ICTMN recently reported on champion musher Hugh Neff, the 2012 Yukon Quest champion, in the article "A Magic Musher and His Sled Dog Stars." About his lead dog, Walter, who won last year's Golden Harness Award, Neff said: “Walter’s ‘the man,’ my heart and soul…with grit and determination he loped for 60 miles in the Yukon win.” The ICTMN Sports Department staff was so impressed with Walter, that we felt he should get a story of his own to celebrate not only him but all the truly amazing athletes these Alaskan sled dogs are. They seem to be happiest running in a straight line for thousands of miles in Arctic conditions while pulling a sled--now that's a display of endurance and toughness.
Here's Neff's description of Walter.
"One of the greatest dogs to ever set foot on the trail. He was named after two people, my boyhood NFL hero number 34 Walter Payton as well as Native Alaskan Mr. Walter Neuman Sr. from Beaver, Alaska who was loved by anyone who was lucky enough to meet him. At 7 years old Walter has competed in 8 thousand mile races as well as numerous mid-distance events all over Alaska. Along with Juanita, Walter won the Yukon Quest Golden Harness award in last years race. On the final day our squad was behind by an hour with less than a hundred miles to go. It was Walters grit and determination that lead the team to victory on the last leg of the trip."
For more about Walter and Neff's other Dawgs, visit HughNeff.com.
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesGeorge Holland / Cal Sport Media.