MUSHING USA ANNOUNCES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION PROCESS

Mushing USA, the National Governing Body for sled dog sports in the United States will use Regional Qualifying races to select participants to represent the USA in the 2009 IFSS Sprint and Nordic World Championships slated to be held in North America.The Mushing USA Board of Directors unanimously approved a proposal to use 4 regional qualifying races to select participants to represent the US at the 2009 IFSS World Championships. The proposal divided the United States into 4 geographic regions; the East, Central, including Michigan, the West, including Colorado, and Alaska. Existing races in each region were approached about acting as the regional qualifier. Races were chosen based on performance history, likeness to be contested and competitive nature of the race. The races will contest 4, 6, 8 dog and Unlimited (Open) Sprint as well as men’s and women’s 1 and 2-dog Skijoring. If a region does not contest a class, Mushing USA will not select a representative from that region. Winners of each qualifying race will be eligible for selection to the 2009 Mushing USA Team. Because IFSS rules allow each national federation to enter only 3 people per class, Mushing USA will select only 3 of the 4 regional winners. Final selections will include the 3 winners beating the greatest number of teams in the qualifying races. However, Mushing USA is currently in negotiations to allow all four regional winners to compete. In instances where a first place musher declines their berth the 2nd place participant becomes eligible for selection. 2nd place mushers may also become eligible if a winning musher has already won another regional qualifying race. Athletes must compete in the World Championships in the class they qualified for. Competitors do not have to compete in the region in which they reside. Mushers looking to compete at the World Championships in 2009 should plan to attend one of the following Mushing USA Regional Qualifiers:In the East, Jackman, Maine, will be hosting the Regionals March 7-9, 2008. Classes approved are the Sprint Unlimited (Open), 8, 6 and 4-dog Sprint and men’s and women’s 1 and 2-dog Skijoring. In the Central region, Frazee’s Third Crossing Rendezvous will be one of the hosts. Running on January 25-26, 2008, it will have Regional Qualifying events in Sprint Unlimited (Open) class, 8, and 4-dog Sprint. Land O’ Lakes (Wisconsin) will host the 6-dog Sprint class for the Central region on February 2-3, 2008. The men’s and women’s 1 and 2-dog Skijoring events will be contested by the Snowflake Skijoring Classic on March 1-2, 2008, in Duluth, Minnesota. Granby, Colorado, will play host to the West Regional Qualifier on February 16-17, 2009 at its 29th Annual Grand County Sled Dog Classic. Regional events will be the 8, 6, and 4-dog Sprint as well as men’s and women’s 1 and 2-dog Skijoring. There will be no Unlimited (Open) event in the West. Alaska’s North American Championships have been designated to host the MUSA Regional Qualifiers for Alaska. The Limited North American, with the 8, 6, and 4-dog Sprint and the men’s and women’s 1 and 2-dog Skijoring classes will take place on March 7-9, 2008, in Fairbanks. The (Unlimited) Open North American will be held on March 21-23, 2008, in Fairbanks.Three venues have submitted bids to host the 2009 IFSS World Championships: Anchorage, Alaska, Daquaam, Quebec, and Cedaredge, Colorado. IFSS will be making its decision soon between these three cities. For athletes unable to compete at one of the regional races or who fail to win, IFSS also awards berths to the top three World Cup point earners in each region in each class. The United States is one IFSS region. Points are based on the competitors 6 best World Cup accredited heats. These berths do not count against the national federations allotment and will have no bearing on the Mushing USA Regional Qualifiers.For more information contact Sara Vanderwood at pulka4u@yahoo.com or Jason Sperry at sperryjg@yahoo.com.

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