The Canadian Championship Dog Derby took over Yellowknife Bay for three days this past weekend, with some of the territory’s best mushers racing for the top prize.
The Beck family dominated the main event: the 150-mile 10-dog race, held over three days. Grant Beck took first place with a total time of eight hours and 59 seconds.
His brother Richard Beck came second in a time of nine hours and two minutes, while Brent Beck finished just a minute behind his father for third place.
Alexis Campbell – the race’s sole rookie – clinched fourth place.
The weekend’s events brought an unusual season of dogsledding to an end in the NWT. Border closures and Covid-19 restrictions meant every race was contested by homegrown teams.
Jordee Reid, the race organizer, told Cabin Radio the NWT is lucky to have “an active dog mushing community within our borders” while the pandemic has shut down racing elsewhere.
The victorious Beck shared Reid’s view.
“Mushers are all about their dogs and their team,” he said. “Whether it’s family or others that are from out of town … it’s all pretty good sportsmanship, they all know it’s all about the dogs.”
Beck also offered advice for those looking to get into the sport of dogsledding themselves.
“Get a mentor that’s going to help you out with the dogs, and all the learning. If you got somebody to mentor you through a year or two, then you should be good.”