts Anthony O'Hara and Samantha Horan also returned home with medals, with Anthony coming first in the four-dog Nordic breed category and Samantha earning silver medals in both the two-dog Nordic and female Canicross categories.
'It started out with just myself,' Vinny said. 'But now we've formed the South East Sled Dog Club and we have four members so far - three from Gorey and one from Enniscorthy.'
He's now hoping to encourage more people to take up the sport and join the club.
Anybody interested in giving Sled Dog Racing a try can get in touch with Vinny by sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org