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The 2010 La Grande Odyssée Champion, and 2008 runner up, Emil Inauen, a mountain climber turned musher first became involved with sled dogs in 1991 when he spent some time in Canada after a climbing trip.

In 2001, he was the first person to cross the Alps by dog team. Since that time Emil and Barbara, in addition to racing, have logged over 25,000 miles in the Alps behind their teams. In the summer of 2009, Emil, his wife Barbara, their kids and dogs moved from Switzerland to Grimsbu, Norway for better long distance training conditions.

Emil manufactures and sells Bewe sleds worldwide. Images by Thibaut Branquart, descriptions by Emil. G.S.Leda, Grande Odyssée Champion 2010 and Golden Harness Award.What a dog. Born in 2002, main lines out of Bronco (Joe Runyan). She responds to my commands before I even finish saying them.

She is the pace, she is the speed, of course, but she is also the tank that eliminates everything that tries to stop us. As soon as we get behind another team her noises reflect the will of passing. (The picture shows Leda bred in the 5th week.)

Cy, LGO Champion as well. One of the “black stars” in our kennel. Very smooth running and smart main leader like her mother Avro (Frank Turner). A dog with all the qualities for ultra long distance. As a yearling Cy lead our Rookie team to the 5th place (rookie of the year) in Finnmarkslopet 500 in 2005 from start to finish.

Besan, A fireball. A very solid leader but for me the perfect point dog. She never steps in to the leaders’ tugs even in very deep snow and on the trails she is a hard working supporter for the leaders. Besan survived together with 3 other sisters a real serious difficulty during their birth, 8 other puppies died. She came last but first into my main team, pushed to the 2nd place LGO as a yearling in 2008.

The red/brown sweety looks extremely like her mother Sister who was nothing less than a 3 time Yukon Quest Champion from Hans Gatt. Small, fast and a perfect weight keeper, never tired and always willing to go she will be a major dog in our future breedings.Aita, The white spot in all blacks.

Every bit as good as her sister Lucy. Both did 2nd place Grande Odyssée 2008 with me and won in 2010. Aita and Lucy had to lead our yearlings in LGO 2009 and 2010 with Barbara. Perfect wheel dog. Hard to tell why she got that position. Almost reserved but runs anywhere even good in front. I switch her often from the Bewe ‘X’ back to long back ‘Seavey’ harness.

Great attitude, hard puller and perfect eater.Lucy, Born 2003. Another leader out of Avro. Sister to Cy, Silax, Aita and Luna. Probably our first top class litter as all these dogs played a major role in the last years. Lucy runs all positions, is always there and never gives reasons to even recognise her in the team.

She never gets injured and has a great working ethic like her mother, as long as she doesn’t see her dog box. It takes some magic in stage racing to get her out of her four walls in the truck, so better run her in LD.Endo, This guy with a dark face and deep black eyes was born in my hands and is my private love. Endo is a Lucy son. Together with his brothers imprinted by myself, nothing wrong happened but he turned out to be shy like hell. He doesn’t trust anyone but me.

He is a strong, proud, long legged male. His gait is smooth, and he trots easy at 22km/h. In one of the first crazy LGOs (not any more possible now), he got hit by a skier and he ran away out of his collar. Frightened by the crowd, snowmobiles and helicopter, he ran up the mountain. I climbed behind him up a 600 meter wall. We ended up on a balcony sitting side by side and watching our handlers and race officials down on the road, a moment both of us will never forget.Nuot, Single boy in a litter of three pups I bred out of Grayling (Tunheim) x Elim (Haugbjørg). He ran and won LGO 2010.

Ran almost all stages and he was one of the best. His sisters Juli and Boggia run with Barbara in team 2 as we normally do with our yearlings. Never planned to choose him really until the days before race start. Perfect body, tall, light but strong and fast. Great eater, super feet and best character I can find in a dog – quiet, lovely and trustful. He is born to be a star!

Springstoff, His name was given because of a misunderstanding of our 4 year old son Noe. He wanted to talk about the neighbour’s farmer who removed tree stumps from the ground with ‘Spregstoff’ which is the German word for explosive substance. He used accidentally‚ Springstoff’(spring stands for running or jumping in German), which means nothing, but a few days later looked perfect to name that totally crazy little Alaskan fighter. Today the 28kg (62lb) model athlete is born for this name, we all agree.

I never used as much time to socialize a litter as I did for them from Pirka x Grayling. To list advantages like feet, appetite, speed, endurance or power on him is just palaver. Would he fit on a copy machine, I would try – He is perfect.Dylan,

He is the quiet guy in the Springstoff gang (AC, Figo, York, Don). He is a real front dog. In 2009 he made our main team as a yearling. He was also a big member of the LGO winning team this year. We have big hopes in him for the next few years.Figo, Command leader number 3 out of the 2007 litter. 26kg, (57lb) long legged and real fast distance dog. So far we are not able to find his limits. He tightens the pool of top dogs in the team rather hard together. Mentally tough dog, never cares about anything beside him.Cliffert, He was already a LGO Champion in his second racing year.

He made Barbara’s yearling team in 2009 with most of his brothers, did Finnmarkslopet and Femundlopet team and worked with all his power to set the team performance higher than ever. We lost him during Femund 2010. Cliffert was obedient, relaxed and cool like a 7 year old veteran and the kennel sweetheart par excellence. We miss him.Zawa, 2007, 23kg, (50.6 lbs) is one of the main team lungs from this year’s winning team in France.

One part of the second leader couple and of course good command leader she is more responsible for speed. Father Whisky won Yukon Quest and represents the best Gatt lines. Mother Lola came to us as last chance dog after being re-homed several times in 2 years. She was a dog nobody wanted to have. Bought from Alaska as sprint dog (Taylors) she was fast like hell but almost impossibly shy and extremely difficult to handle. Probably only in a small kennel people would have enough time. She found her way back to believe in a few humans.Paco, Brother to Zawa.

He is also a perfectly built front dog. He is a real LD trotter but that doesn’t mean he can’t be fast with the right training. Smart but a real fox some times-in a different way that is not always productive for the team. In my eyes he is still a little too young for the big leader cap and definitely has attention deficit but has endless energy at the same time. Can be really loud while we hook up or feed. Probably it would take him only a few days without tight rules and he would end up on the bad side. He would fight, cut lines and eat harnesses, jump over the fences, breed females while running, catch some animals on the trails and more.

Somebody who doesn’t know him wouldn’t even think about running him.Mery, Only 20kg (44lbs) small female, a real hard worker and again black. We got her from a German friend out of a breeding which has Roger Dahl’s LD blood line in the back and some unknown mixers. She had more fur than her littermates, she was smaller than most and they were fixed on males so she ended up in my yard. 3 years later Mery leads our teams in training and partly in racing too. Some times too aggressive around food and females in heat she may fit even better in my future LD team with one or two more years of experience.

Great appetite and always motivated.Ombre, Almost 3 years old male probably a leader since birth and one of the future front runners. This 20kg (44lb) black spot is pretty messy and carefree in the kennel or dog box. Nothing is important for him except moving and working, once in harness he is a real pro. Responsible command leader if he runs in main position. Did a great 12th stage Odyssée, ran Femundlopet smoothly.Stiller, 1 year old, our future from Zawa by Endo. Stiller (Haas), only Swiss music freaks will know, as it is a band name from lead singer Endo Anaconda. As much as Stiller Haas and Endo Anaconda stand for each other the black top body comes after his father Endo. The same gait, size and smooth movements they have and father and son like each other more than anything else.

Dog house beside dog house, son follows father in every move. He’ll be one to follow next year.Jannu, One of five sisters followed Stiller to birth. First year ever we train such a big group of yearlings without one single dog making some troubles in the first runs. They never asked for their mission, it was just clear for them to be racing dogs from the first minute in harness.

No idea why, but all of them run lead and that’s not in a slow moving 6-dog team. They run in front of 10 or more dogs carefree with unbelievable drive.Kahn, My Olympic dog… no reason to talk about why I name him so – but for sure if there will be any ‘Ring Games’ for our sport he will be in my team. The one year old genetic mix of Cy and Whisky has the ultimate potential a sperm portion can bring, he is a solo pup. He is smart, runs real hard even in lead already, listens keenly for a yearling, amazing, perfect Nordic coat.

He eats and drinks great. Just a great dog and big hope in our dog pool.Avro, Last but not… she is a kind of our kennel mother. At least if we watch the period since we got pushed to the probably most nonsense and luxury thing a dog owner can do with their canine, LD dog racing. Anyway, too long the story to tell how she came to us. But she is a Frank Turner dog from the nose to the tail. When Frank gave her to me he mentioned, “She will be one of the best leaders.” First year (small kennel in Davos) she run not real special, 2nd year strong, 3rd year just great and in the 4th season she took responsibility to lead the whole gang. We run Sleddogs since the early ‘90s but she was the start of real first class dogs.

Avro is still a great looking dog with a real shine. In the last two years she ran tours with my friend but came back a few weeks ago to be my house dog for the rest of her life.

This article appeared in Mushing Magazine #135. Subscribe to Mushing Magazine’s print and digital editions here, or browse the digital archives here.
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