Curt & Fleur:
Fleur and Curt’s love of sled dogs started in the late 1990’s when they acquired their first Northern breed dog, an Alaskan Malamute. One quickly led to five. For fun they began to run dogs recreationally in NZ, entering events around the country. In 2007 they relocated to the United States with their 5 malamutes. Later that year they had the opportunity to move to northern Minnesota where they handled for Jamie Nelson, an accomplished distance racer and talented sled dog trainer. During this period Jamie became their mentor as they built, trained and raced their own team throughout the lower 48 states.
Fleur and Curt ran numerous mid-distance and distance races between Montana and Michigan in events between 60 – 400 miles and in 2011 won “Race to the Sky”, Montana’s premier 350 mile race. During their time racing in the lower 48 they won the Best Kept / Cared for Team award twice, including the John Beargrease Marathon, a 400 mile race along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
In 2011 they relocated to the Yukon Territories in Northern Canada and established their kennel of over 40 dogs. There they trained for their upcoming season in Alaska. In March 2012 they became the first and only New Zealand team to have finished Iditarod – The Last Great Race, a dog sled race traversing 1000 miles of remote Alaskan terrain, finishing under the burled arch in Nome with 9 dogs in 39th place.
In mid 2012 the team relocated to Willow Alaska to be closer to the racing circuit and as of March 2013 completed their second Iditarod finishing in 27th place with 10 dogs. In 2014 they became the first NZ team to complete the Yukon Quest and two weeks later ran their third Iditarod. One of less then 25 teams to ever run both 1000 mile races back to back in the same year. During their time in North America Fleur and Curt have run thousands of miles, training, racing and just for fun. They still maintain their race team in Willow, Alaska and continue to train and race them in the off peak NZ season.
Sled dogs have become their lives and 2013 was their first season operating their new venture “Underdog New Zealand” showcasing the very same dogs that they have worked with in North America, allowing them to share their dogs and love of dogs with New Zealand and those that visit.
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