Kolyma Kennels

European Clubs and Kennels

The sled-dog sport in Central Europe started in the early 1960’s in Switzerland. The SKNH undertook (under the inspiring initiative of Thomas Althaus) the task of putting the sled-dog breeds back to the work they were bred for in the first place. A sled-dog camp in Engelberg, Switzerland was organised, and more sled-dog camps followed, including Axalp. Lew and I contacted the enthusiastic Mayor of Latrop, and the first sled-dog race in Germany took place.

The German press turned out in rather overwhelming numbers, a helicopter flew with the teams during the race, and footage was shown on the German TV the same evening. The German breed club DCNH followed with a race in Todtmoos, which is still being run today.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands the sled-dog club Mushing Holland was founded and their first race was held in Winterberg, Germany. The Swiss sled-dog enthusiasts founded the Trailclub, organising open races, allowing all breeds to participate, including non-pedigree crossbreeds. The first Trailclub race was held in Saingnelegier, Switzerland, Hyls Heeringa initiated the Trailclub race in Tannheim, Austria and Lew and I started a Trailclub race in Bernau, Germany, which is also still run today.

The sled-dog sport took off in a spectacular way, races were organised everywhere in Central Europe where snow could be more or less guaranteed, and Rig-races became popular as well. It was a dynamic and inspiring time. All of us who were part of it still share those good memories.

For further information on these European pioneers of the sled-dog sport

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Below you will find links to the most important Siberian Husky breed and sled-dog sport clubs in Europe:

The competition at the 1970 Open-class race trails

This picture was probably taken at the trophy presentation at the Tannheim race in Austria.

From left to right:

Toni Schmid (CH), Engbert Hoekstra (NL), Ernst Müller (CH),
Lew van Leeuwen (NL), Peter Thomann (CH), Edi Habegger (CH).

Picture courtesy: Nies & Hyls Heeringa.

NSHK - The Norwegian Siberian Husky Club is the oldest breed club in Europe. Many races - long distance as well as sprint - are organised in Norway, open to all breeds.

SPHK - The Swedish Siberian Husky Club. The Swedish breed club organises races, including several very popular long distance events.

SHS - The Finnish Siberian Husky Club. The Finnish breed and race clubs organise many races, both sprint and long distance.

DPHK - The Dansk PolarHunde Klub. When quarantine regulation was lifted in Denmark, many mushers and breeders became part of the Central Europe race and breeding scene.

SKNH - Swiss Polarbreed club who organised the first sled-dog races in central Europe in Engelberg and Axalp.

DCNH - The German Polardog breedclub came shortly thereafter with races in Todmoos en Bad Wiessee.

SHKN - The Dutch Siberian Husky Club followed suit with Latrop, Winterberg and Tannheim.

SHC - The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain organizes sled-dog races in Scotland.

TCE - Trail Club of Europe organised the first open races in Central Europe in Sainglegier and Bernau.

MHSC - Mushing Holland Sledehonden Club took over Winterberg from SHKN, but for purebred sled-dogs only.

SHF - Siberian Husky France organises sled-dog races in France.

Copyright © 2015 Els O. van Lierop. Website by Labyrinthos.