A French sled dog team, led by seven-time European race winner Remy Coste and his partner Aurelie Delattre, has relocated to Wyoming. This significant step comes as they prepare to compete in the arduous Pedigree Stage Stop Race, a week-long sled dog race spanning 225 miles across the rugged mountains of Wyoming and Idaho.
Embracing New Challenges in North America
Coste, alongside Delattre, has made a name for themselves in the European sled dog racing circuit. However, their decision to move across continents signifies a quest for new challenges and victories in North America. “If we wanted to keep on winning, we would have stayed in Europe,” Delattre states, highlighting their relentless pursuit of excellence.
The logistical feat of this transition is not to be underestimated. The team transported 31 dogs and a massive, city-bus-sized blue RV, serving both as a dog kennel and their living quarters, across the Atlantic. This level of commitment showcases their determination to excel in unfamiliar terrain and conditions.
Inside their mobile home, the team’s dogs are not just athletes but cherished family members. Each dog, like Frodo, a black and white member of their team, receives individual care and attention, including massages and playtime with favorite toys. This approach to training and care highlights the team’s philosophy of nurturing both the physical and emotional well-being of their canine companions.
The Rigorous Demands of the Stage Stop Race
The Pedigree Stage Stop Race, renowned for its length, unpredictable weather, and high elevations, presents a formidable challenge even for the most seasoned sled dog teams. Race director Dan Carter explains, “Could be, you know, 40, 45 below zero with the wind chill. And the wind can pick up, you know, the ground snow and create a whiteout.” The race’s demanding nature is what drew Coste and Delattre to Wyoming, seeking to test their skills against some of the most challenging conditions in sled dog racing.
Adjusting to Life in Wyoming
The French team is not only adapting to the demanding racing conditions but also to the cultural aspects of life in Wyoming. From encountering local cowboys to discovering local delicacies like pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies, their experience extends beyond the race tracks.
Coste and Delattre’s journey in Wyoming is more than just about winning races. It’s about pushing boundaries, embracing new cultures, and building a unique life around their passion for sled dog racing. As they prepare for their races in Alaska and aim to stay in North America for another year, their story continues to unfold, a testament to determination and the spirit of adventure.