Mushers’ Rendezvous hosts 20th year

The 20th annual Preeceville and District Mushers’ Rendezvous was said to have been another success and proceeds are to go towards purchasing equipment for the Preeceville and District medical centre, according to organizers.

"We have had a great weekend despite the weather challenges," said Kevin Cook, one of the organizes. "This is our 20th year and it is great to see so many mushers that keep supporting and returning to attend our race. We are thankful for the dedication of the Rough Rider Snowmobile Club for its tireless efforts in helping to keep the trail groomed. This year has been a challenge with the cold temperatures and winds but we worked hard to ensure the safety of the mushers and their dogs on the trails," he said.

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Jim Ward, president of the musher committee also acknowledged all volunteers, mushers and committee members. "It has been a challenging year but the 20th rendezvous was determined to be a success with the support from everyone. The future of the race remains uncertain at this point and we will make a decision in early fall whether the racing weekend will continue. We have many things to consider before a decision can be made. This weekend has been another success,” stated Ward.

The rendezvous featured a 10-dog race over a course of approximately 20 miles each day, and six-dog race February 3 and 4. The starting point was the Preeceville Skating Arena.

The main race, the Crossroads Credit Union 10-dog classic, had 12 entries with winners based on one-day total combined time. The race was only held over one day February 3, due to weather conditions.

First place was won by Carl Knudsen of Porcupine Plain. Second place went to Donny Poulin of The Pas, Man. and Rob Turner of The Pas won third pace.

Other racers traveled from St. Medard, Quebec; Carlowrie, Man.; MacDowell; The Pas and Thompson, Man.

The Town of Preeceville six-dog race had 17 entries. Held over a two-day period, 10 miles were run each day and winners were based on a total combined two-day average. First place was won by Carl Knudsen; Aaron Campbell of Melfort won second place and Loretta Dykan of Thompson won third.

Other racers traveled from France; Fort Providence, NWT; Quebec; Hay River, Woodridge and Thompson all of Manitoba; Meadow Lake, Prince Albert and Preeceville.

Lorilee, Hailee, Hannah and Wyatt Delawski were racers from Preeceville.

The five-dog Preeceville EDC junior race for mushers aged eight to 16 years had only one entry, with Hannah Delawski of Preeceville winning first place.

The Rob Bletksy one-dog race featured three entries. The race was open to children seven years old and under. Each participate received a certificate and prize. Mushers featured were, Mishka Smiley, Wyatt Delawski and Jayce Belous.

The two-days of racing concluded with a variety supper and the mushers’ awards at the Preeceville Legion Hall.