14 — Rachel Courtney from Caliento, Manitoba, Canada.
Rachel Courtney is a dog trainer who began mushing in 2002 with her pet Siberian Husky, Cindy. In 2010, she traveled to Canada to learn more about mushing and fell in love with the sport and lifestyle, then started her own kennel three years later. Rachel now has a kennel of 28 dogs and a daughter who is starting to learn to run dogs, following in her mom’s “footsteps in the snow.” “This year I have joined kennel with Nate Metzen and we are very excited to return to the Pedigree Stage Stop as it is one of my favorite races.”
13 — Cathy Rivest from St-Paul-de-Joliette, Quebec, Canada.
Cathy began sledding as a twelve-year-old helping to run the family sled dog tour business. Business quickly turned into competition — competitive sled dog racing. Cathy has raced sprint class, 4-dog and 6-dogs, and dryland. She’s been an active part of Quebec’s Provincial Federation the past ten years. Cathy has worked as a prosthetist with amputees for the past 25 years. She says that her favorite sprint race is Laconia, New Hampshire. “I’m so thankful to race the 2024 Pedigree Stage Stop with my brother Marco Rivest’s team. This stage race is a ‘must do’ of a lifetime”.
12 — Sarah Tarlton from Mountain, Wisconsin.
Sarah Tarlton is a jack of all trades but a master of none. She started handling dogs in 2015 with Ryan Beaber and his daughters, then started racing in 2019. She loves learning everything she can about taking care of her dogs and giving them the best she can to show their true athletic potential especially in such a top notch racing circuit with so many incredible other mushers. “I wouldn’t be where I am without her biggest supporter and pusher to keep going, Ryan Beaber.” Sarah placed ninth overall in last year’s Pedigree Stage Stop Race. “I’m looking forward to this year’s Stage Stop.”
11 — Anny Malo from St-Zenon, Quebec, Canada.
Anny started mushing in 1995 when she met Marco. It was clear from the start that the woman of his life would have to share his passion. And she did!!! Quickly, they decided to get into the sport seriously. In 1998 they handled at Joe and Pam Redington’s Iditarod Kennel for eight months. After that, they started traveling with their family and the dogs. Anny holds the record for a single musher with the most consecutive Stage Stop championships totaling five 1st place finishes from 2019 through 2023. “Our goal is to get better each year,” says the returning champion.
10 — Alix Crittenden from Bondurant, Wyoming
Alix has been racing dogs for the last 10 years. She resides in Bondurant with her husband Sam where they enjoy horseback riding, hunting, and fishing. Alix loves the Stage Stop and looks forward to being with her stage stop family every year. Alix placed second overall in last year’s Pedigree Stage Stop Race. “Racing in my home state on the amazing backcountry winter trail system is so special to me. I wish everyone a great race and a great time!”
9 — Bruce Magnusson from Newberry, Michigan.
Even though an injury kept him from competition last year, Bruce Mangusson holds the record for the most consecutive years of running the Stage Stop Race — an impressive 18!! In our 29-year history, no one has run more than Bruce. In his twenty-first year of racing, Bruce lives and trains in Newberry, in Michigan’s upper peninsula. “The Stage Stop is always the primary focus of our race season, and I can’t imagine not being part of this race and the Stage Stop family,” he says.
8 — Donny Poulin from The Pas, Manitoba, Canada.
This is Donny’s second time running the Stage Stop. He was born into the sport — both his father and mother come from mushing backgrounds, He began mushing when he was four years old. His father, Brian, started running dogs in the early 70s, his mother, Jackie, grew up with sled dogs; the 6-dog race in The Pas is named after her father, Jack McPhail. Donny has raced in The Pas World Championship 29 times and the Harold McLeod championship in Cross Lake more than 20 times. “We raced Wyoming last winter and loved it so much we decided to come back and try it again.”
7 — Chris Adkins from Sand Coulee, Montana.
Chris states that he’s a “lumberyard dispatcher/cat herder” in his online application. He grew up running dogs, and attempted his first distance race, the Race To The Sky 500, at 21. He entered the Stage Stop Race in 2010 as a training run for the Iditarod and fell in love with the trails of Wyoming. Chris and his wife Shannon, with the help of the kids, operate Mo Betta Sled Dog Racing, a 50-plus dog kennel in Sand Coulee, Montana. This will be Chris’ tenth Stage Stop. “Apparently, I just can’t get enough of it!”
6 — Linda Pierce from Okanogan, Washington.
Linda has been running dogs since 2011. She operates a small kennel in Okanogan, Washington that is comprised of Alaskan huskies, hound, and hound-cross dogs. Linda began competing in the Stage Stop when the race offered an 8-dog class and became “hooked” on the family atmosphere, professional organization, and beauty of the race locations. “2024 looks to be an exciting year given the age of the team. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with friends and the welcoming communities of the Stage Stop.”
5 — Remy Coste from France.
Previously a baker in France at Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Remy says “so I’m one of the best bakers in France.” He began racing dogs in 2012 with partner Aurelie Delattre, also a musher. They lived in Sweden for seven years training dogs for several European mid-distance races. This mushing couple then decided they wanted to see the “really famous” North American races. Please welcome them to their first Stage Stop competition. “We are super happy to be here for the season and hope to meet a lot of new people.”
4 — Dennis LaBoda from Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Sled dogs were a neighborhood activity when Dennis was growing up in Minnesota. His older brother, Dale, started mushing as a teenager, and raced the IPSSSDR in the early years of our event. Following 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 is a family activity. He and his son, Charlie, train, and race Nighttrain Racing Sled Dogs.
3 — Austin Forney from Leadville, Colorado.
Austin comes from a sixth-generation line of cattle ranchers in the Sandhills of western Nebraska. In 2006, Austin switched from cattle & horses to sled dogs and has been chasing his mushing dreams ever since. He currently lives and trains at elevation 10,152 ft. in Leadville, Colorado. Austin says that he and his veteran handlers, Rich and Ben, are “excited to spend another year in Wyoming with all of the amazing people and dogs of the Pedigree Stage Stop Race.” He also wants to send a huge thanks to all his family and friends for their continued love and support. This is Austin’s ninth consecutive year competing at the Stage Stop Race. “See you in Jackson!”
2 — Michael Tetzner from Burg, Germany.
Michael’s homebase is a farm in Burg, in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany where he has a 60-dog kennel. He began mushing in 1987 after watching a sled dog race in Germany, then started running Siberian Huskies and he’s been racing dogs all over the world since. Michael placed third overall in the 2023 Fur Rondy Open World Championships and got an award for the best dog care. His daughter Leonie (age 13) will be his handler. “Running the Stage Stop had been my dream for many years, so I look forward to running again this year.”
1 — Tim Thiessen from Leadville, Colorado.
Tim has run the Stage Stop every year since 2019. His passion for dog sledding began in 2003 when he began working for a Breckenridge, Colorado dog sled tour company. He soon began competing in the local Colorado race circuit with his own team. Tim and his partner, Natalie, share their high-altitude homestead in the Mosquito Range of central Colorado with dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, and some geese. “Every year presents new challenges, and I’m excited to, once again, to compete in this esteemed event!”
18 — Rachel Courtney from Manitoba, Canada.
When she was ten years old in Mainburg, Germany, Rachel started mushing with her pet Siberian Husky, and was “immediately hooked on mushing.” Four years later she began bikejoring, riding a bike with a dog pulling. At 18, she came to Canada to learn more about the sport, and after handling for Chris Turner in The Pas, Manitoba quickly realized that is what she wanted to do. “I own a kennel of 18 sled dogs. This will be my fourth year running the Stage Stop, and I am excited to return for this year’s race!”
17 — Liz Thompson from Saint Anthony, Idaho.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Liz started mushing in 2011 with Luna Lobos Dog Sled Tours, then became a handler with Buddy and Terry Streeper for three seasons. “Although I’ve never had my own dogs, I’ve been lucky enough to learn from the best, and drive for some amazing mushers like Terry, Bud and Lina Streeper, Thad McKracken and Alix Crittenden. I’m very excited and honored to get to run this year’s event for Jake Robinson. Thanks, Jake, for the opportunity. I can’t wait to share the trail with all my friends this year.”
22 — Doug Butler from Middlebury, Vermont.
On his online application, Doug writes that he’s been a “dairy farmer since birth. Dairy farming and dog sled racing has been my whole life except for my family. I love my dogs, and I love racing.” Doug now raises beef cattle at his family farm in Vermont and operates Cobble Hill Kennel. Five years ago, he brought his infectious love for the sport to the world stage when he competed in the Open North American Championship in Fairbanks, Alaska. This is Doug’s third Stage Stop.
20 — Dave Torgerson from Bozeman, Montana.
Since Dave started racing sled dogs in 1989, he’s racked up seven Stage Stop finishes. He paused racing to tend to the family and business aspects of life, but in 2017 returned to the runners behind a Streeper team at the Stage Stop and placed second. He and his family have raced the Streeper Kennel’s B Team for the past seven seasons, and “look forward to returning to their Stage Stop Family again in 2023.”