#19 — Dennis Laboda from Hovland , MN
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 Night Train Racing Sled Dogs.
#18 — Emilie Entrikin from Fairbanks, Alaska.
Emilie was first introduced to the dog mushing at age 21 working for a mid-distance kennel in Minnesota. She then moved to Alaska and began skijor racing with her own two dogs. Not quite satisfied with the challenge of skijoring, Emile bred her first litter of pups and ran her first sprint Open Class race in 2014. Since then, she’s raised 3 litters of dogs and has competed throughout Alaska and Canada. She says her favorite races “are in the remote villages of Alaska where the history of sprint racing runs deep.” When not spending time with her dogs, Emilie is a wilderness raft, canoe, and backpack guide in the Alaska Arctic.
#17 — Lina Streeper from Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.
Lina grew up in a small community in northern Sweden and became fascinated with sled dogs at a young age. Since moving to Canada in 2007, she has focused on professional sled dog racing. She’s part of “the famous mushing dynasty” known as Streeper Kennels. She and husband, Buddy Streeper, own and operate Streeper Kennels in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. They have two wonderful daughters, 8-year-old Alva and 6-year-old Clara. “I’m proud to be returning to the 2019 Pedigree Stage Stop Race, and I wish all my Stage Stop family a safe and successful event!”
#16 — Katherine Scheck from Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, Canada.
Born and raised in the Yukon, Katherine started running dogs in 2011 when introduced to skijoring. In 2012, she bought a litter of pups — the six-and-a-half-year-olds in this year’s race team are from that litter. Katherine lives near Whitehorse with her 5-year old daughter, 3-year old son and 27 Yukon huskies. In 2018, she got the “Stage Stop bug,” and when new changes were announced, she knew she had to sign up. She and her dogs are excited to “gain a bunch of experience this season and to have the opportunity to be rookies racing amongst the best mushers in the world.”
#15 — Erick Laforce from Lanoraie, Quebec, Canada.
Erick is a Montreal firefighter who grew up in a small town at the edge of the country. He spent his teenage years in Montreal where a husky he later named Max came to him in the school yard one day. He says that the magic of that moment created the spark that made him the passionate musher he is today. Erick placed first in the 2018 The Pas World Championship, and first in all three 2017 Cross Lake Trappers Festival Race in Manitoba, Kamba Carnival, and western Canadian races. He and his three boys currently live on the same street where he started his first kennel.
#4— Linda Pierce from Okanagen, Washington.
Linda started running dogs with two dogs for a skijor team after she retired from a 28-year career in law enforcement. Her kennel has grown to 18 dogs and includes 15 Alaskan Huskies and three Hound Cross team members. Linda lives in Okanogan, Washington with her husband, a ranch dog, sled dogs and two mules, and trains out of Seeley Lake, Montana. Linda raced the 2018 Eukanuba 8-Dog Classic which inspired her to compete in this year’s Stage Stop Race. “I look forward to the beautiful scenery, the challenge of the race and meeting friends new and old.”