Grandmother of Rick Holt Shares Her Idita-Rider Adventures

by Sleddoggin Staff on April 7, 2011

Rick Holt’s 88 year old Grandmother, Vera Holt, was given the oppurtunity to travel up to Anchorage, Alaska to become her Grandson’s Idita-Rider during the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

After visiting the start of the Iditarod eleven years earlier – Vera thought she would never be able to return to the state again.

Rick actively prepared for his Rookie Iditarod run by successfully completing his qualifying races – with good placements & coveted awards.

According to the Iditarod website – Rick’s biography is as follows:

Rick Holt, 39, was born in New Hampshire and was raised in Massachusetts. He received his BS in business from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and then a BS in Biology from Seattle Pacific University and finally a MA in Education Leadership from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Rick writes, “Both my father and grandfather ran dogs in New England. My grandfather was president of the NESDC back in the 60′s. My family valued being out doors, independent and adaptable. So I had many opportunities to gain and practice the associated skills.” He and his wife moved to Elim for teaching jobs and says, “it was a matter of time before we fell into sled dogs, having our first litter and twin boys in 1999.” For the next few years, he ran dogs on the coast of the Bering Sea and says “the Norton Sound Sled Dog Club was an invaluable resource and provided endless learning opportunities. I am looking forward to returning to my home turf and seeing many dear friends.” Rick’s dogs are from Unalakleet and Lynda Plettner, who, he says, has been a long time friend and an extraordinary source of resources in terms of equipment, experience and frank advice. He says mushing is a family affair and it wouldn’t be possible without the support and sacrifices provided by his wife and kids. “This year I will be dedicating my race and all my efforts in honor of my grandfather who passed away this spring at the age of 94. My dream is to have my grandmother, 88, travel to Anchorage to be our Idita-Rider.”

In a field of almost one-hundred Iditarod starters – Rick Holt finished 58 out of 78 Iditarod finishers. Rick Holt is no longer the Iditarod Rookie he once was.

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