From Edern to Östersund for the World Sled Dog Championship – Quimper

At the Le Page family, we don’t do things in half. Marie, the mother, manages her champions: Émile, the father, already a regular in world-class sled dog competitions; Anna, the daughter who follows in his footsteps and, of course, the dogs, huskies slaughtered to compete, born to her cub in Menez des Glaziks of Edern. On March 11, 12 and 13, father and daughter took part in the Purebred World (LOF) Sled Dog Championships. “It was good because, in terms of results, my husband finished sixth and my daughter fifteen,” says Marie. At 16, Anna competed in adulthood for the first time. “There is no different competition between men and women. What counts is the distance and the team: two, four, six or eight dogs “, explains the mother. Emile had eight and Anna had two.

Anna Le Page and her four-legged champions. (Marie LePage)

Suspected of dog trafficking in Germany

Traveling to Sweden with 17 dogs – they needed ten for the competition but needed alternatives – was no small feat. “It simply came to our notice then. This time, exceptionally, we took the boat to Germany. Last time we drove all the way, but Denmark was a bit tricky when it came to covid restrictions. It takes a little longer, but in the end it’s more relaxing. When we are on the boat, we can sleep, “says Marie. Four days’ journey to get there, though.

And crossing borders with dogs, isn’t that too complicated? “They are not too demanding when they see that we are going to a world championship. At the customs level, it is twice as fast as for leisure travelers. But hey, I don’t know many people who travel with 17 dogs for any reason other than a competition! she’s kidding. However, on their return, they were entitled to control by the German police. “We stopped at a rest area and a companion took his dogs out to stretch their legs. A German called the police thinking it was dog trafficking. As we were in the regulations and when they understood that we were returning from the World Cup, there was no problem “.

Emile Le Page during the World Championships in Östersund, Sweden.
Émile Le Page during the World Championships in Östersund, Sweden. (Marie LePage)

The effects of global warming

In Östersund, 377 km south of the Arctic Circle, the effects of global warming are being felt. “During the day, we were at -5 ° and it softened. We didn’t have the very low temperatures we are used to seeing. We are all affected, even up there. There was enough snow, but there were very quick gentle charms, he could see. When it then freezes, it is very complicated because it can hurt dogs. For example, slippers need to be put on to prevent damage to the pads. “

This increase in temperature was a real problem for Le Pages when the World Championships for all races, scheduled for 25, 26 and 27 February, had to be moved to Norway due to lack of snow. Therefore, they were unable to participate. “Norwegian regulations are different. They ask for other vaccines for dogs, which we could no longer do because we had already left France,” laments Marie.

Emile Le Page during the World Championships in Östersund, Sweden.
Complicity between dogs and their owners is essential. (Anna LePage)

distance school

Because the family left at the end of January “to prepare the dogs for the temperatures and the environment.” Anna, who was educated at the Pommerit-Jaudy Professional Cat Institute (22), was able to follow the lessons at a distance. “Thank you covid for allowing the creation of distance learning courses! The school has been very operational in this. Anna was in class all day, mostly because there was no jet lag. He did his workouts at noon or in the evening.

With the arrival of summer, it’s time to return to Brittany and rest, but the next step is already marked: the 2023 World Cup in Italy.

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