These beautiful dogs are members of Lloyd and Mary Gilbertson’s Caribou Creek Kennel, which is well known throughout the stage and mid-distance racing circles. Lloyd and Mary’s goal is to produce sled dogs that can race on top teams in any venue. These dogs have won the Wyoming Stage-Stop Race twice, the Diavik (Yellowknife) 150 twice, and many other big national races for other teams. Nestled in Michigan’s upper peninsula, Lloyd enjoys one of the best spots for a racing kennel in the lower 48. Ram: 7 year old male out of Mike and Giskin. He is 3/8 Pointer and 57 pounds of strong finishing dog. Ram has finished continuous races like the Beargrease and UP 200, as well as being one of the main leaders in our Stage and Yellowknife teams. In four years of Stage racing Ram has rarely had a day off. He is an every day dog. Ram has never been hurt and never dropped from a race in his career. He just gets better as a race progresses.Fireball: 7 year old female husky that may be the smoothest running dog in our yard. She is out of Arleigh and Maya and has run lead her entire career. She is a strong single or double leader. Fireball is 55 pounds and she puts a lot on the line. We have never had pups out of Fireball as she has always come in heat later in the season than we like to have our females bred. She led most stages in Wyoming in ‘07 with only the Pinedale Stage off. She led all three days at Yellowknife this year, one day in single lead. A calm, competent dog, Fireball is the best we have.Duncan: 7 year old female, and Fireball’s littermate and every bit as athletic as Fireball, although she does not lead for us. At 52 pounds she is slightly smaller. She is a high attitude husky that shines in longer distances. She has been on our main team in every major race we have competed in since she was two. We have husky pups out of her bred to Seneca that will be yearlings this season. We are very excited about her pups.Seneca: 11 year old male. He is a 45 pound male out of Rocca and Delia. He is still one of our highest attitude dogs and is always crazy to go. Seneca raced in last years Wyoming race but not in Yellowknife. In our winning ’06 Yellowknife team he was a strong dog and even co-led one day at ten years old. He won’t be on the main team this year but he has fathered some pups that should be a force in our team in the next few seasons. Leading young dogs and stud work will be his job now.Ira: 8 year old female. She is a 44 pound husky out of Goose and Wren that has been on our main team all her life. She is an invisible dog that leads occasionally. Never does anything wrong. We have some young dogs out of her and Ram that we will be running this season. Hopefully one of them can take her spot on the main team. She has raced all of our stage races and Yellowknife as well as continuous races of 250-400 miles. She has rarely been injured. In the ’07 Wyoming race she was a strong role player, running many of the longer stages. She and Duncan were key dogs in stage one last year which started in Lander. As part of a nine dog team they took us to the finish line about 25 minutes ahead of the 2nd place team for that stage. That was an unexpected but welcome result. Ira looked like she had done nothing at the end of that stage. She is a treasure.Ralph: 6 year old, 58 pound male out of Ram and Vienna. Ralph has been leading a team his entire career. As a yearling he led Mary’s stage team for several stages in the Attaboy 300 and many other races that year. At two he was part of the regular rotation of leaders for the main team in Stage races as well as several continuous races. This dog is always ready to go. Not our fastest dog but fast enough to win stages in front of our team.John: 4 year old, 57 pound male. He is a 3/16 pointer out of Ram and Ithaca. John has a good coat that is suitable for distance racing as well. He first raced Yellowknife as a two year old on the winning ’06 team and was solid running in the middle of the team with his brother Paul. That earned him a spot on the ’07 Stage team in Wyoming as part of that winning combination and he was back at Yellowknife for a repeat win this past March. His great coat, solid feet and superb eating habits earned him stud duty this spring and he was bred to Smithy. John trained in lead a fair amount but has not raced there much. John is never a question mark. The “Gun Girls” are the core of our team. They started out as the Gun Dogs, Smith, Wesson, DB (Double Barrel), Caliber, Pistol, Buckshot and Winchester. This whole litter of 3/16 pointers out of Ruger and Puddle was special from the beginning. Wesson is now racing for Dave and Matt Poitras and Winchester is racing with Ernie Campbell all in the Northwest Territories. Pistol and Buckshot are with Gary Paulsen.Smithy: 6 year old, 43 pound just plain awesome girl. We bred her to John and got 9 good looking pups this summer. Smithy will run lead but most often runs point or just behind point. She is a pace setter that is incredibly smooth at every speed. When Smithy gets fed you have to be careful with your hands. Her worst habit is stealing her neighbors food when we are traveling. We are always watching for that. She is showing no signs of slowing down. Caliber: 6 Years old, 47 pound female. Caliber also leads and is so easy to work with. She is a calm dog to handle but puts it all on the line when she is hooked up. She will lead and run anywhere else in the team. Caliber is the biggest of the Gun Girls and pulls her weight and more at any speed or distance we race.DB (Double Barrel): 6 year old, 45 pound female that has such a high attitude she can be a pain to handle on the truck. Handling her after even a 60 mile run is like taking out a freshly started puppy. She spins and porpoises and just generally acts like she hasn’t gone anywhere in months. Put her in harness however and that energy is focused. It’s worth the extra effort it takes to get her in the line. She does not run lead but is solid anywhere else in the team. The “Animals” are 3/16 pointers out of Kodiak and Rene’. Turtle, Hereford, Cub and Zebra have run in the main team since they were two.Turtle: 5 year old, 50 pound male that raced on our main team even as a yearling starting the 2004 Attaboy 300. He has been on the main team every year since and runs everywhere but lead. Turtle works so hard we like to get him a couple of days off during the Stage races. When he is in the team you feel the difference he makes on the line. Not our fastest dog but one of the very best climbing in the Mountain Stages. Hereford: 5 year old, 60 pound male that has been on our main team since he was two. Hereford is a solid team dog that attracts attention because of his unusual coloring and coat. Hereford will be a tough dog to replace as he is a real cheerleader in the team when we are racing without causing any trouble. Hereford often runs in the wheel position but can run anywhere but lead.Cub: 5 year old, 46 pound female. She is a solid leader and will run anywhere in the team. Cub is a sweetheart of a dog and great company. She could live in the house with you and then go out and help win some races. “All in a days work”, she might say. Cub is another that has raced in all of our Stage races the last 3 years as well as Yellowknife. She will likely get bred in the spring of ’08.Zebra: 5 year old, 48 pound female and is also a strong leader. Zebra wants to please and I like taking her new places in training and getting her to crack out commands. She and Cub often lead together but Zebra is a calm dog that helps bring young potential leaders up in the system also. Zebra has a thick coat for a 3/16 pointer. She did not race Yellowknife in ’07 but has raced every Stage race and was on the wining Yellowknife team in ’06.Savage: 3 year old, 46 pound female out of DB and Ram. A light coated pointer cross she thrives in the stage racing and Yellowknife. The ’07 season was her rookie year on the main team and she exceeded all expectations. Not a leader yet but showing us some potential there, she is strong everywhere else in the team. She takes after her Mother DB as far as being a bit hard to control because of her enthusiasm but it’s a job we are happy to do because of what she brings to the team.Blanch: 3 year old, 40 pound female out of Myrtle and Ram. She is the smallest dog in the team and one of the fastest. Blanch is a strong young leader but has yet to race there. She raced in Yellowknife in ’07 but not at Wyoming as we opted for some bigger dogs and their pulling ability up those steep mountains. She is likely to race in the Wyoming Stage Race this year though.
Dog scootering involves having your dog(s) pull you on a wheeled scooter whilst attached via