Derby organiser hopes to attract more competitors to sled dog events in South Canterbury
Timaru is in a prime geographical position for hosting dog sledding events, the organiser of a new sled dog competition says.
Timaru Scooter Derby organiser and sled dog enthusiast Wayne Dyche said he hoped the competition, to be held May 20 and 21, would help grow the sport in the area.
A sled dog event, sometimes referred to as a scooter derby, was a sport whereby people harnessed their dog, or dogs, and raced with them using either a bike, scooter or just running.
"Dogs love to run with other dogs, and chase each other. It's a great sport to be involved with."
The sport was not "mainstream", Dyche said.
"But if there's enough people that take part in it, and participate and enjoy the sport, it can only grow," he said.
Dyche organised this month's Timaru Scooter Derby to give people a chance to try it out.
"The aim of the event, totally from my perspective, is to encourage other people to get involved . . . run with your dog have fun with it," he said.
There were a few people in South Canterbury who enjoyed the sport, while larger towns had more enthusiasts, he said.
"We're in a perfect position really because there's a strong club up in Christchurch and there's a strong club down in Dunedin, and we sit halfway in between."
That made Timaru an ideal place to host annual events, Dyche said.
There would be at least three competitive events during the derby at the Scenic Reserve, Timaru International Raceway and Phar Lap Raceway.
There would be prizes, but a lot of people took part for the social side, he said.
German short haired pointers were good dogs to compete with, as were huskies and other snow dogs.
"There's all manner of different dogs. Mainly suited to the larger breeds, but we have seen even smaller dogs do it, especially on the bikes."
He hoped people who loved running or cycling with their dog would have a go, and there would be people there to support and assist.