During the fall of 1908, the Siberian husky migrated into North America. Very little is known concerning their migration as most other dogs used Atlantic Ocean route from their countries. While the Siberian husky immigrated to America using the back door, to be more specific, they entered America through the point of intersection of peninsulas of Asia and America.
During the All Alaska Sweepstakes race in 1909, Siberian husky came to limelight, when they took part in the famous race. The winner of the contest would go home with $10000. They were imported to Nome, Alaska by the Russian trader William Goosak. During that race, they were the least favorites as they weigh only 40 to 52 pounds, while their competitors were taller and weighed much higher. To the local people, they referred the Siberian husky as “Siberian Rats.”
The Siberian husky has great speed, strength, and endurance. All of this attributes were noticed during the 1910 All Alaska Sweepstakes race, where Fox Maule Ramsay, a young Scotsman in Nome entered three teams of the Siberian husky, after making a selection from 60 of the best dog breeds. Two of his teams were driven by his uncles while the third team he drove them himself. One of the two teams was driven by John “Iron Man” Johnson, a Swedish Finn, registered under Col Charles Ramsay. While the second group was recorded under Col. Stuart, driven by Charles Johnson. John “Iron Man” was able to beat his competitors and came in first after taking 74 hours, 14 minutes, 37 seconds, which is the shortest time ever one has ever completed the 408 mile race. Fox Ramsay, was not far behind as he managed to get the second position. Sir Charles Johnson, managed to be in 4th place. (In 1983, in honor of All Sweepstakes race, the 75th anniversary was held. Teams competed along the same routes as the original run. Rick Swenson, the five-time Iditarod champion emerged victorious. He was unable to beat Iron Man record as he was 10hours slower
Although the Siberian Huskies has taken part in numerous sporting event. The most memorable race on American soil was when Goosak convinced Louis Thurstrop, a Danish sailor, to drive his team. In this race, it was a case of David versus Goliath, where the Siberian Huskies were the David. Out of all odds, they emerged number 3, although they were a lot of controversy with some rumors claiming that the drivers were paid off by the gamblers. It was after this race that many of the Americans started importing this racing breed champions.
In 1913, Roald Amundsen, one of the most renowned Norwegian explorer in history began preparing for a journey to the North Pole. Set to start in 1914. He is best known for been the first man to ever reach the South Pole. His friend, Jafet Lindberg, his Norwegian friend, one of the richest people of Nome, offered his support to get and train dogs for his expedition. Jafet Lindberg was the co-owner of one of the largest mining company in Nome; He picked the best Siberians gathered from different parts of Seward Peninsula. This group of dogs was trained by a Norwegian and an employee of Lindberg’s, Leonhard Seppala, Due to World War 1, in 1914, Amundsen did not take part in his quest to reach the North Pole. Although he was unable to take part in his journey, Seppala, continued training the dogs after been encouraged by the Pioneer Mining Company. Although the US entry led to the death of the great race series, the dogs trained by Seppala were able to take the first position in the last three Sweepstakes races, 1915, 1916, and 1917 to be precise.
In January 1925, there a great diphtheria epidemic in Nome. To be able to access life-saving serum, one had to travel over 600 miles away. The best dog relay team was formed to increase the arrival of the serum. Seppala with 20 Siberians embarked on a journey of over 300miles from Nome, Eastbound to meet the serum in Nulato. Seppala understood the urgency of the serum and without rest with the help of Togo, his team leader, traveled to Sound to Glovin. After reaching Glovin, the serum was taken by Gunnar Kaasen, led by Balto, and was able to complete the last phase of this dog relay. To honor all the sled dogs that to took part in the Serum run, a statue of Balto is rectified in New York’s Central Park.
During the fall in 1926, Leonhard Seppala was invited to visit varies cities in the lower 48. It was meant to honor and appreciate his heroic efforts in the serum run. He left his home in Nome with more than 40 Siberian Huskies which included the group leader Togo. He moved from West to East, traveling to Seattle, Kansas City, Dayton, Detroit, and Providence. Then lastly he arrived in New York City. To honor his effort in serum relay, Togo was awarded a medal by the explorer Roald Amundsen, in Madison Square Garden. In December 1926, after visiting varies towns, Seppala traveled to New England where Arthur Walden of Wonalancet, New Hampshire hosted him. Arthur was well known as he had been able to win various sled dog racer as he had won various races in New England/Eastern Canada and had a build a reputation of been one of the best sled dog racer. He was also a former Klondike gold seeker.
In January 1927, Seppala took part in a race Poland Spring with his Serbian Huskies. Once again, the locals in New Englanders underestimate the Serbian Husky. To the surprise of many New Englanders, Seppala took the first position with less effort, beating Walden with a margin of over 25miles. This Poland Spring race marked the first victory for the Siberian husky outside Alaska.
To continue his winning strike, Seppala was able to win more prestigious New England Point to Point 3 day race near Laconia. Now it became the fact that the Serbians were a superior breed and many people wanted to acquire them. Seppala and Elizabeth Ricker were able to partner up and were able to establish a Siberian kennel at Poland Spring, Maine. Seppala was able to win numerous awards as he continued coming to New Alaska each year during the falls
In 1931 the Seppala/Ricker kennel closed its doors. Its closure was after a good number of mushers acquired the Siberians. Seppala retired from racing in 1932 and decided to move back to Alaska for good.He left his remaining Siberians to Harry Wheeler. Harry Wheeler was the owner of the Gray Rocks Inn in St. Jovite, Quebec. After his departure, Harry Wheeler started his kennel with the suffix “of Seppala,” Over the years he was able to provide more Siberians to mushers. Wheeler was able to win several big races with the help of the Siberians. The races he won included Laconia and Québec City. Most of the dogs today can have their origins traced back to Seppala-Ricker kennel or Harry Wheeler’s kennel.
The first bred which was brought into Nome, Alaska by Goosak had different features. Some of the Hibernian were. Some were long and leggy, while the other batch were shorter coupled. Seppala was able to identify the difference and only bred the Siberian’s with the same features. Although it was first noticed by the American Club in 1930, it took two years for its publication. In April 1932, AKC Gazette was able to publish the various compositions of the Siberians. Over the years the original release has gone five revisions, but it forms the basis of the composition of the Siberian breed.
Although at first, most people did not understand the concept of dual-purpose. The kennels in New England, Eva “Short” Seeley’s Chinook Kennel and Lorna Demidoff’s Monadnock Kennel, were able to bring into the limelight of the dual purpose of the Siberians. They were able to win in the show ring competition as well as on the trail. Although over the years they have been debates concerning the Showrooms dogs and sled dogs. One thing that people tend to forget is that Chinook and Monadnock produced the foundation stock after the after World War II
Before 1946, there was no one in Alaska breeding pure Siberian breed. All this changed in 1946 after the arrival of Natalie Jubin. She came with two AKC registered Siberians produced by Eva “Short” Seeley of Chinook Kennels in New Hampshire. It is known that the foundation of today’s Siberian studs, came from Chinook’s Alladin of Alyeska.
During 1955, AKC competition, Bonzo of Anadyr, CD, An Alladin grandson, Ch. made history by becoming the first ever Siberian Husky to win in the show. , Ch. Tyndrum’s Olso, CD another Alladin grandson was able led Kit MacInnes to victory. By taking home Women’s Alaskan Trophy and the Women’s North American Championships. In the open Rondy, he was able to take the 2nd position. Ch. Tyndrum’s Olso, CD and Bonzo of Anadyr, CD have been featured in numerous books due to their leadership skills.
Over the years the dual concept continued into the 1960s and 1970s by Charlie and Carolyn Posey’s Yeso Pac Kennel. Since the inception of the Iditarod 1973, Earl and Natalie continue to participate with an all-Siberian team sled dog race. In two consecutive years 1985 and 1986, early ran his Siberian dogs. While in 1980 and 1981, Martin Buser used