History of the sport2018-09-10T14:36:23+00:00

History of the sport

More than 100 years of Sled Dog Sports

To understand a sport, one must know its history

The first references to sled dog teams conpetitions can be found in the 19th century in Canada. In Alaska, at the end of the 19th century, the Gold Rush induced a strong demand for pulling dogs. Dogs were very important in the daily life of gold miners at that time, and when the rush ended, they turned their working sled dog teams to racing ones in order to keep their dogs and…do something. Slowly the sled dog sport turned out to be more and more important in all the snowy countries of the north american continent.

In 1932, the sled dog sport appeared at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid (New York State).

In Europe, the sport first developped in Scandinavia, where ski-pulka with hunting dogs became popular in the 1930’s. The first club was founded in Norway in 1936, quickly followed by numerous others in other scandinavian countries.

In central and western Europe, the sport really started in the early 1960’s. The first french race was held in february 1978, organised at La Schlucht Pass (Alsace).

In 1983 the national clubs from France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway founded the European Sled Dog Racing Association (ESDRA), in order to coordonate the development of the different disciplines in Europe. The first european championship was set up in 1984 in Sils/St Moritz (Switzerland).

The structuration of an International federation for Sled dog Sport (IFSS) followed, with the same goal on on planet scale, and this allowed the appearance of the sled dog sport in demonstration and exhibition for the Olympic Games of Albertville (1992 France) and Lillehammer (1994 Norway).

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