News and Announcements


July 24, 2015

The annual summer picnic & meeting will be Saturday, August 15, 2015, at the home of Bob Bzdok in Rice, MN. Lunch at noon; meeting at 1:00. Bring something to pass. Brats will be furnished.


May 22, 2015


5k Run/Walk Fundraiser

Date: August 29, 2015

Time: 9:00 AM

Place: DeParq Woods Campground, Camp Ripley, Little Falls, MN

Pre-register by: August 20, 2015 

Register online at:

Entry Fees:

• 5k Run/Walk - $25

• Kids Run - $15

     With pet: $20


Well socialized, friendly dogs welcomed! All pets need to be on a leash at all times.

Packet pickup & same day registration starts at 7:30 AM.

**Cash or check only**

More questions: Erin Becker: 507-995-5016 ~



May 20, 2015

ISDVMA Handbook 

The ISDVMA (International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association) has recently negotiated a contract with to market the 2015, 3rd Edition of the popular and long-awaited Musher and Veterinary Handbook. The last edition was printed in 2000, so the new edition has a lot of new material to offer. The long wait is over. See below on how to order.


Jerry Vanek, DVM

Edition of Musher and Veterinary Handbook, 3rd 2015 – Now available for purchase online

After having been asked by the ISDVMA board to help making the 3rd Ed. of the handbook available for purchase online, this task has been completed. However, the book can still be ordered directly through the ISDVMA ( as well.

Please note that a few changes to the version that was completed in 2014 were indicated, among others the page numbers shifted and I added a short addendum on publications to the end of the book. This may make a difference if using the book as reference for scientific articles.

The book is available through LuLu Press, Raleigh, NC. Interested readers can purchase the book by going to – click on shop and search for “Musher and Veterinary Handbook” or they can use the link below to get immediate access to the ordering page.  

The price has been determined by the ISDVMA board members. Every purchase will create revenue to support the ISDVMA; authors or editors do not obtain any royalties.

Ordering works worldwide. Once ordered, Lulu determines the location of the buyer, and the closet printing facility to him/her will print and ship the book. Shipping is expected within 3-5 business days.


May 20, 2015

NSSDC Summer Meeting & Picnic

The summer picnic and meeting of NSSDC will be Saturday, August 15, 2015, at the home of Bob Bzdok in Rice, MN. Brats and hamburger will be provided. Brats and hamburgers, buns will be provided. Bring something to pass. Meeting will be at 1:00 PM.



April 2, 2015

NSSDC Spring Meeting

NSSDC’s 2015 spring meeting will be in Avon, MN, on Saturday, April 25th at 1:00 PM. The address is 401 Blatner Drive. 

Avon is located a bit west of St. Cloud on I94. Take the Cty 9 exit into town from I94. Take the first right past McDonald’s. This will be Blatner Drive. It will then be approximately .4 miles straight down Blatner Drive to the meeting site. There’s a giant sign in the front yard that reads “Tischler Wood Products.” Please park in the lot with giant garage doors (west side of the building). 



February 4, 2015

The Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race, scheduled for February 14-15, has been cancelled. There is insufficient snow. The race will not be rescheduled.



From NSSDC Camp Ripley Committee

January 25, 2015
Snow conditions for the Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Race are currently not  conducive for good trails. A final decision will be made Monday, Feb. 9th.



Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Race Adds Snow Sculpture Contest

January 7, 2015

Sally O’Sullivan Bair  

Monticello, MN – New this year to the Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race is a snow sculpture contest! Anyone can enter. The contest will run on Saturday, February 14, 2015, with construction of the sculptures at 9:00 AM. The entry fee is $10/team, cash or check. Teams will consist of between 2 and 10 people. Entries are accepted up to the beginning of the construction. People can register at the sculpture site or beforehand by mailing in the entry form with the entry fee.

So … Grease up your creative juices and come and enjoy a day or two with the dogs and the snow!

Click here for entry form.

Snow Sculpture Rules

For more information contact Erin Becker

(Tel: 507-995-5016 • Email:



North Star Elects New Officers 

November 6, 2014

By Sally O’Sullivan Bair

At its regular fall meeting on October 19, 2014, North Star Sled Dog Club members elected a partial slate of new board members. Currently, board members are elected on a staggered basis and serve for two years. Up for election in 2014 were the positions of Vice President and Adult Junior Committee Chair. Allison Petell of Alexandria, SD held her position as the Adult Junior Committee Chair. Erin Becker of St. Cloud, MN, was elected to the position of Vice Present, replacing Joe Fessler, who chose not to run for reelection.



NSSDC Cancels Fall Fun Run

October 4, 2014

NSSDC has had to cancel its annual Fall Fun run, which had been for many years in Mahtowa, MN. However, NSSDC will hold its regular fall meeting at the home of Kris and Lyman Wolske in Hudson, Wisconsin, on Sunday, October 19, 2014. Potluck at noon, meeting at 1:00. Bring a dish to pass and something to drink. For further information, including directions to Wolskes', contact Sally Bair at or 218-349-2887.


North Star Holds Summer Picnic and Meeting

September 2, 2014

By Sally O’Sullivan Bair 

Saturday, August 16th North Star members and friends gathered at the home of Julie and Bob Bzdok in Rice, MN, for the annual social get-together and meeting. It may have been blazing hot and humid, but that did not quell the excitement of hobnobbing with fellow dog sledders.

The main topic of discussion was where to have the Fall Fun Run, October 18-19. The Johnsons will not be hosting the event at their Mahtowa home this year. Two options were presented. Further information is needed for each of the options. A decision will come soon from the NSSDC board. NSSDC thanks the Johnsons for all their work with hosting the Annual Fall Fun Run for so many years. Without their generosity and hard work the event would not have attained such popularity. 

Bob Bzdok updated members on the Camp Ripley race, which looks again like a super event. Sally Bair stated that she would like to mentor or train someone who might be interested in taking on media responsibilities. Erin Becker volunteered.

At the Fun Run and meeting in October, officers (vice president, treasurer, and adult junior chair) will be elected. Members will also vote on the Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy recipient and ballot for affiliations with ISDRA (International Sled Dog Racing Association), USFSS (US Federation of Sleddog Sports), and MCDC (Minnesota Council of Dog Clubs). Members are urged to attend and cast their vote on NSSDC affairs. Mail-in ballots will be available in the September Tugline.

NSSDC thanks the Bzdoks for hosting this summer get-together.



2014 NSSDC Summer Meeting & Picnic: 2:00 PM

June 19, 2014
Brush up on your hamburger-eating manners! Tune up your vocal chords!
Relearn the fine art of holding animated conversations with people rather than dogs!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
At Bob & Julie Bzdok’s home
613 – 135th St. NE, Rice, MN
NSSDC meeting at 2:00. Potluck lunch to follow.
Hamburgers, buns, and trimmings will be provided. Bring a dish/salad to pass &  soda.

Camping will be available. Bring your tent! There is plenty of room.

Have fun playing volleyball, yard games, swimming or trampolining!

There is plenty to keep young & old entertained in the day
& a fire pit to sit around & tell stories at night!
Call 320-393-4225 for directions or email



Spring Meeting

The spring meeting of NSSDC will be Sunday, April 13, 2104, at the home of Kris & Lyman Wolske in Hudson, WI. Potluck at noon with meeting to follow at 1:00 PM. Bring something to pass & a beverage. Contact Wolskes for directions: email: Directions are also printed in the March TUGLINE.

Frazee is Ready!
From Neal Seeger, Frazee Sled Dog Club
February 17, 2014

Frazee, MN, February 18, 2014– Greetings to all. The week of the race is in overdrive to prepare the final tasks. Some entries are in, but they are less than what we expected. This race is one of three races that are sanctioned by North Star Sled Dog Club.

We have contacted the Snowmobile Trail Groomer to help place the trail, as the snow is quite deep in areas from drifting. The snow plowing of the parking areas is complete. If you feel gifted with time and energy, there are several small tasks that we would love to have you fulfill. Contact Neal at 218-841-3401 or Heidi at 218-841-7559. The Frazee Go Getters have planned other activities around the race. Some will happen at the race site and others will take place at the Frazee Event Center.

Come out and enjoy the Community Events. Winter will be over before you know it!

Camp Ripley Sled Dog Race: Where Some Old Met Some New
February 17, 2014
By Sally O’Sullivan Bair

Monticello, MN, February 17, 2014 – Again nature rolled out the white carpet this year for Camp Ripley’s 2nd Winter Warriors Sled Dog Race February 15-16, 2014. Weather couldn’t have been more perfect – with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high teens and low twenties. The trails were well packed, wide, and gorgeous.

Thirty-eight teams vied for a purse of over $2500. When all was said and done, it was Charlie Laboda (Hoveland, MN) who took home the top honor in the 10-dog mid-distance, 45-mile event with a total time of 8:00:54.18, followed by Jamie Nelson (Togo, MN) in second with a total time of 8:29:17.88 and nineteen-year-old Saul Ellering – yes, son of distance musher and wrestler “Precious Paul” – taking the third place trophy. Laboda and his father Dennis had just returned from the Wyoming Stage Stop race, so their dogs were in top condition partly owing to the higher altitude of Wyoming. But Nelson is no slouch either. She is a veteran musher with over 40 years of experience, and Laboda, the senior, recalled when he was but a teen competing against Nelson. Nelson had a dog on the second day that was exhibiting some difficulties, and she ended up loading it periodically.

Dennis Laboda carried home the top prize in the 6-dog mid-distance, 25-mile class with a total time of 4:14:48.01 for the two days. The teams of Art Stoller and Coreene Hanson (Bagley, MN) placed second and third, respectively. Stoller’s total time was 4:21:02.76. He and Hanson had worked out a slick strategy for beating Laboda, but because of the superior condition of Laboda’s team, it didn’t gain traction. Stoller also mused about having competed against a teenaged Laboda many years ago.

In the 10-dog sprint class, race coordinator Bob Bzdok (Rice, MN) successfully defended his 2013 title, posting a total time for the 10.2-mile trail of 1:08:56.54. He was followed a little over four minutes later by teenager Sherry Johnson (Fergus Falls, MN), daughter of former musher and champ Neal Johnson and champ and veterinarian Carolyn Johnson. Tim Wallace (Zim, MN) took home the prize for third place.

Ken Davis (Saginaw, MN) peddled to first in the 6-dog sprint class with a total time of 50:02.80 for the 7.2-mile trail. Tim Wallace (Zim, MN) was second, and Dean Bonati (Hillman, MN) was third. In the 4-dog sprint class, young Jordyn Bzdok garnered first place with a total time for the 4.0-mile trail of 24:42.51, besting Ken Davis by a mere 26 seconds. Lyman Wolske, North Star Sled Dog Club’s president, grabbed the trophy for third place.  Sherry Johnson (Fergus Falls, MN) again took the podium in the 4-dog rec class. She posted a total time of 32:12.75 for the 4.0-mile trail. She was followed in second place by Brad Rasmussen (Hutchinson, MN) and Emily Kowalke (St. Cloud, MN) in third.

Allison Petell (Mazeppa, MN) took home the trophy in the skijoring class, a 4.0-mile trail. Despite there being many skijorers in Minnesota, no others showed up for the competition, and Allison, being the sole spokesperson for skijorers, was inundated with questions from spectators, expressing an interest in this form of winter activity.

Eight-year-old John Bzdok (Rice, MN) again stole the show this year in the youth classes, placing first in both the 3-dog, 4.0-mile trail and the 2-dog, 2.8-mile trail. Running her first race, nine-year-old Taylor DeBoer (Grand Marais, MN), was second in the 2 dog event, and Andrea Jendro (Kimball, MN), also running her first race, was third.

Many of the trails were not only challenging with curves and hills, but showcased some interesting sights, including army tanks, helicopters, and even a practice Afghan “village” and prisoner of war camp used for military reservists’ weekend war games. Many mushers also experienced the wonder of “rendezvous road,” where teams from various classes merged and negotiated passing head-on as well as from behind. There was not a mishap, though, and everyone came through all the richer for the experience.

In accepting their awards, both Jamie Nelson and Dennis Laboda stated that they each had covered many thousands of miles of sled dog trails but the trails at Camp Ripley were by far best any they had been on. They praised the race crews and event organizers, and Nelson expressed her prediction as to the tremendous potential for this race. With 53,000 acres of land, this piece of real estate of rolling hills, beautiful woodlands and prairie along the Mississippi River, all courtesy and property of our US government, begs to be utilized for programs like this race that outreach to the larger community, outreach being one of Camp Ripley’s missions.

North Star Sled Dog Club is grateful to the people at Camp Ripley for rolling out the red carpet for this race. North Star also extends its thanks to the Bzdok families for their hard work in staging such a prestigious event and the many supporters and sponsors for their contributions that made the race possible. Neil Andersen and Sgt. Tony Housey, grandson of former musher Betty Housey, graciously contributed their photographic talents to taking some great pictures.

Mark your calendars for February 14-15, 2015, for the 3rd Camp Ripley Winter Warriors Sled Dog Race!



February 12, 2014

Camp Ripley Tentative Schedule of Events
Saturday & Sunday, February 15-16, 2014
9:00 am…………..10-Dog Mid-Distance Sled
9:45 am ………….6-Dog Mid-Distance Sled
10:30 am………...10-Dog Pro Sprint Sled
11:45 am…………6-Dog Pro Sprint Sled
1:00 pm…………. 1-2-Dog Skijoring
1:45 pm…………. 2-Dog Youth Sled Sprint
2:15 pm…………. 3-Dog Youth Sled Sprint
3:00 pm…………. 4-Dog Pro & Rec Sled Sprint


Camp Ripley Trail Maps

February 8, 2014

Click for the 2014 Camp Ripley trail maps:



January 13, 2014

Camp Ripley Mushers' Meeting Update

Friday, February 14, 2014 • 7:00 pm
The Canteen • Camp Ripley, MN

Located on the south side of the road across from the main entrance gate to Camp Ripley

& just west across Grouse Road from the Ripley 1 Stop. 

All you can eat fish fry for $7.50. 

Tel: 320-632-6996

2014 Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Entry Form



Update on 2014 NSSDC Area Races

By Sally O’Sullivan Bair

December 20, 2013 

The snow is falling, and it is cold! Winter has arrived! Get ready for a season of fun and dog sledding!

Camp Ripley preparations for their Winter Warrior Race, scheduled February 15-16, are well under way with excellent trails. This year will see the addition of a 6-dog mid-distance event of 25 miles. There will not be an 8-dog mid-distance but, instead a 10-dog mid-distance event of 50 miles. The usual sprint class will run (10, 6, 4, junior 2 & 3) and the 1-2 dog skijoring. 

The Mid-MN 150 anticipates staging its twenty-sixth year event with an 8 dog pro and 6 dog rec class. These events will begin in Remer, MN, on February 8, 2014. Frazee, MN, will again host the Third Crossing Rendezvous on February 22, 2014. This year they have added a 6 dog mid-distance event.

A few races have fallen by the wayside. Eagle Trace (Clearwater, MN), had to cancel out due to the inability to get enough miles for even the shortest events. Only 2 miles could be had, a distance too short for any class. The St. Paul Winter Carnival Race in White Bear Lake, MN, was unable to get the crews together to plan the race and do fundraising.  

NSSDC hopes to see you all on the trails. In the meantime, we wish you all a happy holiday.


NSSDC Elects Officers

By Sally O’Sullivan Bair

October 19, 2013

At its annual Fall Fun Run meeting October 19, 2013, NSSDC members elected its partial slate of new officers. Lyman and Kris Wolske held their positions as president and secretary, respectively. New to the board is Allison Petell of Mazeppa, Minnesota, who comes on as the Junior Committee Chair. Since NSSDC elects officers on a rotating basis, 2014 will see the election of the treasurer and vice president’s positions.

Wolskes have been contributing their expertise and time to the sport since 2002. Kris is the maker and shaker of the annual Fall Fun Run and a past recipient of the Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy while Lyman lends his hand at the helm, steering the Club in the right direction. They have a kennel of about twenty husky and hound mixed dogs. Lyman is the musher in the family, competing in the limited classes. Their respective work schedules have kept them out of Harm’s way, providing busy weeks and crowded itineraries. They live in rural Hudson, WI, with their dogs. Their children are all grown and out of the nest, but Kris and Lyman are proud grandparents.

Allison Petell is a relative newcomer to the sport. She and husband Cory, “the love of my life,” live in the sleepy southeastern Minnesota community of Mazeppa with their kennel of rescue dogs, mixtures of “traditional Siberians, greyhounds, pointers, and unknowns – but all working breeds.” She grew up in Rochester (MN), “packed myself and my pooch” and graduated from Mesa State College in Colorado in biology and psychology and obtained her Masters in psychology at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. She went on to become certified as a Medicolegal Death Scene Investigator, and is currently enrolled in a Veterinary Technology certification program. Wow! This gal moves!

She was employed at the Mayo Clinic in the autopsy department for years, leaving to pursue further education. Now “I am between careers, shall we say,” she quips. Although NSSDC has but a fledgling junior program, mainly due to a dearth of junior mushers, Allison has always been anxious to work with kids, ever excited to teach newbies about sled dogs and the sport. She has worked with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and is open to trying to develop a program in mushing utilizing a badge award format, similar to the Scout programs.

North Star welcomes Allison and the continuing contributions of the Wolskes to the working of the Club.



2014 Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy Awarded

by Sally O’Sullivan Bair

October 19, 2013

NSSDC vice president Joe Fessler, of Chisago, MN, has been awarded the 2013 Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy. “It is an honor,” he stated.

Fessler comes to NSSDC as a skijorer originally and with a kennel of Siberians, but he has also handled for distance mushers Blake and Jen Frekking. This lad travels at 90 miles an hour. He not only holds down a busy job as computer technologist but also has developed a hands-on program for working with groups of Girl Scouts, “Experience Sled Dogs.” He comes to us with a BS degree from the University of Minnesota in Computer Science and has been a help to NSSDC in developing its online presence. He has put efforts into getting the St. Paul Winter Carnival Race off the ground only to be thwarted by a lack of snow… and, unfortunately, a lack of personnel.

Fessler further expanded on the honor of receiving this award: “Not only does the award serve as an affirmation that my efforts have been serving the interests of the club and its members, but I also feel privileged to be included among the impressive list of past recipients. If there is one thing all of those individuals have in common it is their ability to motivate and inspire others to get excited about making our sport and our community stronger. Accepting this award only serves to strengthen my resolve to be such an inspiration for the North Star Club and its members.”

The Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy is presented annually to a NSSDC member who has made outstanding contributions to the Club and to the sport. Bayers was an active NSSDC member in its infancy and contributed to its growth and development as well as to the careers of several Midwest mushers of the time. She was known for her knowledge of dogs/mushing, her kindness, willingness to help, and her good sense. She died in January, 1977, of a brain tumor.

The Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy was donated to NSSDC by Marti and Dick Mackey, formerly of Bemidji, Minnesota, who were close friends of Maeb’s. The trophy was first awarded in 1981 to Bob Jones of Cannon Falls, Minnesota.



October 2,2013

Fall Fun Run 2013 Reminder/Save the Date

This year’s Fall Fun Run will be held October 19-20, 2013, in Mahtowa, MN. 

Every year we have more fun than the year before, and this year looks to be no exception to that rule. We always get good training with the dogs, good food, great conversation and stories to be told throughout the dog season and next year.

We are fortunate enough to once again have our friend and world renowned vet, Jerry Vanek, willing to give up his time to educate us on all things dog.

Back by popular demand is the Swap/Sell/Trade event – so gather all things you want to swap, sell and trade and load ‘em on the truck!

We will have an “event” or two to keep things lively and as always – prizes. Who doesn’t love free stuff? We look forward to seeing everyone. If you have any questions or concerns before the FFR, join us on FB, check the TUGLINE or email: See you there!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to the drought ~ everyone will need to bring their own water! 


August 2,2013

2013 NSSDC Summer Meeting & Picnic


Brush up on your brat manners! Tune up your vocal chords!

Relearn the fine art of holding animated conversations with people rather than dogs!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

At Bob & Julie Bzdok’s home

613 – 135th St. NE, Rice, MN


Potluck lunch at noon. NSSDC meeting at 1:00 PM.


Bring your own brats or hamburger to grill. Bring a dish/salad to pass & buns & soda.

Camping will be available. Bring your tent! There is plenty of room.

Have fun playing volleyball, yard games, swimming or trampolining!

There is plenty to keep young & old entertained in the day

& a fire pit to sit around & tell stories at night!


Call 320-393-4225 for directions or email



February 18, 2013

Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Sled Dog Races: Really Impressive!

By Sally O’Sullivan Bair

(February 18, 2013, Camp Ripley, MN) Camp Ripley and nature rolled out the red carpet to stage a truly winter warrior’s sled dog race. Twelve inches of new snow blanketed the mostly wooded trails along the Mississippi River in a winter wonderland of beauty for the thirty teams that entered to vie for the $1600+ in purse money. Camp Ripley lent its trail groomer and personnel to the superb weekend to make for a very successful event, which sported an 8-dog mid-distance class (37.1 miles), a 10-dog sprint class (10.2 miles), a 6-dog sprint class (5.7 miles), and the 4-dog sprint pro and recreational classes (4.0 miles), 1-dog skijoring, and 2- and 3-dog youth classes.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  Saturday saw partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low teens. Sunday was warmer with temperatures in the upper 20’s but damper with a good breeze. The trails were well packed and harder on Sunday.

The longer trails had some challenging hills and curves as well as some interesting sights along the way, including tanks, helicopters, and even a practice Afghan “town” and prisoner of war camp used for military reservists’ weekend war games.  Other reservists could be seen practicing their cross-country ski and snowshoe skills.

When all was said and done, Alex LaPlante of Esko, MN, took home the trophy in the mid-distance class with a total time for the two days of 7:20:40.36 (hours, minutes, seconds, hundredths), besting second place Tim Chisholm of North Branch, MN, whose time was 7:24:32.75. Linus Meyer of Melrose, MN, placed third with a time of 7:36:25.33.

In the 10-dog sprint class, event organizer Bob Bzdok of Rice, MN, copped the top honor with a total time of 1:13:40.00. Art Stoller from Bagley, MN, took second place with a total time of 1:14:48.03. Bzdok had a substantial lead after Saturday’s heat, but on Sunday his leader was reluctant to get started, costing him almost two minutes. Coreene Hanson, Stoller’s partner, took third place with a time of 1:25:23.42. Both Stoller and Hanson ran only eight dogs, the “puppy brigade,” as they referred to them.

A small contingent of teams came in from the East en route to the IFSS (International Federation of Sleddog Sports) World Championships in North Pole, Alaska, to compete in the Winter Warrior’s limited classes. With crack teams ready to vie with the best in the world, they showed their stuff by impressive runs in the 6-dog and 4-dog classes. Grace Bailey of Stratford, NH, bagged first place in the 6-dog class with a total time of 45:29.40. Sherry Johnson of Fergus Falls, MN, carrying the Neal and Carolyn Johnson tradition of great teams, logged in a second place time of 49:37.90. She also gave a superb interview with a Brainerd television channel, there to record the events. Steve Peterson, Backus, MN, took third place with a time of 1:19:09.12. Mention should be made of competitor Allison Petell (Mazeppa, MN), whose kennel consists of rescue dogs. Although she was not in the money, mushers commend her for her efforts to rescue dogs suitable for the trails. Such an undertaking takes vim and vigor … and lots of patience!

Grace Bailey again took the top honor in the 4-dog pro class with a time of 19:29.21. Jordyn Bzdok of Rice, MN, turned a respectable second place time of 20:07.49, and Lyman Wolske, NSSDC president from Hudson, WI, placed third with a time of 20:55.77. In the 4-dog recreational class, Sherry Johnson was again on the awards podium in first place with a time of 26:06.60, and Camille Haglin of Brainerd, MN, clocked in a time of 27:06.80 to take second place. Brad LeBlanc from Little Falls, MN, took home the third place trophy with a time of 31:11.91.

Mike Schultenover of Excelsior, MN, won the 1-dog skijoring event, posting a time of 32:56.94. Nathalie Fortier of Loudon, NH, placed second, clocking 35:30.65.

The Bzdok kids from Rice, MN, stole the show in the youth classes. Jonathan ran the 2-dog, 4-mile trail in a total time of 27:20.62. Jaymie covered the distance with her three dogs in 25:38.24. They exhibited a friendly family rivalry as well as well wishes to each other. A gutsy seven-year-old, Jonathan fears little and stops short of nothing on the trails, but a howling wolf out on the trail will scare the devil out of him!

Rumors have circulated that Camp Ripley was already taking stock of the trail map on Sunday morning for 2014 in an effort to improve the layout and staging. They were very pleased with the event. Camp Ripley Post Commander Col. Scott St. Sauver and Sgt. Tim Krouth, who worked directly with North Star and Erin Lindquist and Bob Bzdok, paid their respects to the race. Over the weekend, Camp Ripley also hosted the Annual Norwegian Soldiers Exchange Program, and several participants came over the see the sled dog race.

North Star Sled Dog Club (NSSDC) extends its thanks to all the personnel at Camp Ripley, especially Sgt. Tim Krouth and the trail groomer, and to the many sponsors who contributed to the race. NSSDC also thanks the officials and assistants: event organizers Erin Linquist and Bob Bzdok, race marshal Sally O’Sullivan Bair, veterinarian Jerry Vanek, dog marker Jill Levene, timer Lynn Congdon, chute judge Mike Congdon, announcer Chris Meyer, and trail boss Brian Bzdok, and the myriad of other people who helped, among them the VFW of Little Falls, which supplied the concessions. Don Deckert, Melissa Bloom, and Stoffel Reitsma were available to give sled dog rides to anyone. Thanks!

Complete race results are available at:



February 13, 2013

Camp Ripley reports 12" of new snow after this past weekend's storm. Trails are being groomed and looking good!

Sally O'Sullivan Bair


February 11, 2013

Entry deadline for the Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Sleddog Race has been extended to Friday, February 15, 2013, 10:00 AM.

February 6, 2013
Camp Ripley Race Looking Good!

Erin Lindquist, race coordinator for the Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race, scheduled for February 16-17, 2013, at Camp Ripley, MN, is cautiously optimistic that there will be sufficient snow cover for all classes of the race. Not only is there enough (barely, though) on the ground now, but more accumulation is expected in the next five days as well, and no significant melt is in the forecast either. All appears good to go!

Sally Bair



January 28, 2013

Due to lack of adequate snow, the St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Race rescheduled for February 2-3, 2013, on Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Lake, MN, has been cancelled. Despite the new snow (3"), there is still not enough to prepare a proper and safe trail on the lake.


January 21, 2013

Update: St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Race, White Bear Lake, MN.

Due to lack of adequate snow, the St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Race scheduled for January 26-27, 2013, on Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Lake, MN, has been postponed to February 2-3, 2013. A final decision regarding snow decisions for the February date will be made Sunday, January 27th.


January 17, 2013

Update: St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Race, White Bear Lake, MN.

Due to the lack of sufficient snowfall following the recent warm conditions, the fate of this year’s St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Race, scheduled for January 26-27, 2013, is in question. While ice thickness on Bald Eagle Lake (White Bear Lake, MN) remains more than sufficient, the minimal snow cover will not support the creation of a trail at this time.

A minimum of 3-4 inches of new snow will be needed in the upcoming few days in order for a safe trail to be established on the lake. 5-8 inches will be required in order to provide a trail surface which will secure a musher's snow hook, necessary to anchor a team in place when stopped. For safety reasons, the 10-dog class will be cancelled unless snow hooks can be set. All other classes will still take place if a safe trail can be created which may or may not be able to secure a snow hook.

The North Star Sled Dog Club will be making a final decision on whether to postpone or cancel the race on Sunday, January 20, 2013. The results of this decision will be posted on the race website (, the North Star Sled Dog Club’s website (, Sled Dog Central (, and announced via standard media outlets.


Calling all snowmobilers, plow truck drivers
and shovel owners!


If the decision is made to go forward with the race, the North Star club will need the help of the local community to establish the trail. Please contact to volunteer, and help save this historic piece of the St. Paul Winter Carnival!



January 15, 2013

The Frazee (Minnesota) Third Rendezvous Sled Dog Race is being rescheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2013. A lack of snow has made it necessary to move the race from its originally scheduled date of January 19, 2013.


January 10, 2013

The St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Race will be graced with the appearance of the Winter Carnival Royal Family, who will confer knighthood on several attendees. The royals will be present at 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 27, 2013. The race is scheduled for January 26-27, 2013, on Bald Eagle Lake in the city of White Bear Lake, MN, a northern suburb of St. Paul.


December 18, 2012
Camp Ripley Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race:

Equipment requirements in the Mid Distance class: In addition to the equipment required by the main North Star race rules, the following items are required in the sled, or with the musher, on the race course of the mid-distance class:

*First aid kit,

*Wire cutters and/or knife,
*Set of booties for each dog.


November 20, 2012
From Sally O'Sullivan Bair

Entry forms for the 2013 races are now available. Click on the menu item in the left column, "Race Entry Forms." As remaining forms come in, they will be uploaded.


NSSDC Volunteers Needed

September 15, 2012 

Volunteers are needed for the following North Star Sled Dog Club events and activities.

Winter Carnival Race: If you or someone you know is interested in helping with the planning and execution of the Winter Carnival race, please let Sally Bair or Joe Fessler know. In addition, we are seeking volunteers to be involved in the following events associated with the race: 

Kids Mutt Race: NSSDC is still finalizing plans with Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet, but our hope is to have a number of events at their store locations to promote the Kids Mutt Race. These events would involve bringing dogs and equipment to walk families with children through everything they will need to know to get themselves ready to participate in the Kids Mutt Race. We plan to have a set “curriculum” developed by the time of the events. Although the dates are not established at this time, please let Joe Fessler know if you are interested in being involved. The Kids Mutt Race is usually for kids ages 8-15.

Winter Carnival Parades: NSSDC would like to have representation in one or both of the Winter Carnival parades this year. Unfortunately, the daytime parade is typically the Saturday of our event. However, it would be fantastic if we can find a few non-racing members to handle this parade. The torch light parade is the following week during the evening sometime. Please let Bob Bzdok or Joe Fessler know if you are interested in being a part of the parade.

NSSDC Event at Infinite Campus: Joe Fessler’s work has requested that the club come out this January on either the 3rd, 9th, or 10th during the work day to provide a brief talk on sled dogs and skijoring, some demos, and a handful of dog sled rides for the top contributors to the company’s Toys for Tots campaign. Please let Joe Fessler know if you are interested in being involved in this event and which of the dates would work for you. Note that the club will be receiving a donation from Infinite Campus for providing the programming.

Girl Scout Events: Joe Fessler will be providing educational dog sled programming to a number of Girl Scout groups again this winter. He is looking for additional mushers to come and share their experiences with the scouts. Fessler has structured programming, including hands on activities, to be presented at these events. Please let him know if you are interested in participating, and he will provide additional details and dates/locations.

Midwest Mountaineering Winter Expo, Nov. 16-18: NSSDC will require a handful of volunteers to occupy the booth Friday November 16 through Sunday November 18 during Expo hours. This involves talking to customers about the sport, the dogs, the club, upcoming events and promoting new membership applications. Please let Joe Fessler know if you are able to help out!



Anti-Doping Training to be Offered

September 15, 2012 

Past IFSS(International Federation of Sleddog Sports) secretary general Sally O’Sullivan Bair will tentatively be offering training for those interested in the IFSS canine anti-doping protocols. Bair is the only IFSS certified canine anti-doping official in North America. This two-day, weekend seminar will be offered in cooperation with the University of Minnesota Veterinary School.

The training will take place on the St. Paul campus, probably sometime in April, 2013. Dr. Jerry Vanek, DVM, will also present a short workshop to the vet students on doing race vet checks.

Bair has been in contact with Megan Pratt, Pre-Veterinary Club President at the University vet school. Pratt has expressed interest on the part of several of the vet students in such a training seminar and workshop.

The seminar is open to any interested person. One need not be a veterinarian or a vet student or a pharmacist or physician to attend (Bair is none of these!). Anyone wishing to participate in this valuable and interesting weekend seminar is asked to email Bair at



NSSDC Elects New Officers

September 15, 2012 

This year, the positions of vice president and treasurer and the adult youth committee chair were up for election on the staggered schedule of officer elections. Joe Fessler was re-elected to the position of vice president. He was installed in this position last year as a result of the then vice president, Lyman Wolske, being elected to the presidency. Julie Schmelzer, a relative newcomer to NSSDC circles, was elected to be the new treasurer. In that there were no nominees to accept the position, the Adult Youth Committee Advisor remains vacant.

Vice president Joe Fessler’s involvement in the operation of mushing organizations is the next step in his goal of supporting the sled dog community and educating the broader public about the sport. Through his passion for mushing and his innovative ideas, he hopes “to contribute energy and promote collaboration amongst the various groups involved in the mushing community.”

He became involved in our sport around 2005 or 2006 with his Siberians in the skijoring events, where he has garnered many accolades. This young man lives life at 90 miles an hour. He is a board member of Mushing USA and a founding board member of Skijor USA. With a B.S. Degree in Computer Science, he is currently employed as senior software engineer. He is the founder of Experience Sled Dogs, an organization that provided a sled dog program for 141 girls of the Rum River Girl Scouts. Joe has been an integral member of the NSSDC race committee, lending his energy and expertise to, especially, the St. Paul Winter Carnival race. Fessler lives in Chisago City, MN, with his kennel of Siberian husky dogs.

NSSDC’s new treasurer Julie Schmelzer lives in Kimball, MN. She has been around the sport for thirteen years, mainly in the mid-distance classes. Schmelzer loves the outdoors, especially hiking, canoeing and camping. Although she received her education in recreational leadership and American Sign Language, which she freelances at, her true calling is for the outdoors. Her interests in hiking took her to Kenya, Africa, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2009 with three other women. The climb took five days of hiking and camping. “The views were awesome.”

Back at home she resides with her hubby and her Siberians, which she races in the mid-distance classes. She especially enjoys the sport or rec class. Her next adventure? Only she knows!



August 22, 2012 – At its Summer meeting and picnic on August 11, 2012, NSSDC elected new officers. Elected were:

Vice President: Joe Fessler
Treasurer: Julie Schmelzer




Event Schedule:

NSSDC Purpose
The North Star Sled Dog Club promotes the sport of sled dog racing and the welfare of the sled dog.
It also familiarizes the public with the work of the sled dog.