2017 Wyoming Stage Stop Champions
Streeper Kennels keeps streaking on.--
Six of the last seven Pedigree Stage Stop Races have been won by Canadian dog teams from Streeper Kennels, with Buddy Streeper doing the mushing.
This year Buddy?s wife, Lina, took the reins and the results were no different.
Streeper and her dog team trotted away with the overall win and the $12,000 check that goes with the victory. Streeper?s 302-mile winning time of 23 hours, 7 minutes and 58 seconds was 19:30 faster than Streeper Kennels B-team musher Dave Torgerson from Montana.
Lina Streeper hasn?t competed as a musher since 2010. After a couple of years managing her husband?s teams, and a few more years at home tending to the couple?s children in British Columbia, Lina said she was happy to finally take charge of the A-team.
?We?ve raced together for 10 years but this is the first year I ran the main dogs and he stayed behind,? Streeper said. ?He wanted to give me the opportunity. I?ve always run the second team. He?s a really nice guy.?
This is the sixth time Streeper Kennels has finished one-two in the race. Streeper dogs also won the two-day 8-Dog Classic, which concluded Jan. 29 in Alpine. It was a perfect week for the kennel, and its success comes as no surprise to the Streepers. They?ve already begun preparations for the 2018 event, Streeper said.
?It starts the day after the race,? she said. ?All year we train for that race.?
Streeper won five of the seven stages and raked in an extra $868 per stage win to add to her grand total.
Following Streeper and Torgerson was Michigan?s Bruce Magnusson. Magnusson competed in his 12th consecutive Stage Stop this year ? a race record ? and tied his best finish in third overall. Magnusson and his wife Monica love the race so much it that inspired them to go into the same business as the Streepers.
?We were only in mushing for two years when we came here and we learned so much,? Magnusson said of his first Stage Stop race over a decade ago. ?Best vets in the world, best competition in the world, and we just fell in love with the communities and the competition. It?s the whole package that keeps us coming back. That?s what we built our kennel for, is to come to this race.?
Magnusson was pleased with his pups? performance ? his team beat everyone that didn?t race Streeper dogs. Magnusson finished 1:17:50 back of Streeper, but said he won?t rest until he takes down the champ.
?Our goal is still to beat the Streepers,? he said. ?They had two phenomenal teams and they?re good at what they do. I don?t know how we?re going to beat them but I?m going to keep trying. If I knew I might be worth a lot more. We?re not giving up.?
Rounding out the top five was 2016 third-place finisher JR Anderson from Minnesota. Anderson finished exactly half an hour back of Magnusson. Just 1 minute and 3 seconds behind Anderson was Lander?s Jerry Bath.
Bath has competed in his backyard race since 2010. He said his only objective is to enjoy himself on the racecourse. However, last week he said it would be nice to beat his best-ever finish.
?I really would like to bump it above fifth place if possible,? he said.
So close, Jerry. But don?t feel sorry for Bath. He took home $4,300 for his finish in addition to a $868 day when he and his dogs won stage two in Alpine last week.
Over eight days the 21st annual race, which started in Jackson on Jan. 27, took 14 mushers and teams ranging from nine to 12 dogs over a 302-mile course through seven Wyoming towns and one stop in Idaho.