Bill Hastings

#24 Grant Beck

24 — Grant Beck from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Age 71.

Grant has been mushing dogs since age seven, when his first job was delivering groceries by dog team in the remote village of Fort Resolution, NWT. By age twelve, Grant was travelling by himself in the bush with his dog team, learning to live safely and comfortably in temperatures as low as – 40C. Since running and winning his first race at nine years old, Grant has put together an impressive career with hundreds of trophies and wins. The headlines began with the first of his four wins at the Canadian Championship in 1978. Grant was the 10-dog World Champion by 1981 and was winning races of up to 300 miles throughout the United States. In 1991, his international reputation soared when he started racing the 700 km Alpirod with many years of top 3 finishes. Over 11 seasons in Europe, Grant went on to win the Pirena 2000 Dog Sled Race in the Pyrenees. In 2005, he finished a strong third in La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc, one of the toughest dog sled races in the world.

#23 Fernando Ramirez

23 — Fernando Ramirez from Peoa, Utah.

Age 36.

Fernando ran the Pedigree Stage Stop Race in 2019 and in 2020. He and his wife, Dana, own and operate Rancho Luna Lobos in Peoa, Utah. They offer educational sled dog tours, kids’ summer /winter camps and have a dog rescue and rehabilitation program on their Rancho. Fernando is proud to represent his Mexican heritage on the professional racing circuit and hopefully inspire more Latino mushers to race. An enthusiastic Fernando says, “I’m really excited to race in the 2022 season after having to pull out of last year’s Stage Stop due to an injury.”

#22 Jerry Scdoris

22 — Jerry Scdoris from Bend, Oregon.

Age 74.

Jerry: “I am a Vietnam era Veteran and a very serious University of Oregon Duck; a retired high school teacher, counselor, and football and track coach. My dogs have run in eight Stage Stop races, one with my daughter Rachael Scdoris when she was 15, two with our trusted handler Raphael Nelson and five with me. I’ve had the privilege of training all eight of these teams. Back In the 70’s and 80’s I was a sprint racer. My daughter Rachael emerged during the 90’s and 2000’s as our dog yard’s primary racer and had successful races in Oregon, California, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota and the Alaskan Tustamena 200 four times and four Iditarod’s. I am thrilled to be the musher representing our dog yard in this year’s Stage Stop as I will be celebrating my 74th birthday on the trail with many of the BEST sled dogs and sled dog racers in the World! I love the Wyoming Stage Stop.”

#21 Hans Gatt

21 — Hans Gatt from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Age 63. 

Hans is a dogsled builder with his partner Susie Rogan in Whitehorse, Yukon. He began racing sled dogs in the European Spring circuit in 1987 and moved to Canada in 1990 to pursue stage and distance racing. After winning the Stage Stop four times, he set his sights on the Yukon Quest and Iditarod. Hans has run the Wyoming Stage Stop six times in all, but not since 2001. With 1000-mile racing now behind him, Hans is ready to run the Stage Stop “one more time. Running the Stage Stop is the most fun I’ve ever had racing, and I plan to show up with a team that will finish at the front. But I intend to enjoy the race no matter where they finish. Thank you, Frank Teasley for creating a great event for the sled dog world.”

#20 Rachel Courtney

20 — Rachel Courtney from Vita, Manitoba, Canada.

Age 29.

Born in Mainburg, Germany, Rachel started mushing at age 10 with her pet Siberian Husky and was “immediately hooked on mushing.” At age 14 she began bikejoring (riding a bike with a dog pulling) and four years later came to Canada to handle for Chris Turner in The Pas, Manitoba. “I loved it so much that I knew that I wanted a kennel of my own. Now my husband, my 1-year-old daughter and I own a kennel of 32 sled dogs. This will be my third year running the Stage Stop and I am so excited to return with my whole family to run this race!”

#19 Geneva Lyon

19— Geneva Lyon from Brightwood, Oregon.

Age 46.

Geneva became interested in mushing at the age of four and says that she’s “always loved dogs and all animals.” Born and raised on a small farm in rural southern Oregon, she grew up snowboarding, then got into skijoring and fell in love with driving a dog team. She and her husband Tim, stepson Dillon, and daughter Shade live and train on and around Mt. Hood in Oregon. Geneva ran the 2019 Eukanuba 8-Dog Classic. “I’m excited for a chance to do the big race!”

#18 Dennis LaBoda

18— Dennis LaBoda from Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Age 63.

Dennis is a self-employed contractor. Sled dogs were a neighborhood activity for him when he was growing up in Minnesota. His older brother, Dale, started mushing as a teenager and raced IPSSSDR in the early years of our event. Following in his brother’s “footsteps in the snow,” Dennis started mushing as a teenager and in 1973 won the Minnesota State Championship 5-dog class with dogs supplied by Chuck Gould. He’s won many races in North and South America and has been a race official in Europe. Mushing has been a family activity. He and his son, Charlie, train and race Nighttrain Racing Sled Dogs.

#17 Cathy Rivest

17 — Cathy Rivest from St-Paul-de-Joliette, Quebec, Canada.

Age 46.

Cathy is a prosthetist and has worked with amputees for 25 years. She began dogsledding at age 12 helping to run the family sled dog tour business for tourists. That business quickly turned to competitive sled dog racing. Cathy has raced sprint class, 4-dog and 6-dog as well as dryland. She’s been an active part of Quebec’s Provincial Federation for the past 10 years. She says that her favorite sprint race is Laconia, New Hampshire but says, “I’m really excited to race this year’s Stage Stop with my brother Marco Rivest’s team.”

#16 Christina Gibson

16 — Christina Gibson from Carlton, Washington.

Age 20.

Christina decided she wanted to run and win the Iditarod after seeing the animated movie “Balto,”. She ran a dog for the first time at the age of twelve and started building her own team a year later. Christina now owns Whiteout Racing Kennel, a professional race team based in Washington state’s Methow Valley.

She’s a dog trainer and social media marketer living in the North Cascades of Washington. Christina ran the 2019 Eukanuba 8-Dog Classic and finished 3rd Place. “I’m excited to come back to Wyoming and learn from some of the best at this year’s Stage Stop.”

#15 Laura Bontrager

15 — Laura Bontrager from Newberry, Michigan.

Age 27.

Laura started running dogs 22 years ago with a 4H group started by Jan & Bob Shaw, and their kennel Arctic Wind Racing Sled Dogs. Jan and Bob became like grandparents, and she was fortunate to train and race at Arctic Wind competitively throughout high school and college. Laura now co-manages a kennel with Bruce Magnusson and gets to run the same trails she grew up on. She’s been a handler at the Stage Stop the past four years. “I’m looking forward to getting out on the trail and having fun with 14 of my best friends.”

#14 Lina Streeper

14 — Lina Streeper from Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

Age 36.

Lina grew up in a small community in northern Sweden and became fascinated with sled dogs at a young age. After moving to Canada in 2007, she focused on professional sled dog racing, and has become an integral part of Streeper Kennels. She and husband, Buddy Streeper, own and operate Streeper Kennels in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. They have two wonderful daughters, Alva and Clara. “I love dogs, and I love Wyoming. I’m proud to be returning to this year’s Stage Stop Race. I wish all my Stage Stop family a safe and successful event!”

#13 JR Anderson

13 — JR Anderson from Buyck, Minnesota.  

Age 42.

A native of Minnesota, JR Anderson has dedicated over 20 years to the sport of endurance canines. He and wife, Anna ‘Chapman’ Anderson, own the River Rock Kennel in Buyck, Minnesota. When not racing dogs, JR can be found playing with his daughter Sara and son Eli. Through research, extensive training, and competitive racing, he’s developed a keen knowledge of the canine’s ability to perform at accelerated levels.

#12 Jake Robinson

12 — Jake Robinson from Bemidji, Minnesota.

Age 30.

Robinson Racing Sled Dogs is a 36-dog kennel in Bemidji, Minnesota. Jake has been actively racing for over 15 years, as far east as Quebec, west to British Columbia, north to the Arctic Circle, and everywhere in between. Jake and the Robinson Racing crew focus on bringing a team of happy, healthy athletes to the premier open class and 10-dog sprint and stage races in North America. “We’re thrilled for the opportunity to bring to the 2022 Stage Stop what we learned in 2021!”

#11 Diane Marquis

11 — Diane Marquis from St Medard, Québec, Canada.

Age 67.

Diane is retired from a long career of cattle farming. She enjoys fishing, hunting, and anything which lets her be outside, and that’s one of the main reasons she started dog sledding 20 years ago. Her first team was Siberian Huskies, but it wasn’t long before her competitive nature brought her into the Alaskan Husky world. She has competed in both Trapper festivals in The Pas and Cross Lake, Manitoba. In 2009, Diane won the silver medal at the Daaquam River Dog Sled International in St-Juste-de-Bretenières. She is also the founder of the Basque Challenge.

#10 Anny Malo

10 — Anny Malo from St-Zenon, Quebec, Canada.

Age 51.

2021 Pedigree Stage Stop Race winner. She’s a biologist who owns her company with husband Marco. “I began mushing in 1995 when I met Marco. He was just 18 years old, and already had his own kennel and was competing in the mid-distance circuit in Québec. We made a trip to Alaska in 1998 as handlers for Joe Redington’s kennel and that was the ultimate launching pad for the rest of my mushing career. We’ve traveled with our two sons for over 16 years to participate in the mid-distance circuit in Canada and USA. That’s the best life ever!!!”

#9 Érick Laforce

9 — Érick Laforce from Lanoraie, Quebec, Canada.

Age 55.

Érick is a retired firefighter who has always been in the dog world starting as a Labrador dog trainer. He began mushing in 1992, raced and won all over America, Canada, the Northwest Territories, and Alaska. His love for the dogs is what makes him such a great musher. Dog care is the most important thing when he talks about how to become a good musher. “Wyoming is such a nice race. I’m really looking forward to 2022!”

#8 Alix Crittenden

8 — Alix Crittenden from Bondurant, Wyoming.

Age 34. 

2021 Stage Stop 6th place. Alix began mushing in 2009 as a guide for Frank Teasley’s JHI Sled Dog Tours. Her addiction to the dogs quickly grew, and for the last six years she has managed JHI’s racing program. Alix has raced in many of the western states, as well as Canada and Alaska. She and her husband Sam own and operate Sleeping Indian Outfitters, offering horseback riding and hunting trips. “Thanks to Pedigree and the Mars family for continuing to support this race and our way of life.”

#7 Chris Adkins

7 — Chris Adkins from Sand Coulee, Montana.

Age 53.

Chris’ dad, Terry Adkins, was the only veterinarian on the first Iditarod, and raced it the following year. “I grew up running dogs. Ran my first distance race, the Race To The Sky 500, at 21. If memory serves, I came in fifth, and was the only rookie to finish that year. I tried the stage race in 2010 as a training run for Iditarod and fell in love with the trails of Wyoming. I’ve been coming back whenever I can. In addition, I’ve run races in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Michigan and Alaska. My wife, Shannon and I, with the help of family and friends, operate Mo Betta Sled Dog Racing, a 49-dog kennel on the outskirts of Sand Coulee, Montana. This year, I would like to dedicate my race to my good friend Frank Moe.”

#6 Ryan Beaber

 

6 — Ryan Beaber from Lily, Wisconsin.

Age 48.

2021 Stage Stop finisher Rookie year. Ryan began running dogs 20 years ago as a hobby which turned into racing when his daughters started competing. “As we started racing, we decided stage racing is our favorite style. We love traveling with the dogs, and the time we get to spend in Wyoming in the winter. We also race the Copper Dog 150 and enjoy a few dry land races in Wisconsin and Michigan. Our goals are to hit Canada and Alaska open class style racing, also.”

#5 Gwenn Bogart

5 — Gwenn Bogart from Boulder, Wyoming.

Age 64.

Gwenn began mushing in October 2012 working with various Iditarod mushers in her home of Wasilla/Willow, Alaska. Her only previous animal handling experience had been training horses and competing in three-day event and dressage. Gwenn’s desire to do the Iditarod consumed her fall and winter days, and she qualified for it by finishing two Copper Basin 300’s, Sheep Mountain 150, and the Northern Lights 300. After moving from Alaska to Boulder, Wyoming, she competed twice in the Eagle Cap Extreme 200, twice in West Yellowstone Rodeo Run, and once in the Big Horn Rush Classic. This will be Gwenn’s second Stage Stop.