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Racing Sled Dog Handlers

Mary Carter

Mary and husband John have the only purpose built sleddog training centre in the UK with seven miles of trails set in 218 acres.

John and Mary’s ‘credentials’ in Mary’s own words in January 2013:

8 times Gold Medal winner plus 6 Silver & 4 Bronze medals in the British Championships, 5 times Gold winner, plus 6 Silver & 4 Bronze medals in the Scottish Championships.

At Ford in 2012, John was also just back from competing in the ESDRA European Championships in Germany at the start of November, where he gained the Silver Medal, being the Second Highest Placed 6 dog Nordic Team.

John went on to win the 6 dog registered class at the SDAS National Championships at Ford & also taking the Bronze in the 8-dog class (competing with just 6 dogs) and I took Silver in the 4 dog registered class.

One of our 11 year old dogs also competed for the first time in the cani-cross class & gained the Bronze at the Nat Champs with Tracey Thomas as her runner.

Their dogs

The couple currently have 33 Siberian Huskies, 2 Working Sheepdogs and a Lurcher, ranging from 1 to 15 years of age.

How did you become involved with sleddogs?

Mary says…..
"I was introduced to the breed by my good friends, Tracey and Daniel Storey (Qonos), when they bought their first Siberian in 1994 - attending local husky races and working events with them. I got my first shot on a rig a year or so later thanks also to Julie Ford and Brian Collins (Bifrost). I gained much experience by handling dogs for these and other mushers in both training and racing, successfully racing with borrowed teams from 1997 and then gaining the Silver Medal in the British Championship in the 2-dog Class with the Qonos team in 1999/2000 season. I eventually owned my first Siberian Husky in 1999, whose identity crisis (living in a house full of Border Collies!) led me to meet my future husband by seeking his help with training my new youngster in harness.”

Which of your numerous successes stands out most in your memory?

"Our kennel gaining podium places in all four Sled Dog Association of Scotland purebred rig / team classes in the 2010/11 season – two Golds, one Silver and one Bronze, with our 11 year olds competing in all of my teams (4, 3 and 2-dog teams), and our 9 year olds competing on John’s 6-dog team.”

Mary’s other memorable successes include:

  • Gaining the Reserve CC at Crufts with her home bred bitch, Siren, in 2006 and returning to the show ring in 2011 with a new generation of pups, (entirely born and raised on CSJ foods) with great success at all three shows entered to date - gaining Best Puppy Dog with Monk at the SSHC/SHCGB Joint Championship Show, again at Border Union Championship Show, and Best Puppy in Breed at the Scottish Kennel Club Championship show.
  • In February 2011, Mary competed at the WSA European Championships in Italy with her  4 dog team - her very first race abroad and only snow race to date - lead by their two home bred 11 year old veteran litter sisters, Mary managed to beat teams from France, Switzerland and Italy.
  • In April 2011, Mary secured the Gold Medal, racing her and John’s home bred 3-dog team (litter siblings) by comfortably beating all the pure-bred opposition and even beating the times achieved by the 3-dog Open teams competing on the same trail!

Immersed in dogs!!

From the 1980’s, in her teenage years, Mary competed in Open obedience competitions with her Border Collies, which in turn lead to being the Obedience Team Captain for Sheringham and District Kennel Association, Pet Dog Trainer at the Norfolk Broads Dog Training Club and also at Honing Puppy Playgroup.

She also trained her Border Collies for agility competition and became treasurer and volunteer for a rescue charity, F.A.I.T.H. Animal Rescue and a foster home for the SHCGB Welfare Scheme. In 2011 Mary was voted onto the committee for the Sled Dog Association of Scotland and holds the position of Secretary.

More about the training centre

Mary tells the story: "My Husband, John purchased our home in Scotland 10 years ago and has created here the only purpose built sleddog training centre in the UK with seven miles of trails set in 218 acres, and pride ourselves in training leaddogs.  Mushers can send their dogs to us for training, or stay here with their dogs or simply use our specifically designed network of trails and distractions to sharpen up the leading skills and control of their own teams. We also have dog paddocks for mushers to exercise their dogs safely off lead whilst staying here for training.  Our trails are also used for hosting races and have attracted teams from Ireland, Wales, and as far North in Scotland as Tain and as far South in England as Plymouth.  We have also had a European professional musher running teams on our trails. We have hosted races for the British Siberian Husky Racing Association (BSHRA) and the SHCGB in the past, and hosted the final race of the season for the Scottish Siberian Husky Club in 2010 gaining their largest ever race entry. Our venue is now the annual host for the concluding race of the Championship Series for SDAS incorporating their AGM and awards presentation.”

How to contact Mary and John

 Email: bowland@aol.com  / info@leaddog-training.com

See our facebook groups :
www.leaddog-training.com – a turn in the right direction 
Satanta Siberians

Mobile: 07775 435181

"Since exclusively feeding CSJ dog foods, herbs and treats we have noticed a massive improvement in our dogs’ overall condition and are very impressed with their resultant performance as demonstrated by their race results.  Particularly impressed with our racing dogs ability to achieve and maintain optimum hydration and energy levels during the extremely demanding periods of training, conditioning and racing.  We have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending this food.”
Mary and John Carter

Photo credits:
Main photo and Bowlands photo by Sharon Flannigan.
Photo of Monk by Tanya Glover.

Monk

Monk

Bowlands End of Season Rally

Bowlands End of Season Rally

Dog

Dog

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