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Sled Dog Races Won't Return to Hamilton This Winter

The New England Sled Dog Races has a successful year in 2011 but has to be cancelled in 2012 and 2013, forcing organizers not to plan on races for the coming winter.

The New England Sled Dog Races, shown here in 2011, will not return to Hamilton this winter.
The New England Sled Dog Races, shown here in 2011, will not return to Hamilton this winter.

The sled dog races, cancelled for two straight winters because of a lack of snow, will not happen this winter in Hamilton.

Organizer Robert Henrici said on Tuesday that the New England Sled Dog Races are not being planned in Hamilton this winter.

“Two years with no snow didn’t help, and without sponsors it really is difficult,” he said. “Perhaps in a few years it could happen again.”

The races first started in Hamilton in 2010 as the Myopia Sled Dog Races, using the Schooling Fields on Route 1A as the start and finish area. In 2011, the event expanded to Appleton Farms and had its most successful year, by far, with two days packed with races after weeks after snowstorm after snowstorm left the North Shore blanketed in several feet of snow.

In 2012 and 2013, the races were cancelled because of a lack of snow. The 2013 races were at first postponed from January to the first weekend in February, but bare ground on the race day left organizers no option other than to cancel it, even though a blizzard a week later dumped so much snow on the area that Gov. Deval Patrick imposed a driving ban.

Organizers had generally made an announcement in early December about plans for the races for the upcoming winter.

This year, sled dog races in New England are planned in Westbrook, Maine and Hill and Tamworth, N.H., according to a preliminary schedule by the New England Sled Dog Club.

The Hamilton races had planned last year to move to a new location – Appleton Farms Grass Rides off Highland Street in Hamilton – where there would be even more room for parking and spectators at the start/finish line.

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