Rifugio La Pavoncella Albergo Camerana Cuneo Langhe e Roero

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Snow permitting, you can find a training trail at the "LA PAVONCELLA" hostel, and on the occasion of promotional events, you can have the chance to experience this sport, whose main feature is love for nature and dogs. Please contact us for any further information.

The history of sleddog racing, or even better the "history of dog-drawn sledges" has a very ancient origin. At the beginning, dogs helped the human kind only with sheep-breeding and hunting, later they have been employed also for transport in those areas where the sledge was the sole means of transport. This way they replaced the reindeer, since feeding these last ones was much more difficult.

The Chukchis started to raise special dogs, which were fast, docile, peaceful with other dogs, and, above all, with a strong aptitude for pulling, they were dogs with a real desire to run.
Round the late 19th century, the gold rush spread to the Straits of Bering, and the gold digger immediately learned from the natives how to move with sledge dogs. It was in this period that the first competitions took place, since it was possible to dig for gold only for few months in the year, then any ice fields made any movement impossible. The gold digger found then an effective remedy for boredom: sleddog racing.
The fist competition documented with pictures took place in 1908 on the Nome-Candle trail, and it was called the “All Alaska Sweepstakes”.

However, sleddog became popular only in 1925, when a terrible diphtheria outbreak almost decimated the inhabitants of Nome; if countless people were rescued, it was only thanks to Leonard Sappala, who promptly came to the town with an antidiphtheritic serum, and he had reached the town with a pack of sledge dogs. This feat became so popular that in Central Park, in New York, a statue was dedicated to Balto, the dog which was supposed to be the leader of the pack. Later, it was found out that Balto had covered only the last part of the trail, while it was Togo which had lead the pack for the rest of the dramatic journey, struggling against the adversities. The legendary IDITAROD race has been organized since 1973 to commemorate this event, this competition takes place between Ancorage and Nome, and it covers 1,049 miles, i.e. 1,800km.

In Europe, the Aplirod race took place for the first time in 1988; it is a very hard competition as well, extending over the Alps through France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Recently, local clubs organize competitions in Italy too, with the aim to promote this sport, and let people know about the team spirit that builds between the musher, i.e. the dog sled driver, and his dogs, even if the real emotions that you can feel with this sport are very difficult to explain.