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Caithness is lucky to have a champion sleddog team now in the county. Racing under the name Valuiki the dogs are trained and cared for by Adrian & Lynn Tilsed. Valuiki are one of the most predominant and successful Sleddog kennels in the United Kingdom. They currently have 12 sleddogs in full time work, 2 of these being Alaskan huskies the remainder being Siberian huskies. Results over the last 3-4 years have been outstanding with 51 x 1st places 22 x 2nd places 11 x 3rd places.
The team were British champions in 2000 in 2 classes and were the United Kingdom champions in 2001 in 2 classes also. This year has again the team has been crowned the United Kingdom champion in the 3-dog class, and were only narrowly beaten, into the runner up position, in the 6-dog class!
Adrian and Lynn have only recently relocated to Caithness and being new to the area are actively trying to promote and raise interest in their kennels and race teams. They are in the process of searching for new sponsors for the rapidly approaching race season, and with a long term view to supporting them in a bid to be chosen as Great Britain team members at the Winter Olympics in 2006.
There is a tremendous commitment and dedication required to produce dogs at this level, race after race, and to maintain such consistent top 3 positions. They are away racing around 12 weekends of the year during October to March. The remainder of the year is spent training the dogs regularly, during the summer months they try and maintain (temperature dependant) at least one training session a week. From the bank holiday weekend at the end of August through to the end of May they train the dogs either 3 or 4 times a week.
At Aviemore in January 2003, the team were a very creditable 2nd place, in the 6-dog class, at the event and also managed to set the trail record on the first day. A notable achievement as the team had lacked the correct preparation prior to the event, following the family move from Dorset just before Christmas!
More information on the team can be found at Valuiki Dogs Web Site
If any companies or
individuals are interested in sponsoring the team in any way they
can contact Adrian or Lynn Tilsed at -