Dogsled racing usually conjures up the idea of racing sleds pulled dogs over snow-covered cross-country courses.
CU Husky dogs being held on leads b owners PAN TO Competitor arriving on cart led by team of dogs of Langenlonsheim, West Germany (2 shots)
SV Woman competitor arriving on cart pulled by dogs
CU Man riding on cart
CU Man with dogs before start of race
GV First team leaving starting point PAN TO Driver pushing ground away with foot
SV Crowd watching as another team begins race (2 shots)
SV Competitor with dog team through woods
CU PAN Competitor Willi Gierlich (No. 52) riding on cart through woods as groups of spectators watch
SV Competitor Walter Gagau (No. 48) on cart through woods
SV Dogs walking and man pushing cart behind them (Hans G Picolin, No. 52)
SV Dogs tied to tree barking
SV Competitor Hans J. Berger (No. 54) arriving att finnish and applauded by crowd
A dogsled racing event was first included in the Winter Olympics programme in 1932 at Lake Placid, U.S.A.
SPORT: DOGSLED RACING
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Background: Dogsled racing usually conjures up the idea of racing sleds pulled dogs over snow-covered cross-country courses. But in Europe the sport has also been popular as a summer event for many years. In West Germany and other countries dogs pull carts over rough terrain in summer racing. And carts are used for training drivers snd dogs before the winter season begins.
SYNOPSIS: A training session for the coming season's dogsled championships took place on Sunday (9 November) near the small winegrowers' village of Langenlonsheim. Crowds of enthusiasts gathered in a forest near the River Rhine to watch the dogs pulling carts in the practice race. The event was organised by the German Club for Nordic Dogs. The dogs usually used for racing are Siberian huskies. Their drivers are known as mushers. Many of them breed their own animals and spend years training them to a competitive standard.
Dogsled racing was developed from thee main Eskimo method of transportation. Dogsleds are still used for transportation and working purposes in the extreme north. But they're now been replaced to a great extent by aircraft and snowmobiles.
The modern lightweight racing sled weighs about thirty pounds (about thirteen kilograms). Its ash wood frame is lashed together with leather and its runners sheathed in steel or aluminium. The teams usually consists of five, seven or nine dogs. They are driven in what's known as a gang hitch--a single leader with the rest of the team in pairs. Control of the team is by voice. But drivers are allowed to carry whips of a limited length.
A team of dogs can pull the sled and its musher at speeds of over twenty miles an hour (about 32 kilometres an hour). In a race, teams start at intervals of two to three minutes and must finish in the order they started.