In the News
UnderDog New Zealand

Perano Finishes Iditarod” – “A man who went to high school in Picton has become the first New Zealander to complete the Iditarod, a gruelling dog sled race across Alaska billed as the last great race on earth. Read More
2016 Race Season

We will be taking the 2016 season off to work with some younger dogs and develop our team.  We will be building up for 2017.

The Team

Iditarod 2014Team Itasca is New Zealands only distance sleddog team which is now staging out of Willow, Alaska.

We started off recreationally running Alaskan Malamutes in NZ in about 2000 and in 2007 had the opportunity to head to the US. We spent 4 years running and racing our dogs out of Togo, Minnesota. We where fortunate to spend that time handling for and training with Jamie Nelson who has been a huge influence.

In 2011 we moved the team to Atlin, BC and ran Iditarod. The first and only NZ team to have completed Iditarod. As of July 2012 the team is staged out of Willow, Alaska. In 2013 we ran our second Iditarod finishing in 27th place and as of February 2014 became the first NZ team to finish The Yukon Quest, a thousand mile race from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Canada finishing in 7th place and two weeks later starting our third Iditarod and finishing in 23rd place.

We have a kennel of over 40 dogs split between NZ and Alaska. Our race team in Alaska are Alaskan Huskies and in the off season we run Sled Dog tours in the Southern Alps of New Zealand with some of the very same dogs that raced as part of our team in Alaska as well as some Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. Please look through our site to find out more about our tours in NZ.