Lemmon, S.D. girl chosen as junior musher in Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race
LEMMON, S.D. - Sometimes we get an idea in our heads and just can’t shake it.
Maybe it’s about traveling to a faraway place, running a marathon or meeting a famous movie star.
One Lemmon, South Dakota girl has been dreaming about competing in a sled dog race.
Nine-year-old Sloane Penfield’s ultimate goal is to compete in the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska.
The good news: she is soon to be one step closer to achieving her dream.
Harley and Sloane are best friends. For the past two years, they’ve been inseparable.
Harley is a retired sled dog; Sloane is a nine-year-old aspiring musher.
“I’ve just always loved working with animals, especially dogs. So, this is what I want to do,” Sloane explained.
This weekend, Sloane will get a chance to be in her first sled dog race. She was chosen as one of 12 junior mushers for the Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race in Jackson, Wyoming.
“I get to ride in the sled bag and help take care of the dogs,” she said.
She’s got Harley to thank for the opportunity; junior mushers must write an essay about why they want to compete.
“I wrote about Harley and how long I’ve been waiting for this,” she recalled.
The acceptance email caught Sloane by surprise. Her mom captured the moment on cell phone video.
“We’ll see you in Wyoming,” Sloane read.
“What does that mean?” asked her mom, Kelli Penfield.
“I get to do the junior musher program,” Sloane said with a big smile.
“Are you excited?” asked Kelli.
“Yes!” replied Sloane.
Excited, because this will be her first race.
“I’ve never been to a dog sled race,” she admitted.
But knowing Sloane, it won’t be her last; she hopes to one day race in the Iditarod, just like Harley did years ago.
The Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race begins in Jackson, Wyo. Teams race on public lands of the Bridger-Teton, Shoshone and Caribou-Targhee National Forests, competing for $165,000 in prize money and the title of “Stage Stop Champion.”
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