Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 11 of 14 - Bits and Pieces of News

Abner Denied Opportunity to Race

Abner, the yearling who was severely injured and removed from my possession last fall, has been doing very well in his rehabilitation.  So well that he ran in the lead position in an AARP division race during the Annamaet Gold Run last weekend.  I saw some a video recording of his start and finish and he ran very well.  The finish video was very exciting as Abner and his older buddies were in a neck to neck sprint to the finish line.

Abner's owner had hoped that he would be allowed to run in a team in this weekend's North Pole Championship, but apparently it isn't to be.  According to Emails floating through ADMA's mailserv, in spite of Abner's excellence performance last weekend and letters of support from two different veterinarians who have examined him, the race marshal has declared that if "any three legged dog" is brought to the starting line he (the marshal) will "personally cut him out of the harness".

Thus far, no one from ADMA has posted anything on the list giving a reason for the decision.

SeaWorld Orca Show to Resume This Weekend

SeaWorld President Jim Atchison is holding a press conference at which he said the Shamu Believe show with killer whales will resume this weekend -- three days after a whale killed a trainer at the Orlando park.  Atchison said trainers would not be allowed into the water with the whales until officials finish reviewing the accident that killed Dawn Brancheau, 40. He said he did not know how long that prohibition would last.

The veteran trainer was dragged into the water Wednesday by killer whale Tilikum. The medical examiner says she likely died of traumatic injuries and drowning.  Tilikum will not be punished, Atchison said, and will remain an "active, contributing member of the team."

Of course that begs the question - just how DO you punish a 12,000 lb. Orca?  Slap on the flipper while saying "bad whale, bad whale?"

High court to define reach of gun-control laws

Does the Second Amendment grant a fundamental right comparable to, say, the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech and the Fourth Amendment's shield against unreasonable searches and seizures? Or, is the Second Amendment in a class of its own because it involves a right to possess a weapon designed to kill or cause injury?

According to an article in the on-line issue of USA Today,  the U.S. Supreme Court will give us an answer after hearing McDonald v. City of Chicago on Tuesday.  This ought to be interesting, eh?

Open World Championship Sled Dog Race

The grand-daddy of sprint races will be starting in just under half an hour on Fourth Avenue in Los Anchorage.  Those with high speed connections can follow the action live via webcast or GPS trackers.  More information is available at  The rest of us will just to wait until information is released through slower media.  

Update - ~ 7:20 pm

Results of the first day of racing at the Open World Championship Sled Dog Race (aka "Rondy") are now available on the Sled Dog Central website, as well as the  Alaska Sled Dog and Racing Association's site.  The leader-board at the end of Day 1 reads like a "Who's Who of Sled Dog Spring Racing".

Place Name Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Total Time
1 Blayne Streeper 1:31:28      
2 Arleigh Reynolds 1:31:30      
3 Jason Dunlap 1:31:42      
4 Bill Kornmuller 1:33:34      
5 Ken Chezik 1:34:45      
6 Egil Ellis 1:34:50

Rookie Jeff King (writing that seems SO wrong, somehow) is sitting in 8th place, the fastest finishing rookie of the race thus far.  King is running a team owned by Blayne "Buddy" Streeper, who obviously reserved his "A-Team" for himself.   I'm not accustomed to seeing Egil Ellis' name so far back on a leader-board.  It's never a surprise to see any of these high-speed, low-drag mushers near the top of any given race, though.


1 comment:

  1. I have been following all 4 news items you mentioned. Hope Abner continues to have fun in harness, races or not! I grew up on the Southside of Chicago and it is not getting any safer with the handgun ban. I hope the City of Chicago loses the case! That's way they call them Killer Whales! How much can a human really control or train an Orca. In my opinion, they show not be a circus act! Hooray! Anchorage got 6-7 inches of fresh snow for the Rondy races today!