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The UK’s Largest Sled Dog Rally

The Aviemore Sled Dog Rally is a highlight of the winter events season in the Scottish Highlands. It has been an annual event since 1984 and has grown increasingly popular each year since. When first initiated there were just 12 sled dog teams competing. Now it is the UK’s largest sled dog rally and regularly attracts over 250 mushers and in excess of 1,000 sled dogs.

Sled dogs racing in the Glenmore Forrest near Aviemore

The event is organised by The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland. It has become a highlight of the Scottish Highland event calendar and sees mushers from all over the UK converge in the forests around Aviemore. The event is raced on forest trails around Loch Morlich and is set against the backdrop of the spectacular Cairngorm mountain range.

Teams may consist of between two and eight dogs pulling a sled on trails. The course runs for between four and seven miles through the Glenmore Forest around Loch Morlich.  Although the event is most spectacular when there is good snow, the race can still proceed when the snow is missing. Three-wheeled rigs that look like a tricycle (but without a seat) are used instead of the traditional sleds.

Although Siberian Huskies are still the main dogs competing, other race dogs include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs, and Canadian Eskimo Dogs – the pedigree breeds of dogs first bred to pull sleds in Arctic conditions hundreds of years ago.

Sled dogs racing in the Scottish Highlands

If you would like to attend this event, Inverglen Guest House in Inverness is only a 40-minute drive from the course making it an ideal base for your stay. Just ask John (www.johnfridphotography.co.uk) for top tips on how to take great photos of this event.

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The Aviemore Sled Dog Rally is just one of many great events taking place in or around Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. Click the image below to check out all the other great events happening in and around Inverness throughout the year.

Fireworks at Fort Gorge