We’re the South Island Siberian Husky Club (SISHC), based in Christchurch, New Zealand.
We are made up of a group of people who have a passion for Siberian Huskies, we all share one common goal, to promote the interests and wellbeing of the Siberian Husky.
Most of our members race their dogs both dryland – on forest trails with rigs, scooters and bikes, and on snow – with sleds.
The SISHC hosts two days of dryland racing each year, this race is located in the Hanmer forest at Hanmer Springs.
The SISHC in previous years has been involved in and hosted dog shows.
We love to see and help new people get into the sport of sled dog racing and showing, if you are interested in what we do, coming to watch an event, participating in a training day or would like more information about the sport please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Rig classes often include 2,3,4, 6 and sometimes 8 dog in New Zealand. Rigs are usually a three wheeled vehicle that the musher stands on. Each dog is connected to a tug line via their harness and a neck line. The tug lines and the team dogs’ neck lines are connected to the gang line (the central line that runs back to the rig via a bungee). Rigs can be purchased from dog sledding companies however the majority of rigs in New Zealand are home made and can vary widely in design depending on the maker and the musher.
Scooter classes are either single dog or two dog. All scooters are two wheeled. The front wheel is often the size of a bicycle wheel and the rear wheel either the same size or slightly smaller. The scooter is connected to the dog(s) via a bungee and tug line that is then connected to the dog’s harness. If running two dogs the dogs need to be connected via a leader neck line section. Scooter classes are incredibly popular in New Zealand as they only require small teams to run. Scooters can be purchased through a number of dog sledding companies, TradeMe, or can be home made.
Bikejoring classes include single dog and two dog. Usually a mountain bike is used as the trails being run can be rugged and wider tires are recommended over commuter tires. The bike is connected to a bungee and tug line, which is then attached to the dog’s harness. If running two dogs the dogs need to be connected via a leader neck line section. Bikejoring is a great way to get into the sport of dog sledding as little extra equipment is needed to start with. The idea with bikejoring is that the dog stays in front of the bike at all times and is pulling the biker along, the biker helps the dog(s) by peddling and reducing some of the strain on the dog(s).
Canicross is a single dog and two dog sport where the runner wears a canicross belt that is attached to a bungee and tug line connecting to the dog’s harness. The distances for this class are usually between 3 -5 kms. Like all other classes the dogs must stay in front of the runner and the idea is the dogs pull the runner along providing the forward momentum. Canicross is a great way to get a new dog and musher into the sport and practice commands safely.
PeeWee / Junior:
PeeWee or Junior unsanctioned classes are where young mushers race one or two dogs either on a rig or scooter. Both rigs and scooters have the same set up as mentioned above. PeeWees or Juniors can choose to race solo or with an adult accompanying them, most often this occurs for the younger mushers or until they are confident enough and able to run by themselves. This class is a great way to introduce the sport of dog racing to the next generation of mushers and to include the whole family in race days.
Sled classes include 2,3,4,6 and sometimes 8 dog in New Zealand. Sleds are run on snow and are connected to the dog team in the same manner as rigs. Sleds have a different braking system that include a foot brake to stop the team, a drag mat to slow the team and a snow hook to safely hold the team. Most of New Zealand’s snow races are run at Snow Farm in the South Island towards the end of August.
Skijor classes in New Zealand include only single dog. Skijor is similar to Canicross in that the skier wears a belt, which is connected to the dog’s harness via a tug line. The dog pulls the skier along and the skier helps the dog by skiing as needed.