Jackson, Wyoming—January 30, 2009—Jackson’s Town Square became a race chute for world-class dog sled teams today as 20 teams left the starting line to begin the eight-day 2009 International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR).
Crowds lined the street for a glimpse of the dogs, but for those who couldn’t see the starting line, a giant screen with a live feed provided a bird’s-eye view as Jackson’s Mayor Mark Barron drove the first team from the starting line followed by Pedigree’s dignitary driver, Anne Herrington.
Competing teams included three-time IPSSSDR winner Melanie Shirilla from Lincoln, Mont., the first woman to win the IPSSSDR and winner of the 2002, 2006 and 2008 IPSSSDR; the “winningest musher in the world,” Jeff King from Denali Park, Alaska; and the youngest musher to enter the race, 15-year-old Krista Halsnes from Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Mushers and dogs raced through town on a three-mile snow-covered track specially created by the Town of Jackson Public Works department for the event and finished at Snow King Resort, where IPSSSDR title sponsor Pedigree hosted a free-to-the-public reception. The event concluded with Jackson Hole’s Winter Carnival celebration complete with torchlight parade, dancing, and fireworks
Following the Jackson stage, teams will continue to the Wyoming towns of Lander, Pinedale, Big Piney/Marbleton, Alpine, Kemmerer/Diamondville, Evanston, and Lyman/Mountain View over the next week before arriving in Park City, Utah, for the final stage and awards ceremony on Saturday, February 7. With its unique “stage stop” racing format, the IPSSSDR stops in a different community each night, allowing the host towns to show their hospitality: Festivities on offer for mushers and spectators alike include pancake feeds, dog parades, banquets, carnivals, and snowshoe softball.
The Pedigree® brand actively supports a wide range of programs that promote responsible pet ownership and highlight the contributions dogs make to society.
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