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Yukon Quest 2017 – Day 6

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogHank DeBruin and his Siberian Huskies are the last team not at or beyond Dawson as Brent hits the trail for the climb up American Summit and the US border.

Yuka Honda lost one of her dogs on the trail to Dawson. The cause of death awaits a necropsy. The odd-year Quest has never been easy for Yuka.


Head Veterinarian Cristina (Nina) Hansen, DVM, PhD reports that preliminary necropsy results for Yuka Honda’s expired dog, Firefly, showed an enlarged heart and that he ingested several booties.

Firefly was a six-year-old intact male in good body condition.

At 5PM CST Brent is in Alaska about to ascend the American Summit.

The Current Standings at 8:00PM CST ( 6:00PM PST):

Beyond Dawson
1 Brent Sass (14)
2 Hugh Neff (9)
3 Matt Hall (20)
4 Allen Moore (8)
5 Ed Hopkins (18)
6 Katherine Keith (19)R
7 Paige Drobny (7)
At Dawson
8 Torsten Kohnert (21)
9 Ryne Olson (15)
10 Brian Wilmshurst (16)
11 Rob Cooke (4)
12 Jessie Royer (1)R
13 Dave Dalton (13)
14 Gaetan Pierrard (10)
15 Sébastien Dos Santos Borges (5)R
16 Ben Good (3)R
17 Yuka Honda (2)
Beyond Pelly Crossing
18 Hank DeBruin (17)

These are the official standings. That means they are official, not that they are correct. Things jump around a lot as people decide to update the standings. This problem is especially bad in the back of the pack, as no one bothers to update those standings when the lead is changing.

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Yukon Quest, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, and the small “R” indicates a rookie.

Note: This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Yukon Quest can be seen by clicking on the sled dog or selecting “Yukon Quest” from the Category box on the right sidebar.


1 JuanitaM { 02.09.17 at 11:09 am }

It’s 12:00 noon EST, and Brent Sass is well ahead of Hugh Ness at this point. Still, they have those three great mountains to get over, but it looks like Brent would have to make a big mistake at this point.

You mentioned Yuka Honda earlier and the issues that she has had in the prior races. The latest news on the Yukon Quest site is that she has lost a dog. I don’t think they know yet what has happened. The Quest has not been lucky for her apparently.

2 Bryan { 02.09.17 at 11:29 am }

It is really sad to hear about Yuka’s loss. She runs on a shoestring, and the odd-year seems to be bad karma for her. I suspect it was eating related. These temperatures cause a much larger intake of food and huskies, like most large dogs, gulp rather than chew. She teaches in Whitehorse, so getting a team together is not easy for her.

3 JuanitaM { 02.10.17 at 11:56 am }

I know. It just breaks my heart to hear of a dog not making it. Of course, in any subset of 250 to 300 dogs, there will always be something that will or can happen even if they are just at home being a pet. Being a person owned by two dogs, I just hate thinking about it. I don’t think I could finish a race after that.

4 Bryan { 02.10.17 at 3:52 pm }

She couldn’t bear it, and scratched. We lost a young shepherd to gulping and it really hurt. The immature female swallowed a bone and it got stuck. You hate it. but you get another dog anyway.

5 JuanitaM { 02.10.17 at 4:48 pm }

Oh gosh, I’m so sorry! I know that was a painful loss. And if you’re anything like me, I always keep second guessing myself: “Could I have done something to stop this?” But yeah these things happen,and there isn’t anything you can do. My largest dog is a gulper like that, and it amazes me the size of food pieces he can swallow in one go. I make an effort now to give him smaller segments.

I can certainly understand her not wanting to continue. I wouldn’t either.

6 Bryan { 02.10.17 at 6:45 pm }

The loss is hard on the rest of the pack, as well. A good team is a pack, like wolves. The effect is related to where that dog fit in the hierarchy of the pack.