German born, Canadian resident, Sebastian Schnuelle may not be a household mushing name to those outside of the sport, but after a win in the Yukon Quest, and a strong second place finish in the Iditarod this year he may soon be. Known for his excellent dog care and the close bond he shares with his dogs – they routinely sleep indoors with him – Sebastian has put together a phenomenal group of dogs that will surely keep him near the top in years to come. GS. Images and descriptions by Sebastian SchnuelleNemo, what a dog. Accidental breeding in 2003. Chuma x ?. I think (hope) that the “?” was my old leader Brownie. Nemo is a one of a kind leader. He responds to my commands before I even finish saying them. Very hard driver. Without him in the Kuskoswim, I would still be swimming. Tough as a dog can be.Inuk, born 2004. A real lovable dog. He prefers the couch to the trail. But always happy to get the job done. Had Eutrophia as a pup and spent many months near blind, until Bushvet Eric Jayne did his magic, in 10 minutes, on a picnic table. A great solid leader. Not a bad bone in his body. Super tough feet. Eats like a wolf. Brother of Finn, one of the few males I can run with Finn. I dropped him once in the 2007 Quest, finished everything with me since. Huge dog, 68 lbs, has even bigger heart.Popcorn. He is DA MAN. 70lbs. Leader. Every bit as good as his brother Nemo. Super friendly dog. Him and Nemo are best buddies. Running them together in lead is like running on rails, anywhere, trail or not. He thinks running 2000 miles back to back is just a walk in the park, barking at the Nome finishing line.Denali born in 2003. I borrowed him for the Summer 2006 Tour Season in Skagway from Eric Butcher and ended up buying him as Eric moved away and could not take dogs with him. Finished YQ and ID 2007 with me. Ran Iditarod 2008 with Rudi Niggemeier, Yukon Quest 2009 with Mark Sleightholme and was in my 2009 Iditarod Team. Very mellow dog, always ready to go. One of those dogs I never see in my team.Austin. Age – who knows? He came to me in the fall of 2003. My friend Trevor Braun picked him up from the Whitehorse Pound. I borrowed him for the ‘04 Quest, and again the ‘05 Quest AND ‘05 Iditarod. “Well Trevor, what do you think, can I borrow Austin again for ‘06?” Sure, he finished both races again in ‘07 The Quest in ‘08, and was in my winning Quest Team ‘09 and 2nd place Iditarod Team. He eats ANYTHING, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. Finn was the man of the hour, when I went over Norton Sound this year. Head down, single lead, he plowed my 15 dog team through the wind. 42 miles, 8hrs, we did not do record speed. I had to stop many times to clean his eyes which froze shut with the blowing snow. Finn is timid, does not like strangers. But also does not like too many other dogs and has beaten up a few. He has no use for slackers, so I forgive him that attitude. Born in ‘04. Finished his first Thousand Miler as a yearling, which I would not do again. Has run 6 of them, not bad for a 5 year old dog. Out of Dancer (Perry -Tok) and Flame (Perrino -Yellowknife).Gas is Diesel’s brother, born in 2001. His gas mileage is not as good as Diesel’s, but he has the same ferocious appetite. He is a bit more affectionate. I had not planned to run him in the Iditarod ‘09, but he looked super solid after Mark´s Quest finish. Has finished 7 “Thousand Milers” so far, still counting. Gas and Diesel are a perfectly matched pair. If they lope, I am going way too fast.Diesel, born 2001. Mother was Ginger, a trapline dog I got from Ralph Lee in Tagish. Dad was Buck, a sprint dog I got from Roy and Sandra Perry in Tok. The breeding was unplanned. Diesel is a bit on the standoffish side. Boy, talk about a good eater, I always have to watch that he does not gain too much weight. Diesel doesn’t have the greatest feet. “Total bonehead,” who does not know the word tired. Finished Several Quests and Iditarod´s with me. Finished ‘09 Quest in Mark’s Team, ‘09 Iditarod in my 2nd place team.Grisman is same Seavey breeding as Scruggs, born 2004. He is Rick Casillo´s main man. He ran Iditarod as a yearling with Rick. Grisman finished both big races for me this season. He loves uphills─the steeper it is, the more he yelps while running. This came in handy going up Eagle Summit. It took me a while to earn “my” keep with Grisman. Finally during the Iditarod he took me seriously and actually went where I asked him to go. A serious leader and very proud dog. Him and his brother Vasser are like being joined at the hip, they play, live, eat, run and sleep together.Herring, was as skinny as one when he was a pup. Grew into a huge 72 lb dog. Super smooth gait. Talk about handsome and manners, would make a perfect pet. Leader. Iron feet. Stubborn as hell. Born in ‘99 to Ginger ( Trapline dog ) and Brownie ( Perrino ). His eating habits drive me nuts, I think he counts his kibbles. First dog I feed in my team, or I still be waiting. Finished 8 Thousand Milers with me, first time dropped on this years Quest in Dawson. The couch in now his.Ricky is a dog I got from Lori and Rick Townsend. He is 55 lbs and comes from a short haired Swingley line. Was a real fighter when I got him, now sweet as sweet can be. Perfect wheel dog, really got the hang of that position, but runs anywhere. I alternate him between a half and an “H” back harness. Great feet, greedy eater. Finished with Mark in the Quest ‘09 and with me in Iditarod ‘09.Saffron, 48 lb female. Well, as you can tell, I do not have many females in my team. I am not a lightweight musher, so I prefer big males. Saffron came to me from Eric Butcher, born in 2003. She is getting better the older she gets. Always there, always ready. Lead, wheel, team doesn’t matter to her, very easy dog. A bit of a loner, while everyone else crowds on the couch, she sleeps beside it.Scruggs was born in 2004, Piper x Boss, both parents were from Seavey breedings. I bought him from Rick Casillo. He finished Iditarod ‘07,’08 with Rick and finished the Quest and Iditarod back to back with me in ‘09. Easy all around dog, great coat, leads.Skunk, 48 lbs, cutest dog in the Yard. Got her from Lance. Has finished back-to-back Quest and Iditarod with me before. Would have done so this year, but got bred by Grisman while I was having a visit with Carl Cochrine’s at Birch Creek. Stayed home for Iditarod: I missed her. Real cheerleader and real good command leader. Nice combo. Born in ‘04. Mom of many pups, mother superior. Did I say she is cute?Vasser is one of the 4 Amigos (Grisman, Yonder, Scruggs), born ‘04, 54lbs. Great Seavey breeding Boss x Piper. Super fast leader, but not 100% confident in his abilities yet. He was a bit of a picky eater. I got worried in the Quest about having to drop him. Finally during the second half of that race “he saw the light.” Went on to finish Iditarod with me also.Yonder, brother of Scruggs, Vasser, Grisman. While those 3 are real handsome, Yonder is a freakshow. One of the most challenging dogs I ever dealt with. Most other dogs do not like him. Shy as a dog can be. It took me months, until I could trust him to be loose. All thanks to Inuk, as for some reason, Yonder loves him. One of the hardest workers I have ever seen. Perfect wheel dog. Ran 2000 Whitehorse to Nome in wheel, never took him out.
Racing in the ACE Race with Tonya Helm On this episode of the Mushing podcast,