Dogs burst into action in Hokkaido sledding race competition held for 1st time in 4 years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A musher and his dogs sled in the Japan Cup 2023 Wakkanai Dogsled Race in Wakkanai, Hokkaido, on Saturday.

WAKKANAI, Hokkaido — At the Japan Cup 2023 Wakkanai Dogsled Race mushers and their dogs became as one, as they unleashed breakneck speed on Saturday.

The event was held for the first time in four years, after a lack of snow and the pandemic caused it to be canceled.

All in all, about 120 dogs, including Siberian huskies and pointers entered the race, on a course stretching out as long as 5 kilometers. Sled speeds reached over 30 kph in the race for sleds pulled by six dogs.

Clear skies, no wind, and temperatures of around minus 1 C made it an ideal day for sledding. The dogs took off right as the signal went off, galloping down the course, sending up clouds of snow.