ADMA Symposium sits fireside with Lance Mackey

Forty vendors from all over the US and Canada centered on the ADMA symposium to show off the latest in sled dog equipment technology. New advances were seen in sleds, especially with new trend in tail-dragger sleds. Harnesses and running jackets were a favorite as mushers prepare the for the cold Alaskan winter, and with fresh snow on the ground, the buzz and excitement of a possible early snow season swept through the crowd. Each year we are treated to Wes Rau and Arleigh Reynolds, this year we had the added benefit of Dr Al Townsend of Eagle Pack Pet foods on hand to talk about distance feeding and vet care on the trail. Wes Rau gave two presentations using dogs and human volunteers on stage to demonstrate techniques in checking and maintaining our canine athletes. Arleigh Reynolds gave us a technical look at feeding for speed racing with information on supplements, timing, amounts and types of foods. Both Reynolds and Townsend fielded questions from a packed theatre on specific issues with feeding.The auction raised more than double the proceeds, which go to support ADMA, from the sale of donated items. Two of the highest fetching items were a Laughing Husky dog sled donated by David and Joanne Klumb, and a ride behind the B-Machine. Joe Reddington Jr. was the highest bidder on the position on the second sled behind Buddy Streeper when he comes up for the 2008 championship season.For the first time a Best Invention contest was held. Every dog yard has a great invention to help with the management of the dogs, the equipment or the poop. This year we saw wonderful inventions like the non-tip food bowl nested inside a car tire, a dog box which loads from inside the bed of the truck, but the best invention was Kris Rasey’s Poop Caddy. The caddy looks like a plastic toilet on wheels which Kris uses to pull around her dog yard. The caddy has a seat, arm and back rests and a beverage holder. A huge thanks goes out to the volunteers who organized the symposium and made it one of the most successful in recent years. As mushers head back to their kennels, both in Alaska and out of state, they travel with excitement to try out new gear techniques seen at the symposium.

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