Greed fuels the Iditarod

Dogs straining to run in deep snow

Dogs straining to run in deep snow

Click on the links or arrows below to view expanded content.

How much money does Iditarod get from sponsorships?

Iditarod sponsorships:

– – Iditarod asks the City of Nome for $90,000 more:

“The council received a letter from the Iditarod Trail Committee asking the city of Nome for $100,000. The Iditarod says that money will be used to ‘offset the projected hard costs of staging the 2022 finish in Nome’. This is a steep increase from the typical sponsorship of $10,000 that Nome has given the Iditarod in the past.”

–  Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM Radio, April 26, 2021
In 2020, Nome’s population was 3,840 according to

“According to [Stan] Hooley, roughly $1.5 million of the race’s $5 million budget is provided by cash sponsorships, with another $1.1 million coming in the form of in-kind goods and services.”

“Companies can choose to participate at a number of levels. The Principal Partner level requires an investment of $250,000 or more; Lead Dog partners invest $100,000 or more; Team Dog partners invest $50,000 or more; and Wheel Dog partners invest $25,000 or more.”

– Vanessa Orr, Alaska Business, March 3, 2014
– Stan Hooley is the Chief Executive Officer of the Iditarod Trail Committee.

“The mining company Donlin Creek LLC will join GCI, Anchorage Chrysler Dodge and Exxon Mobil as principal sponsors. Each firm contributes at least a quarter-million dollars.”

“Beyond Donlin and the three other principal sponsors, 11 businesses are what the Iditarod calls “lead dog” sponsors contributing $100,000, six are “team dog” sponsors contributing $25,000 and 14 are “wheel dog” sponsors contributing $10,000.”

– Mike Campbell, Anchorage Daily News, November 16, 2010

— Exxon gives Iditarod $1.25 million sponsorship:

“Oil giant Exxon-Mobil has come to the aid of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race with the pledge of sponsorship worth $1.25 million over the next five years, race officials said Tuesday.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, February 10, 2009

— More 2009 corporate sponsorships:

“Sponsorship is still the biggest source of revenue for the race, with principal partners Wells Fargo, General Communications Inc., Anchorage Chrysler Dodge and ExxonMobil contributing upward of $250,000 each, said Hooley. The second largest wave of contributions, at the $75,000 level, includes Alaska Airlines, Cabela’s, Fred Meyer, Chevron Corp., Horizon Lines, Ionearth, Iridium, the Millennium Hotel, Northern Air Cargo, PenAir and World Communication Center.

Another eight sponsors contribute $25,000 each and 16 are at the $10,000 level.”

– Margaret Bauman, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Feb. 27, 2009

— Exxon contribution on par with that of GCI and Anchorage Chrysler Dodge:

“The contribution is on par with that of GCI and Anchorage Chrysler Dodge — the two biggest, in-state sponsors, said Iditarod executive director Stan Hooley.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, February 10, 2009

— 2006 Iditarod sponsorship levels:

Presenting sponsor: $250,000

These fees were paid by Anchorage Chrysler Dodge, Cabela’s, GCI and Wells Fargo.

Major sponsor: $50,000

These fees were paid by Alaska Airlines, GIT Satellite Communications,

The Anchorage Daily News, Millennium Hotel Anchorage, Chevron, PenAir and Fred Meyer.

Supporting sponsor: $25,000

These fees were paid by Aeromed International, FIRSTRAX, Alaskan Brewing Company, Horizon Lines, Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall, Municipality of Anchorage, City of Nome, Northern Air Cargo, Coca-Cola Alaska and Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Sponsor: $7,500

These fees were paid by Alaska Industrial Hardware, ExxonMobil, Alaska Mining & Diving Supply, Nome Kennel Club, Alaska Serigraphics, North Mail, Alcan Signs, Office Tech, City of Wasilla, Ribelin Lowell Alaska USA, COMTEC Business Systems, Spenard Builders Supply, Craig Taylor Equipment Co., University of Alaska College Savings Plan and Crowley Marine Services.


Lance Mackey poses with winner's check and the new truck he won. Photo attributed to jkbrooks85 on flickr.

Lance Mackey poses with winner’s check and the new truck he won. Photo attributed to jkbrooks85 on flickr.

Iditarod is a $2.5 million operation

“The race has evolved from its low-budget roots into a $2.5 million operation that doles out more than $550,000 in cash prizes annually.”

– Reuters,, March 2, 2012

Why did Lance Mackey, Doug Swingley and Dallas Seavey race?

Lance Mackey races to avoid getting a “real job”:

“Mackey said before the race started that the prize money is important so he doesn’t have ‘to get a real job.'”

– Rachel D’Oro, Associated Press, March 12, 2008

Lance Mackey went from living in a shack to living in a mansion:

“[Lance] Mackey said he has gone from ‘living in a shack to living in a mansion’ since his first Iditarod win in 2007, followed up with victories in 2008, 2009 and 2010.”

– Mary Pemberton, Associated Press, March 3, 2011

Doug Swingley races to win new pick-up truck:

“When asked why at age 50 he is back competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race — willing to hang onto the back of a sled for more than 1,000 bumpy and sometimes hair-raising miles from Anchorage to Nome — his answer is quick and to the point.

“I need a new pickup truck. I am tired of these old pickups falling apart,” Swingley said from his home in Lincoln, Mont., where a month before the start he was busy making gourmet shrimp and garlic dishes to eat along the trail.”

– Associated Press, “Names in the game,” February 20, 2004

Dallas Seavey raced to win new pick-up truck:

“‘This time I wanted the truck!’ he [Dallas Seavey] said, referring to the large Dodge Ram pickup truck that’s part of winner’s loot.”

– Jill Burke, Alaska Dispatch, March 14, 2012

Dogs run to the end of their tethers and are jerked back by their chains.

Dogs run to the end of their tethers and are jerked back by their chains.

Anchorage Daily News profited from its pro-race stand

The Anchorage Daily News sold advertising space on its website to businesses that wanted to show off their support of the Iditarod or its mushers. Advertisers included ExxonMobil, Shell Oil and Anchorage Chrysler Dodge. All the ads had links to the advertiser’s website.

The newspaper sells pro-Iditarod books in its online Anchorage Daily News store.

– Sled Dog Action Coalition
Anchorage Daily News website, 2010

The newspaper sold reprints of Iditarod photos on its website:

One 4×6 costs $7.00

One 5×7 costs $14.00

One 8×12 costs $24.00

One 11×14 costs $44.00

Added costs of frames range from $5.95 to $10.95

Anchorage Daily News website, 2010

Anchorage Daily News advertised photos using “Ads by Google”:

Google places these advertisements on websites that participate in its “AdSense” program.

“Google uses search-based technologies to match advertisements to the content and context of web pages – so the ads you see are related to the information you are viewing.”

– Google website and AdSense participating websites, 2005

Anchorage Daily News sold ad space in Iditarod section:

The Anchorage Daily News publishes an Iditarod section. In 2006, it was 10 inches by 11 3/4 inches and was 42 pages long. The articles were written by the Alaska Associated Press or by Anchorage Daily News staff, and all of them hyped the race.

These companies purchased full-page ads in the Iditarod section:

  • Cabela’s – Iditarod musher Jeff King is pictured in the ad
  • Alaska Airlines
  • GCI
  • Burlington Coat Factory
  • Nana Management Services- owns Courtyard by Marriott (Anchorage), Springhill Suites (Fairbanks), Residence Inn (Anchorage) and Red Roof Inn (Anchorage)

These companies purchased half-page ads:

  • Wells Fargo
  • MTA – Iditarod musher Martin Buser is picture in the ad
  • Continental Auto
  • Spenard Builders
  • Aeromed University of Alaska College Savings Plan
  • AlaskaUSA

Many other companies purchased quarter page ads or one-eight of a page ads.

– Iditarod 34, Anchorage Daily News, February 26, 2006

The Anchorage Daily News continues to publish a yearly Iditarod section that contains articles that hype the race. Many companies have bought ad space in it.

Anchorage Daily News sells Iditarod package online:

“Iditarod Package – The Daily News issue from the Iditarod start on March 5, 2011 – PLUS the Commemorative color poster and event guide. All packaged in a collector’s plastic sleeve. $3.99” (Doesn’t include shipping.)

Anchorage Daily News, March 2011

Winning Iditarod mushers hired as TV commentators

Lance Mackey:

“Mackey is picking up some income reporting for a local TV affiliate during the Iditarod.”

– Douglas Robson, USA Today, March 1, 2014

Doug Swingley:

“The Montana musher [Doug Swingley] is working as a commentator for KIMO-13 of Anchorage, the official TV station of the Iditarod. Instead of hitching up dogs at Monday’s re-start, Swingley was scribbling notes in a reporter’s notebook.”

– Kristan Kelly, Nome Nugget, March 6, 2003

Dick Mackey:

“I did Iditarod commentary for Channel 13 in Anchorage for several years during the 1990s.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

Joe Runyan:

“…Joe Runyan, a former Iditarod musher, will host the coverage…”

– OLN press release, Feb. 21, 2005

[Joe Runyan recommended using cattle prods on the dogs.]

Mushers and their dogs hired for films, TV commercials

Disney paid Joe Redington Sr. for using his dog in a movie:

“Nikki, one of Joe and Vi [Redingon’s] malamutes, was a star in a movie Wild Dog of the North.”

– Nikki, Wild Dog of the North is a Disney film.

– Mangelsdorf, Katie. Champion of Alaskan Huskies: Joe Redington Sr. Father of the Iditarod, Anchorage: Publication Consultants, 2011

Dallas Seavey does a commercial for an Anchorage Dodge dealership:

“He [Dallas Seavey] had recently filmed a commercial for an Anchorage Dodge dealership, which I saw every time I turned on the television in my hotel….”

– Ben McGrath, The New Yorker, April 22, 2013

Martin Buser does commercials for Ford dealer:

“Buser was having the logo painted onto his new truck, the vehicle furnished courtesy of Nye Frontier Ford, for which he does television commercials.”

– Peter S. Goodman, Anchorage Daily News, February 22, 1995

Jeff King does commercials for Alaska Open Imaging Center:

“Patients are targeted through advertising, including TV commercials with three-time Iditarod champion Jeff King, whom Alaska Open Imaging sponsors.”

– Stefan Milkowski, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, January 15, 2006

Jeff King does commercials for Alaska Airlines:

“I’d just won my first Iditarod in 1993 when I got a call from Alaska Airlines, a major sponsor and long-time supporter of the race. They asked if I wanted to star in one of their TV commercials.”

– King, Jeff. Cold Hands Warm Heart, Husky Homestead Press, 2008

DeeDee Jonrowe does commercials for GCI:

DeeDee Jonrowe filmed four commercials for GCI.

– Videos of four commercials on, 2010

Sonny Lindner does commercial for Craftsman tools:

“A film crew was staying with us while making a cold-weather commercial with musher Sonny Lindner for Craftsman tools.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

Dick Mackey does commercial for Timberland:

“Next thing I knew they [Timberland] asked if I would help make a commercial. The company flew some dogs and me by helicopter to a glacier not far from Anchorage. It was an extensive shoot, and gratifying financially- big money.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

Jeff King’s dog Cannon did commercials:

“Cannon, with one brown eye and one gray, does tricks and went to New York City once, riding in a limo to the television studio. She has done several commercials.”

– Frederic, Lisa. Running with Champions, Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books, 2006

Nic Petit  was given money for his dogs to be in a film:

“He [Nic Petit] was glad to be working on the film tentatively titled Frontera Azul, a Peruvian production about a Yupik Alaska Native couple with all dialogue in Yupik. His dogs were needed for two shots in the film.”

– Marc Donadieu, Turnagain Times, March 5, 2015

Martin Buser and his dog D-2 hired for commercials:

“The two of us [Martin Buser and his dog D-2] starred in several commercials.”

– Buser, Martin. Dog Man, Durango: Raven’s Eye Press, 2015

Mushers profit from big corporate donations

Companies give mushers tens of thousands of dollars:

“…the dog-food company Iams, the outdoor gear supplier Cabela’s, or the clothing company Eddie Bauer, all of which pump tens of thousands of dollars into the kennels of front-running mushers.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, March 2, 2002Musher got more money than his Air Force pension:

“I had a sponsor offer I couldn’t refuse — Second Wind Energy Snacks, an energy biscuit company out of Kansas City, Mo.,” Adkins said. “It was more money than Air Force retirement, and here I am.”

– Kevin Klott and Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, March 10, 2006
(Second Wind Energy Snacks are made by S&M NuTec, LLC, the same company that makes GREENIES)

Mushers charge for mushing instruction and excursions, food, housing

IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours paid to take inexperienced tourists on mushing trip to Nome: 

“Days before the iditarod finished, on Sunday, March 12th, a group of Chinese tourists arrived at Nome’s Burled Arch after mushing the trail themselves.”

“Most of the tourists had never seen snow before embarking on the trip.”

“The epic excursion was facilitated by IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours, a tour company that will take paying customers on dog sled rides through the Alaskan countryside.’

“By the end of the trip, they [the tourists] were harnessing their own dogs and staying upright.”

– Tyler Stup, KNOM Radio Mission, March 24, 2017
– IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours is owned by the Seavey family.

Vern Halter was to get $52,000 plus services for training, housing and leasing dogs:

“The contract called for training, coaching and housing aimed at getting Bogart across the Iditarod finish line during this year’s race, including a team of dogs. It listed a handful of agreed-upon services and what was expected of Bogart. For example, she was required to work with the dogs on a daily basis, the contract says.

Halter has filed a counterclaim against Bogart. He denies he owes her the deposit and instead insists she owes him money. Under the payment Bogart agreed to follow, she would have to pay a total of $52,000 from October to March, Halter said in his claim. Bogart failed to make the payments, he said.”

– Jerzy Shedlock, Alaska Dispatch News, February 15, 2016

Alaska Army National Guard paid for musher training

“Mackey took Kwethluk musher Harry Alexie under his wing in October, leasing him 24 dogs and giving him daily expertise.”

“What Mackey gets in return for training Alexie is a deal worth $50,000 from the Alaska Army National Guard, which Alexie has belonged to for 13 years.”

“The Army National Guard is counting on him, Mackey said. Last year the Army National Guard hired Iditarod veteran Al Hardman of Michigan to train Master Sgt. Rodney Whaley of Franklin, Tenn., for his rookie run. Whaley ended up scratching in Cripple.

This year the National Guard picked Alexie, an Alaska Native who wanted Mackey as a mentor. Alexie is a Personnel Service NCO for the 2nd Battalion, 297th Infantry in Bethel.”

– Kevin Klott, Anchorage Daily News, January 9, 2009

“Mackey in October leased 24 dogs and offered daily expertise to Kwethluk musher Harry Alexie. In return, he will receive $50,000 in money and expenses from the Alaska Army National Guard, which Alexie has belonged to for 13 years.”

– Associated Press,, January 10, 2009

Lance Mackey trains Jamaica dogsled musher:

“Three-time Iditarod and four-time Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey will be training Jamaica Dogsled Team musher Newton Marshall as he prepares to race the Iditarod in 2010.”

– Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville website

Doug Swingley paid to train John Stewart:

“The income allowed [John] Stewart to spend $40,000 leasing a dog team from and training with four-time Iditarod champ Doug Swingley in Lincoln, Mont.”

– Craig Medred, Alaska Dispatch, March 20, 2010

Daytona Dayton is paying $150,000 to Vern Halter:

“Among the rookies signing up were Daytona Dayton, a talk-show host from Eagle, Idaho, who said she is paying Iditarod veteran Vern Halter of Willow $150,000 to help her train and run the Iditarod.”

– Daytona Dayton is host of the “Daytona & Friends National Radio Show”
– Associated Press, June 26, 2005

Luan Ramos Marques paid Vern Halter for training and leasing dogs:

“Iditarod veteran Plettner started the business model for turning a kennel into a training ground for Iditarod wannabes. [Vern] Halter, a one-time top Iditarod contender and Quest winner, has refined it. Halter this year trained and outfitted Iditarod rookie Luan Ramos Marques who finished the 1,000-mile race in 49th position this year.

The 22-year-old from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was one of the few non-Alaskans in the race, and the only South American.”

– Craig Medred, Alaska Dispatch, March 25, 2013

Linda Plettner Kennels provides training for Iditarod:

“For $50,000, give or take a few thousand, [Lynda] Plettner provides the team, sled, gear, food, instruction and other essentials for covering the 1,100 miles from Anchorage to Nome.”

– Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, March 1, 2002

Linda Plettner Kennels offers food and lodging for trainees:

“Besides the tours, the rides and her musher boarding school, Plettner offers summer residencies for people who want to learn about caring for and running sled dogs. The cost is $200 a day per person, food and housing included. For two people sharing a double bed, the price is $250 or $350 a day, depending on whether one or both are participating. Someone who wants to spend five days with Plettner pays $750. The price for a month is $2,000.”

– Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, September 8, 2005

Linda Plettner raises her fees:

“We have one room with a double bed. This room for double occupancy is reduced by 8% per day for double occupancy, if the second person is participating.* If the second person is a non-participant the reduction is 38%. One Person, 1 Day $200 per day Double occupancy, one double bed, 2 participants $350 per day Double occupancy second person non-participant $250 per day One Person, 5 Day $1500 One Person, 1 Month $4000.”

– Linda Plettner Kennels website, December, 2007

Vern Halter and Susan Whiton launch “Dream A Dream Dog Farm” tourist business:

“They include wilderness-mushing excursions, loon-watching from pontoon boats on Nancy Lake, guided hikes and mushing trips around Hatcher Pass, kennel tours, and all-women eco-adventures.”

“Besides quick tours, it will involve longer-term visits and hands-on instruction.

‘This is where the dude ranch people will stay,’ Halter said, showing a visitor a suite of apartments on the top floor of a newly built garage and theater-auditorium on the couple’s 12-acre property.

“‘It’ll be like a school,’ Halter said of his plans to teach tourists and beginning mushers about breeding, racing and caring for sled dogs.”

– Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, October 3, 2005

Money motivates mushers, race organizers and the city of Anchorage

“The Iditarod alone means about $3.1 million for Anchorage.”

– Rebecca Palsha, KTUU-TV, March 12, 2008, website article

“The study done for the visitors bureau in the winter of 1999-2000 by the Juneau-based McDowell Group concluded that the Iditarod accounted for one of every 10 Outside tourists who came to Anchorage in the winter.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, March 4, 2005

“This sick marathon is operated by masquerading mercenaries who romanticize the race as some sort of noble man vs. nature test of endurance. It’s really shameful marketing carried out on the backs of defenseless animals.”

– Jon Saraceno, USA Today, March 5, 2001

“Commerce has so come to dominate the race that you can tell who has a chance to win by the number of sponsor insignias he or she wears. Even the handlers of last year’s winner, wore matching jackets sporting a sponsor’s logo. Lots of people are anxious to turn myth into money.”

– Mike Dugan, Anchorage Daily News, March 5,2000

“The show start in Anchorage is done for television, and to give Anchorage publicity.”

– Gary Paulsen discussing the ceremonial start of the race
– Paulsen, Gary. Woodsong, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990

“Mostly it’s all marketing for the Iditarod and the city of Anchorage.” “We’re trying to get as much exposure as possible…”

– Iditarod race start coordinator Rick Calcote
– Doug O,Harra, Anchorage Daily News, March 5, 2000

“Anchorage gains about five and a half million dollars from visitors and locals during the Iditarod…”

– Ellen Lockyer, Alaska Public Radio Network, website, March 10, 2006

“Economics are a big reason why the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will remain anchored in Anchorage come drizzle, chinook or — God forbid — another Hawaiian express.

Not only is the world-famous sled-dog race good for Anchorage’s slow winter economy, but race officials say Anchorage is good for the race’s bottom line.

The Iditarod sales outlet at the Regal Alaskan Hotel usually moves about $60,000 in merchandise during the three weeks Iditarod activities are centered there, Iditarod president Rick Koch said.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, February 12, 2003

(Due to warm weather, the restart of the 2003 Iditarod was changed from Wasilla to Fairbanks, but the 11 mile ceremonial start was kept in Anchorage.)

“Baker knows, like every Iditarod musher, that each move up or down in rank means thousands of dollars in prize money. If he holds his current standing of sixth, Baker wins $32,476. If he moves up a place, he earns $35,619. Down one, the prize money drops to $29,857.”

– Elizabeth Manning, Anchorage Daily News, March 13, 2001

“‘It just so happens I make my living winning this race,’ said [Rick] Swenson.”

– Colin Nickerson, Boston Globe, February 5, 1984

Mushers profit from giving sled dog tours and rides

Dan MacEachen:

“Krabloonik sled dog rides–

Our exciting half-day morning and afternoon trips are approximately 1.5 hours in length. A complimentary 3-course gourmet lunch in our upstairs private dining room is included. (Alcohol and gratuity is not included).

Cost*: Adult $285.00 Child 3-8 years $195.00

Children under 3 years old are not permitted on the ride.

* Our high season is from December 20th thru January 8th. Sledding prices are slightly higher during that time.”

– Krabloonik website, 2013

Howard Farley:

“Probably the first musher to give tourists dogsled rides in Alaska, [Howard] Farley was raised in the Seattle area and come to the old gold rush town of Nome to be a butcher.”

“During the 1970s, Farley gave ten thousand rides a year to visitors; he maintained his tour business until 2000. Farley raced the Iditarod only once, but he gathered enough material to regale tourists for three decades.”

– Freedman, Lew. More Iditarod Classics: Tales of the Trail Told by the Men & Women Who Race Across Alaska, Kenmore: Epicenter Press, 2004

According to an email from Voices For the Krabloonik Dogs, this Krabloonik sled dog had what appeared to be an untreated, infected wound on his face. Krabloonik is owned by Iditarod musher Dan MacEachen. Photo taken at Krabloonik in Snowmass Village, CO. Photo courtesy of Voices For the Krabloonik Dogs.

According to an email from Voices For the Krabloonik Dogs, this Krabloonik sled dog had what appeared to be an untreated, infected wound on his face. Krabloonik Sled Rides is owned by Iditarod musher Dan MacEachen. Photo taken at Krabloonik in Snowmass Village, CO. Photo courtesy of Voices For the Krabloonik Dogs.

Martin Buser:

Tour prices: $38/adult

$18/ children 12 and under

– Martin Buser has a gift shop for tourists:

“Alaska’s largest doghouse, our gift shop, is available for perusal. Merchandise included unique items only available at Happy Trails. Martin’s DVD, For the Love of Dogs, captures our unique lifestyle and the 50 weeks while not on the Iditarod Trail.”

– Martin Buser’s website,, January 2012

Jeff King:

“Step back from the crowds and join an intimate group for a personal tour of the homestead and kennel of four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King.

Meet champion sled dogs

Cuddle with our puppies and see summer training in action

1 ½ hour narrated kennel tour

Transportation provided from most area hotels”


$39.00/children under 12 years”

– Husky Homestead Tours, Goose Lake Kennel, website, 2012

Travis Beals:

“May 10th – September 15th

 $59 Adults & $29 Children Under 12″
– Travis Beals,, 2015

Sebastian Schnuelle:

“Halfday Trip on the Kluane Wagon Trail Duration 3 hrs.. Rate 185 Can$ /Person +GST Fullday Trip on the 37 Mile Valley Trail Duration 6-7 hrs.. Rate 265 Can$ /Person +GST”

– Sebastian Schnuelle,, 2012

Bill Hall made arrangement with Princess Lodges to advertise tour:

“Discover everything you’ve always wanted to know about the Iditarod – Alaska’s great dog sled race. When the elements allow, the south face of Mt. McKinley graces your route to the Danly-Hall dog kennel. Meet Iditarod musher Bill Hall for an in-depth look at the pursuit of dog mushing. Learn typical feeding routines used along the Iditarod race trail and how to harness and hitch up a dog. See a demonstration of how the dogs are taught voice commands using a summer training cart. Find out about training, racing and breeding sled dogs and receive autographed musher cards and dog booties as a souvenir of your delightful visit.

Price $50 per person”

– Princess Lodges website, 2005

Ryan Redington:

“He [Ryan Redington] works with dad Raymie giving tourists sled-dog rides at Iditarod headquarters.”

-Lew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, February 9, 2001

Linda Joy:

“…Linda Joy, a 42-year-old grandmother who runs dog tours at a bed and breakfast just down the road from me.”

– Bowers, Don. Back of the Pack, Anchorage: Publication Consultants, 2000

Many mushers:

“Many mushers earn additional income by offering (sled dog) rides to tourists.”

– Hood, Mary. A Fan’s Guide to the Iditarod, Loveland: Alpine Publishers, 1996

Joe Redington:

“Since 1993, Joe Redington [race co-founder] has guided a group of tourists along the length of the Iditarod Trail behind the race competitors.” “The price per person for this outing is $15,000.”

– Hood, Mary. A Fan’s Guide to the Iditarod, Loveland: Alpine Publishers, 1996

Mitch Seavey:

IdidaRide – Seward:

“Your real Alaskan adventure begins with a two-mile dog sled ride.”

“Upon return to the kennel, tour our beautiful kennel facilities….”

“Tour Times – each tour lasts 1 hour 30 minutes”

“Adult: $69.00 • Child: $34.50”

– Seavey’s website, January, 2012

Dallas Seavey:

“Our 1 hour 15 min sled dog tour is our ‘main event.'”

Adult: $109
Child: $79″

– Dallas Seavey Racing’s Alaska Sled Dog Tours, website, March 23, 2013

Linda Plettner:

“Individual traveler/small groups – $20.00 per adult admission fee – $10.00 per child admission fee (Free for children under 6 years old) Rides are an extra charge of $20.00 per person.”

“Plettner Kennel Sled Dog Rides – pricing: Winter rides and kennel tours start at $100”

– Linda Plettner Kennel website, December, 2007

“Plettner sends her dogs to the cruise ship tours in the summer, and she offers tours of her kennel as well.”

– Todd L. Disher, Frontiersman, March 6, 2010

Vern Halter:

Kennel and dog lot tour:”Summer Season and Pricing – May 15th – Sept 15th – Daily Scheduled Presentations: 11:00 am ~ 3:00 pm – Or Book a Reservation for a specific date and time – Summer Prices: (Transportation not included) – $99 for singles – $179 for two – $69 pp for three or more – Children under twelve half price”

Summer Iditarod Tour with Transportation and Lunch Included: “Pricing: – Groups 6 – 10 people $129 pp – Groups 3 – 5 people $149 pp 2 people $225 pp”

– Vern Halter’s Dream a Dream website, 2012

Joe Redington, Jr.:

$25 / Adults $15 / Kids (7 – 12) Free (6 and under)

“Meet Joe Redington Jr., world renown sled dog racer and his wife Pam. They will guide you on a tour of their kennel, sharing their knowledge about dogs, equipment, sleds and strategy.”

– Joe Redington’s website, 2010

Aliy Zirkle:

“Yukon Quest Champion and Iditarod Musher Aliy Zirkle shares her knowledge and love of the Arctic on these unique adventures. Whether you are interested in a workshop on dog mushing, a trip on old gold trails near Nome on the Seward Penensula or a trip to the unequalled beauty of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, you will be challenged to see the world in a different way.”

2010 Seward Peninsula Dog Sled Trip:

“Our plan is to mush to Pilgrim Hot Springs, about 50 miles out of the historic gold mining town. We would have a “day off” at the hot springs and then we would mush back. Overall, we will have a “introduction to mushing day” based in Nome, 4 days of mushing on the trail, a day at the hot springs and a “recovery day” in Nome – at the finish line. The trip will be 7 days plus travel days – 8 days total.”

Cost: $3,500 per person

– Natural Extremes Trips, website, 2010

Rachael Scdoris:

“Oregon Trail of Dreams, featuring Rachael Scdoris, a four time Iditarod musher, and her father-trainer Jerry Scdoris, share their amazing Iditarod Sled Dogs with summer visitors and residents of Central Oregon alike. See Iditarod memorabilia, sleds and other winter equipment up close and in person. Join the Scdoris’ for a summer sled dog ride on a comfortable dry-land cart. Then stay and help Rachael with the care and feeding of the dogs. Sled dog “camp” is located in front of West Village Lodge and rides are offered on a first come, first served basis. Adults are $25; children under 12 years are $15.”

– Mt. Bachelor, press release, June 29, 2010

Ed Stielstra’s Nature’s Kennel charges up to $695 for overnight sled dog trip:

This is our most popular adventure where you’ll get to drive your own dog team and spend a night at Musher’s Village. On this adventure, you will learn the basics of mushing, how to drive a dog team and care for the sled dogs. Both mushers and dogs will spend the night at Musher’s Village where you will have all your meals, sleep in a yurt or cabin, and enjoy a snowshoe hike and sauna.”

“Day 1: Nature’s Kennel and Dog Sledding
Please arrive at Nature’s Kennel at 9 am.”

“Day 2: Wake up at Musher’s Village and dog sled back to Nature’s Kennel” “You’ll arrive back at the kennel around 11:30 am.”

“2017-2018 Rates:

Weekend/Holiday Dates: $695 per person

Mid-week Dates: $625 per person”

– Nature’s Kennel, website, 2017

Wattie McDonald:

“There’s been a lot of interest from local schools and groups. We’re aiming to have activity weeks, activity weekends, general kennel tours and when the weather cools down we hope to invite some people round and let them race their own team of dogs and experience it first hand, he [Wattie McDonald] said.”

“Mr McDonald hopes to eventually be able to run the business full-time and leave his job as a rigger offshore.”

– Gary Cruden, STVStonehaven online, May 27, 2011

Tim Osmar:

1 Hour Dog Rides

Just enough to get your mukluks chilly! This trip will give you a glimpse of the breathtaking scenery that the Caribou Hills offers without freezing to the sled.

Price: $ 95 single adult $ 175 two adults $ 40 kids 12 and under.

Half-Day with Lunch

Work up an appetite on this 3 to 4 hour trip. Help us feed the dogs and then we will feed you! These are the kind of runs that mushers live for.

Price: $ 195 single adult $350 two adults $ 80 kids 12 and under.

Full Day with Dinner at Lodge

This trip will give you a true tour of the Caribou Hills with time to enjoy the sweet spots along the way. Camp for lunch for you and the dogs, complete with a dinner at the lodge in the hills.

Price: $ 395 single adult $645 two adults $ 145 kids 12 and under. Option to spend the night at Clam Gulch Bed and Breakfast over looking the bluff of the Cook Inlet.

Overnight Custom Trips Mush your own team on one of these trips designed for those seeking the true Alaska dog mushing experience. We begin by taking you down the back trails, where only a few are brave and adventurous enough to go. After spending the day mushing throughout the Caribou Hills, you have the option of roughing it and spending the night camping with dogs under the stars, or livin’ the good life by taking advantage of hot food, hot showers, and good company while you spend the night at the lodge.

Estimated prices are and subject to vary based on the trip.

Two day one night, stay in the lodge or camp under the stars: $ 895 single adult $1595 two adults. Three day and two night, $1995 single adult $3795 two adults.”

– Tim Osmar Racing and Tours, website, April, 2011

Tom Thurston:

“We will be starting tours December 1 or when we have adequate snow. Trips are run twice daily with pick-up times at either 9:00 am or 12:00 pm in Steamboat Springs. Guests will return to Steamboat Springs around 12:00 pm or 4:00 pm. Tour times are likely to change in March due to warm weather. Price is $300.00 per sled. Each sled has a maximum weight of 350 lbs. This can be any combination: adult and two kids, two adults, one adult, three kids, etc.”

Tom Thurston’s website, 2012

Dick Mackey:

“One day, Tim McDonnell from Princess Tours stopped by and told us the company was considering starting some Dalton Highway tours and would need overnight lodging.”

“McDonnell said that if I put a toilet and washbasin in every room it might work. I said, ‘If you’ve got the money I’ve got the time.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Money’s no problem.'”‘

“Once I made the deal with Princess. I heard from Holland America. It wanted to start a tour, too, and more hotel rooms were needed. By then I knew what I was doing. Once again, I said, ‘If you’ve go the money, I’ve got the time.’ And they had the money.”

“Unfortunately, Princess promoted Coodfoot on my Iditarod reputation. It was fun at first. But this meant I had to be on hand whenever a bus came in. The tourists had been promised they would meet Dick Mackey, Iditarod champion.”

“The next morning, before the tourists left, they spent an hour at the dog lot.”

“We got some free advertising that we couldn’t have purchased for love or money. Princess and Holland America brought up travel writers and agents.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

What can happen when dog sled tour business slows?

Gruesome killing of 100 sled dogs:

“The slaughter was conducted on April 21 and 23. In his claim, the worker wrote that he had killed 70 dogs, but the company corrected that number to 100.

The dogs were killed because of a ‘slow winter season’ after the Winter Olympics, according to WorkSafe BC documents.”

“In WorkSafe BC documents, the worker describes chasing after a dog that survived a shot to the face: ‘Although she had the left side of her cheek blown off and her eye hanging out, he was unable to catch her.’

Another apparently dead dog was dumped into the grave. ‘Nora, who he had shot approximately 20 minutes before, was crawling around in the mass grave he had dug for the animals. He had to climb down into the grave amidst the 10 or so bodies already there and put her out of her misery.’

According to the claim, the dogs panicked as they watched their compatriots being killed, and attacked the worker as he finished his job.

At one point during the slaughter, he ran out of ammunition and had to kill an aggressive dog with a knife.

‘By that point he wanted nothing more than to stop the ‘nightmare’ but he continued because he had been given a job to finish,’ according to the documents.”

– Bethany Lindsay, CTV-News, January 31, 2011

“The killings took place over two days. The dogs were rounded up, shot or stabbed and left in a mass grave.

As the slaughter went on, the animals made ‘guttural sounds’ and had ‘fear in their eyes,’ according to WorkSafe B.C. documents.”

– Petti Fong, The Toronto Star, February 1, 2011

“About 100 sled dogs, some badly maimed and writhing in pain, were killed and dumped in a mass grave after bookings apparently collapsed for a B.C. tour operator following the 2010 Winter Games.”

– James Keller, The Canadian Press, The Toronto Sun, February 1, 2011

These dogs have metal shelters. Metal shelters are bad because they are too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. Photo is attributed to raer on flickr, taken on July 16, 2005

These dogs have metal shelters. Metal shelters are bad because they are too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. Photo is attributed to raer on flickr, taken on July 16, 2005

Mushers profit from selling and leasing dogs

“He’s [Peter Reuter] leasing the team from Dean Osmar, the 1984 Iditarod champion who owns Cook Inlet Kennels.”

– Lou Reuter, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 6, 2017

“For this year’s Iditarod, [Lance] Mackey leased dogs to his brother Jason, as well as 2011 champion John Baker, and veteran racer Katherine Keith.”

– Tiffany Borges, The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, February 25, 2017

“[Cindy] Abbott leased her dog team from Vern Halter, a retired musher who has completed 18 Iditarod races and was Abbott’s mentor.”

– Angie Marcos, Orange County Register, April 21, 2015

“I agreed whole-heartedly so in early April, we purchased three dogs from Paul [Gebhardt] and made arrangements to split a litter.”

– Travis Beals,, blog, 2015

“We made a very difficult decision to sell some of our dogs.”

– Travis Beals,, blog, 2015

“Then, in 1986, Joe Redington got disgusted with his dog team in Nome and sold me the entire bunch of dogs for $20,000.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

“In 1988 I leased my team to a physician named Bill Gallea, so I didn’t have a team.”

– Mark Nordman, Chapter 18, Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail
– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail, Portland: Alaska Northwest Books, 2015

“Caitlin and Mike Santos are herding a dozen yipping, furry athletes into a truck at Wolf’s Den Kennel in Cantwell, Alaska.”

“Wolf’s Den Kennel raises and sells dogs to clients around the world.”

– Mike Santos is an Iditarod musher.
– Norm Roy,, February 28, 2012

“Dogs are Rick’s [Mackey] livelihood. He races every year. He sells dogs.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

“Dallas [Seavey] purchased the 16 dogs that started last year for Aaron Burmeister and carried the Nenana musher to a seventh-place finish.”

– Mike Campbell, Anchorage Daily News, March 11, 2010

“[Kelly] Maixner purchased his pups from [Martin] Buser…”

– Brian Gehring, Bismarck Tribune, February 27, 2011

Laureli Kinneen: “I’m Laureli Kinneen here at the Takota checkpoint with Aaron Burmeister who is not racing the 2010 Iditarod– sold your team. You have some dogs though in the race with Middie Johnson and some other folks.”

Aaron Burmeister: “Yeah, Lachlan Clarke’s got a few, Dallas has some, several teams are scattered. I think we have a total of 26 dogs that we raced in our kennel there running the Iditarod this year.”

– Laureli Kinneen interviewed Aaron Burmeister at the Takota checkpoint on March 11, 2010.

“She [Lynda Plettner] said she still likes training “superstar” dogs, and will sell them for as much as $3,000.”

– Todd L. Disher, Frontiersman, March 6, 2010

“Titan, Sussex, Ross and Alamo are headed to Northern Sweden to no doubt learn a few new words in a different language as they join a top Scandinavian race team. Berkeley is headed into the maternity ward for a young musher here in Alaska who has plans to raise Husky Homestead puppies for his future racing team. Young musher Pete Kaiser from Bethel, Alaska has made a huge commitment to acquire Dollar, Shannon and Snoopy for his young race team.”

– Jeff King is talking about dogs he raced in the 2010 Iditarod.
– Jeff King, Husky Homestead blog, March 20, 2010

“Mr. McDonald’s sled dogs will be provided by former Iditarod champion, Dean Osmar.”

Press & Journal, December 21, 2009
– Wattie McDonald lives in Criggie Smithy, Scotland.

“Dissatisfied with the way things were going in general, when he got to Nome that year, [Joe] Redington decided to sell of his whole team and start over with newly trailed dogs in 1987. His asking price was $20,000. Redington thought Butcher might be interested but she didn’t buy and Redington ended up selling the team to Dick Mackey.”

– Freedman, Lew. Father of the Iditarod: The Joe Redington Story, Fairbanks: Epicenter Press, 1999

“At the Iditarod, [Newton] Marshall will use one of four teams from Mackey’s Comeback Kennel, said Theresa Daily, who runs a mushing Web site in Chugiak and handles public relations for Mackey and other mushers.

‘The team Newton is leasing will likely include dogs that helped win the Iditarod each of the past three years,’ Mackey said.”

– Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, November 30, 2009

“Mackey took Kwethluk musher Harry Alexie under his wing in October, leasing him 24 dogs and giving him daily expertise.”

“What Mackey gets in return for training Alexie is a deal worth $50,000 from the Alaska Army National Guard, which Alexie has belonged to for 13 years.”

– Kevin Klott, Anchorage Daily News, January 9, 2009

“Mackey in October leased 24 dogs and offered daily expertise to Kwethluk musher Harry Alexie. In return, he will receive $50,000 in money and expenses from the Alaska Army National Guard, which Alexie has belonged to for 13 years.”

– Associated Press,, January 10, 2009

“Two weeks off the Iditarod Trail, Mackey already has a list of request from mushers anxious to dip into his kennel’s bloodlines.

Among them is former Yukon Question champion Aliy Zirkel of Two Rivers, who has two females in Mackey’s dog lot. Mitch Seavey of Sterling, the 2004 champion, bought a female from Mackey last year and brought it back to breed with another dog this year.”

– Lance Mackey won the 2007 Iditarod
– Kevin Klott, Anchorage Daily News, March 28, 2007

“I went down the line pulling dogs and snapping them on the drop chain. The next dog was Eyes, an eight-year-old I was leasing from Dean Osmar for this race.”

– Rachael Scdoris talking about a dog she leased for the 2006 Iditarod
– Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

“Both Hickel, a veteran of three Iditarods, and Kelly are leasing dog teams from experienced Iditarod mushers.

[Carla] Kelly’s comes from Chugiak dog mushers and Iditarod veterans Bruce and Diana Moroney; Hickel’s from Iditarod veteran Ramey Smyth.”

– Melissa Devaughn, Anchorage Daily News, 2003

“With 65 of his [Martin Buser’s] own dogs in Juneau doing glacier tours, he had extra chains and houses available.”

– Suzanna Caldwell, Alaska Dispatch News, June 15, 2015

“She [Kim Franklin] leased a dog team from my neighbor Dean Osmar who is the 1983 Iditarod champion.”

– Bruce Linton, Diary of my Iditarod Journey 2008, website article, 2008

“It is now common practice for wannabe Iditaroders to lease a team. Dog teams can be reserved for anywhere from the value of in-kind labor, to upwards of $75,000 for a package that might include musher training, an experienced dog team, lodging, food, supplements and gear to outfit the dogs.”

– Julie Anne St. Louis, Anchorage Press, March 7, 2013

“Swingley is a four-time Iditarod champ, and [John] Stewart is one of three mushers who entered this year’s Iditarod with teams out of Swingley’s kennel in Lincoln, Mont. The other two drivers — Warren Palfrey from Quesnell, B.C., Canada, and Tom Thurston from Oak Creek, Colo. — have already scratched.”

– John Stewart is from Scotland.
– Craig Medred, Alaska Dispatch, March 18, 2010

“The income allowed [John] Stewart to spend $40,000 leasing a dog team from and training with four-time Iditarod champ Doug Swingley in Lincoln, Mont.”

– Craig Medred, Alaska Dispatch, March 20, 2010

“[Wattie] MacDonald, an oil field worker who keeps 11 Siberian huskies at home in Scotland, had raised and/or fished out of his pocket a reported $85,000 to lease the team.”

– Craig Medred. Graveyard of Dreams: Dashed Hopes and Shattered Aspirations Along Alaska’s Iditarod Trail, Anchorage: Plaid Cabin Publishing, 2010

“Good dogs for a competitive Iditarod team might cost upwards of $2,000 and a fine leader may be worth $7,000-$10,000 or more.”

– Rennick, Penny, ed. The Iditarod, Anchorage: Alaska Geographic, 2001

“Many dogs in the kennel are worth $2,000 or more, and this figure increases to more than $8,000 for a fully trained lead dog.”

– Mattson, Sue. Iditarod Fact Book, Kenmore: Epicenter Press, 2001

“…Leaders can cost thousands of dollars.”

– Freedman, Lew and Jonrowe, DeeDee. Iditarod Dreams, Seattle: Ecpicenter Press, 1995

“I’ve got to win. That would be the turning point in a guy’s career, to win the Iditarod. Everything would go well after that. Being able to sell dogs, to get sponsors…”

– Musher Tim Osmar
– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Classics, Seattle: Epicenter Press, 1992

“Winning gives you credentials….” “It’s good for business, definitely good for dog sales.”

– Musher Joe Runyan
– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Classics, Seattle: Epicenter Press, 1992

“The dog is leased from Dean Osmar.”

– Jon Little, Cabela’s website, March 8, 2005
Little formerly reported for the Anchorage Daily News
He is discussing a dog DeeDee Jonrowe leased for the 2005 Iditarod.

“Her [Shelly Gill] dogs came from several sources. She leased dogs from several mushers.”

– Nielsen, Nicki J. The Iditarod: Women on the Trail, Anchorage: Wolfdog Publications, 1986

“[Frank] Winkler, whose team is leased from Raymie Redington…”

“He [Guy Blankenship] has borrowed and leased dogs to fill out the team…”

– Lew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, March 2, 1989

“A group of Krabloonik canines is on the trail in Alaska, where the annual race is currently being held, having been leased to musher Lachlan Clark of Buena Vista for the Iditarod.”

– Seven-time Iditarod veteran Dan MacEachen owns Krabloonik.
– Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News, March 15, 2011

“It was Plettner’s Big Lake kennel that supplied the dogs for [Domenico, “Dodo”] Perri, the one-time winner of the Italian mushing championships, when he ran the Iditarod in 2005.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, July 18, 2006

“He [Ken Anderson] of course was talking about Jango the 2 year old female that I had leased from him at the beginning of the race.”

– Jessie Royer, Jessie’s Sled Dog Page, website, 2005

“I [Dallas Seavey] negotiated with my dad [Mitch Seavey] to purchase a team of seventeen dogs.”

– Seavey, Dallas; Keller, James J. Born to Mush, Neenah: JJK Sports Entertainment, Ltd., 2012“Jim [Keller] helped me [Dallas Seavey] purchase the [Aaron] Burmeister dog team as part of our scheme for the future.”– Seavey, Dallas; Keller, James J. Born to Mush, Neenah: JJK Sports Entertainment, Ltd., 2012
– Jim Keller owns J.J. Keller & Associates. The company has sponsored Dallas Seavey in the Iditarod.

Dallas Seavey lists some of his dogs for sale in 2015:

Seger– 5 years old, 53 lbs. Proven storm leader, hard driving finishing leader, perfect Gee-Haw. Raced with A-team in 2013 and 2014 (champion team) and was main leader for this year’s puppy team that placed 15th. $5,000

Ears– 4 years old, 58 lbs. Hardworking swing dog. Raced in the A-team for 2014 (record breaking) and 2015 Iditarods. Nearly perfect feet. Littermate to Hero, who lead the winning team across the finish line this year. Both parents Iditarod Champion lead dogs (Guiness X Gumbo). $5,000

Casper– 4 years old, 56 lbs. Driving swing dog, littermate to Ears. Went to Safety with the 4th place team (2013). Finished in 15th place team this year. Had some foot issues most of the winter (pads and toe nails from working so hard), but resolved prior to race start. Feet looked good in Nome. Really nice mellow personality. $4,000″

Alaska List Classifieds, April 20, 2015

Dallas Seavey sells more dogs:

“I’ve got six [dogs] here who have actually sold but haven’t been picked up yet due to Covid.”

– Dallas Seavey talking to Tegan Hanlon at his kennel.
–  Alaska Public Radio, March 11, 2021

Pete Kaiser bought dogs from Jeff King:

“He [Pete Kaiser] committed to being a serious musher and started building a kennel, buying fast dogs from Jeff King and breeding them.”

– Lisa Demer, Alaska Dispatch News, March 1, 2015

Lance Mackey lists his dogs for sale in 2009:

Foster – Age 7 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Yukon Quest- 4x Neutered/Large dog Iditarod 5x Good solid dog lost of mid distance races great attitude team/swing

Hansel– Age 5 – Male – Price: $3,500 – Description: Iditarod 3x Good solid lead dog lots of mid distance races all Alaska Sweepstakes 2/Jr Iditarods great attitude team/swing

Winner – Age 5 – Female – Price: $2,500 Description: Iditarod 07/08/09 losts of mid distance races – Kobuk 440 2x Jr Iditarod 2x Good dog! Team/Wheel

Tease – Age 5 – Female – Price: $2,500 – Description: Iditarod 07/08/09 lots of mid distance races – Copper Basin Kobuk 440 Tustemena Jr Iditarod 2x Good Dog! Team/Swing small dog but all there

Styies – Age 3 – Female – Price: $2,000 – Description:Large female not much race experience brother is “Dred” one of my good leaders throws great pups – Sheep Mt. T-200 Copper Basin

Battel – Age 5 – Male – Price: $3,500 – Description: Yukon Quest 3x Leader Neutered Iditarod 3x solid dog lots of mid distance experience

Crown – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1, 500 – Description: Hobo/Pauly pup – nice dog no race experience

Thug – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Good potential

Zeus – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Has potential loves to go short races only

Donny – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Has potential – small but loves to go – Gin Gin 200 Chatanika Solstice 100

Bishop – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Has potential – A bit shy but loves to go – nice size good all around dog

Zit – Age 2 – Male – Price: $2,000 – Description: 2nd Place Quest (Hugh Neff)

Buddy – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Nice Trot – Great Eater!

Ray – Age 2 – Male – Price: $1,500 – Description: Probably making a mistake selling this one lots of energy eats everything!

– Lance Mackey’s website, April 11, 2009

Mackey’s dogs for sale in 2010

“Ray” – $1,850 – Male – two year old. Out of Ross/Roxy – 55 lbs. Team/wheel dog. Ran the 2010 Iditarod/Gin Gin 200/ Tustumena 200/Copper Basin 300

“Donny” – $1,850 – Male – three year old. Out of Dred/Zorro/Tease – 50 lbs. Swing/Team dog. ran the 2010 Iditarod/Gin Gin 200 (2x)/Tutumena 200/ Soltice 100/ Copper Basin 300

“Toy” – $750 – Male – Three year old. Out of Zorro/ Lil Red – 55 lbs. Team/Wheel. ran Gin Gin 200/Soltice 100/Tustumena 100/ Copper Basin 300.

“Zuess” – $750 – Male – Three year old. Out of Rapper/Zorro/Zena/Zorro. 55 lbs. Team/Wheel. Ran the Gin Gin 200/Soltic 100/ Tutumena 200/ Copper Basin 300 Iditarod (dropped in Cripple).

“Rumba” – $1,500 – Female – Three year old – Ran the Gin Gin 200/ Knik 200/ Klondike 300

“Zema” – $1,000 – Female – Three year old. Ran the Knik 200/Klondike/300/ Tug 120/ Sheep Mountain 150

“Battel” – $2,000 – Male – Seven year old. Out of Pilgrim/Butter/Reba (Zorro’s sister). 07/08/09 Iditarod – 06/07/08 Yukon Quest – Copper Basin 300/ Kusko 300/ Tutumena 200/ Sheep mountain 150. Leader

“Crystal” – $1,000 – Female – Two year old. Out of Nikoli/Dot Ran the Gin Gin 200/Chatanika 200/Soltice 100/ Quest 300. Team/Swing dog.

“Rhubarb” – $1,500 – Female – Five year old. Out of Rex/Blackie/Zorro. Ran the Sheep Mountain 150/Tug 120/ Knik 200/Klondike 300/ 2008 Yukon Quest

“Smoke” – $1,200 – Female – Four year old Out of Hobo/Dolvin/Zorro . Ran Sheep Mountain 150/ Tug 120/ Knik 200/Klondike 300/2008 Yukon Quest

– Lance Mackey’s website, April 15, 2010

Jeff King lists his dogs for sale, including pregnant pups who ran in 2010 Iditarod:

“Call (M) – Jenna X Yuksi 6.5 Years; 55 lbs.; Neutered Jeff’s ‘A’ Team Iditarod Finisher $2000 **sold**

Beetle (M) – Shannon X Zorro (Mackey), 2 Years; 48 lbs; Neutered Dave’s ‘B’ Team Iditarod Finisher, Turning 3 years old this summer, Beetle and Cricket are two of the 12 puppies we got when we bred Lance’s ‘Zorro’ to ‘Shannon’. Wow – did we hit the jackpot on that one! Several in this litter already leading other race teams as well as our own. Beetle was neutered to help him hold his weight. According to Chief Dog Trainer Dave DeCaro ‘he showed a lot of promise as a leader during training and he turned on his performance on the coast [of Iditarod] and had a very strong finish. Motivated on the tow line.’ $1000

Cricket (F) – Shannon X Zorro (Mackey), 2 Years; 38 lbs; Spayed Dave’s ‘B’ Team Iditarod Finisher, Turning 3 years old this summer, Beetle and Cricket are two of the 12 puppies we got when we bred Lance’s ‘Zorro’ to ‘Shannon’. Wow – did we hit the jackpot on that one! Several in this litter already leading other race teams as well as our own. According to Dave’s post-race report card ‘somewhat picky eater, would skip every 4th meal or so. Knows gee-haw commands well and was a good help to the leaders as she ran in swing most of the race.’ $1000

Dave (M) – Demi X Yuks, 2 Years; 48 lbs; Neutered Dave’s ‘B’ Team Iditarod Finisher, A preferred gait pacer, Dave strikes me as bigger than 48 lbs. Tall and leggy. Dave’s post-race report: ‘A quiet dog that didn’t really stand out, but did a great job. Happy to run next anyone, always ate and always had a tight tug. Did better towards the back of the team.’ $750

Schilling (F) – Dollar X Solomon (J. Little), 1 Year; 46 lbs; Intact & currently pregnant – bred by ‘Coltrane,’ Dave’s ‘B’ Team Iditarod Finisher, I just ran this beauty 40 miles this morning. Gorgeous gait, beautiful coat, calm disposition. Awesome, fast trotter and according to Dave ‘seemed completely at home on the race trail. Ate a ton and was always looked like a playful pup. Never once did I see a slack tug-line on Schilling.’ Her pups are due in early May and are part of the deal. All the pups born by this pregnancy are included in the purchase price. However I would like to keep her and the pups at no charge to the buyer until approximately July 1st. Price bred including pups $1500. [Emphasis added.]

Opel (F) – Berkeley X Viper, 2 Years; 43 lbs; Intact & currently pregnant – by ‘Suspect’ Dave’s ‘B’ Team Iditarod, Dropped in Shaktoolik, Opel has been a stand-out from early on. She finished the Kusko 300 in 2009 with Dave and ran on my team in the 2009 Stage Stop Race. According to Dave ‘she ate great and was a happy dog. She was coming out of heat and had been bred a few days before the race, and it seemed to affect her performance. I would have expected her to do a lot of leading had she been up to par for the Iditarod.’ Her pups are due in early May and are part of the deal. All the pups born by this pregnancy are included in the purchase price. However I would like to keep her and the pups at no charge to the buyer until approximately July 1st. Price bred including pups $1500. [Emphasis added.]

Baker (M) – Spaniel X Salem 1 Year; 41 lbs; Intact Dave’s ‘B’ Team Iditarod Definitely one of Dave’s favorite dogs in training, Baker was #17 for the race roster. However, his performance throughout training surpassed most all other team members. we were unable to get Baker to pack on the extra pounds we thought prudent for the start of the Iditarod. Tremendous personality, tremendous sled-dog. So far energy output has exceeded energy input. This dog needs to be fed a lot and often. $500

The following are 12-18 month old harness-broke pups. Unless noted, all have been more than satisfactory to date. $500/each

‘European Cities’ Littermates: Vienna (F) – Gypsy X UConn 1 Year; Venice (F) – Gypsy X UConn 1 Year; Dijon (F) – Gypsy X UConn 1 Year; Oslo (M) – Gypsy X UConn 1 Year

‘Crimes & Misdemeanors’ Littermates: Treason (F) – Berkeley X Solomon (J. Little) 1.5 Years; Pilfer (F) – Berkeley X Solomon (J. Little) 1.5 Years

‘Wine’ Litter Rose (F) – Klarney X Solomon(J. Little) <1 years>; Ringer (a.k.a. Snowflake) (M) – Ruble X Suspect 1 Year

– Jeff King’s, March 28, 2010

“Snoopy (Spaniel x Salem)Top twenty in the kennel. Great 3 year old neutered male. Loves to lead. 46 pounds. Never hurt. Light coat. $3,000”

– Jeff King’s, April 19, 2010

“Dogs & entire teams are sold in Nome every year. The big news for the 2010 race is Jeff King is selling his team in Nome for around $40,000.00. An experienced team dog can go for between $500.00 & $1500.00. A leader commands a price of $1000.00 – $3000.00. The best leaders are very expensive, or priceless.”

– Emil Curchin, Training Blog & Dog Bios, 2012

Hugh Neff lists his dogs for sale:

ZURIL – $600; SCOTTY – $500; DIXIE – $500; BULLOCK – $1000; GUTHRIE – $400; MOLLY – $500; LEFTY – $500; DENALI – $500; OSCAR – $500; DOZER – $400; SCRAPPY – $300; SNOW – $200; JIM – $200; FRIDAY – $200; CLYDE – $200; PAYTON – $100; AXLE – $700; BLAZE – $400; BLONDIE – $500; AMOS – $700; MISCHIEF – $400; OMEN – $600; TITAN – $600; FLAME – $500; TUTSHI – $600; SYDNEY – $600; BOGART – $500

– Hugh Neff’s website, 2010

Martin Buser sells dogs to Heather Siirtola:

“Tuesday’s leader was Martin Buser, the musher from whom [Heather] Siirtola bought her dogs.”

– Associated Press, March 11, 2011

Zoya DeNure tries to sell dogs born and raised in her kennel:

“We have a few young dogs for sale. Running mileage as of today, this season: 566|
Born and raised here, our bloodline. Ready to join your team. Email for pictures.

Nellie: mother: Robin, father: Bligh
2 year old female lead dog, 45lbs
good eater, holds her weight, spayed. High energy, Good coat, good feet. Friendly, outgoing, can be turned loose, comes to her name. $700

Jim: Littermate to Nellie, intact team dog. 55lbs, leggy, pulls hard, good coat, good feet, good eater, great attitude. Good dog all the way around. $500″

– Zoya’s Kennel Journal, November 21, 2012

Leases are part of musher making a living :

“I was able to generate some more cash by leasing out the majority of the dogs for the 2003 Iditarod. After investing so much time, money and thought into putting a team together for the Iditarod, it’s not surprising that a serious musher would look for a dog or two that would round out their sixteen-dog team. That’s exactly what happens in practice with the Iditarod. In the month or two before race time, the phone lines are smoking as mushers try to recruit another superstar into the lineup. If there was an available super-dog in Nova Scotia, somebody would be trying to import that dog across the continent to Alaska.

Lease of a good, well-trained dog for the Iditarod can take many forms, with fees for one race of more than a thousand bucks. Sometimes it’s just a straight lease fee, regardless of performance. In some cases, particularly when top mushers lease a super husky, the fee is based on the finish place of the team and whether the leased dog actually finishes in the team. Occasionally the formula gets really complicated-but some mushers enjoy the dealing-making.

For me, the leases were basically part of making a living.”

– Lance Mackey. The Lance Mackey Story, Fairbanks: Zorro Books, LLC, 2010

“In the weeks leading up to the race, there is always a flurry of last minute dog buying, selling and trading, with each musher trying to assemble the best possible team possible, or at least a team capable of finishing a 10-day, 1000-mile race.”

– Zack Steer, Alaska Dispatch, March 3, 2012
– Zack Steer is a five-time Iditarod finisher.

This dog was one of several on Doug Bartko's property who were tied to "gang lines" with leads that allowed only 12 to 15 inches for movement. Photo is courtesy of

This dog was one of several on Doug Bartko’s property who were tied to “gang lines” with leads that allowed only 12 to 15 inches for movement. Photo is courtesy of

Mushers get royalities from books they've written about Iditarod

Examples of those who have written books:

Mushers who have written books about the Iditarod include Gary Paulsen, Libby Riddles, Brian Patrick O’Donoghue, Joe Runyan, DeeDee Jonrowe, Jeff King, Rachael Scdoris, J.B. Jones, Lisa Frederic, Don Bowers, James Warren, Lance Mackey and Dick Mackey.

Daytona Dayton plans to write a book:

“Daytona plans to broadcast her radio show from each checkpoint, writing a book and spending the next nine months training for the race in Alaska.”

– Daytona Dayton is host of the “Daytona & Friends National Radio Show”
Boise Weekly, June 22, 2005

Musher's paid to give speeches, talks, school presentations

Martin Buser:

“Speaking gigs in the Lower 48 pay Buser $10,000 a pop.”

– Don Norcross, The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 26, 2011

Aliy Zirkle:

“In the summer I greet passengers on the Alaska Railroad when they stop and talk to them about mushing.”

– Aliy Zirkle, Chapter 28, Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail
– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail, Portland: Alaska Northwest Books, 2015

Rachael Scdoris:

“Rachael [Scdoris] is available to deliver inspirational speeches at special events and corporate meetings across the U.S. For more information about booking Rachael to speak at an upcoming event, please contact Sports Unlimited Management & Promotions, Inc.”

– The Official Rachael Scdoris website, 2004

Susan Butcher:

Here are just some of the speakers bureaus Susan Butcher is registered with, and the 2004 fees for having her speak (fees are normally for the US, and do not include travel and accommodation expenses):

Speaker Bureau Fee for having Susan Butcher speak
Premiere Speakers Bureau $20,000
Keppler Associates, Inc. $10,001 to $20,000
Speak, Inc. $16,000-$23,000
International Speakers Bureau $15,001 to $20,000
Goodman Speakers Bureau No fee given on website
AEI Speakers Bureau No fee given on website
Speakers Guild, Inc. over $10,000
Lordly & Dame, Inc. No fee given on website
Speakers-Network No fee given on website No fee given on website
Eagles Talent Connection, Inc. No fee given on website

Bill Borden:

“Bill [Borden] will be accepting speaking engagements (prices will vary) to talk about his adventure beginning in May 2002.”

– Bill Borden’s website, 2002

Karen Land advertises to speak at schools and libraries:

“Dear teachers and Librarians: I am once again planning a trip back to Indiana to do Iditarod Dog Mushing Talks. I will be in Indiana in May. I will also be available to do talks in other states.”

“The cost for the talks this year will be $350 per talk. If you can organize other talks in your area for the same day, I will do them for $300 a piece.”

– Iditarod musher Karen Land
– Cabela’s website, Cabela’s Teacher Talk Forum, March 5, 2006

Laura Daugereau:

“More money will come from speaking engagements — she [Laura Daugereau] has 20 lined up through the middle of June, with some as far away as Michigan and New York.”

– Sue Edwards, The Kitsap Sun, May 1, 2008

Dewey Halverson:

“Dewey’s programs are flexible. Normally they last about 1-1/4 hours but can be tailored – longer or shorter – to fit your schedule.

Each program is $400, or $600 for back-to-back sessions. A back-to-back session is two programs done on the same day in the same location. This is a flat rate. There are no additional costs or per diems.

Yana DeMyer, Booking Agent – 920-621-2163 Fax – 920-227-4152″

– Dewey Halverson’s website, 2010

Lance Mackey:

“Topics – Mushing 101 & Kennel Management, Training for Mid-distance races, Success is all about appetite and attitude, Turning your life around (inspirational for teens in trouble), Looking beyond cancer

Lance travels From: Fairbanks, Alaska

Dates Available: April through September

Speaking Fee Range: $500-$1,500 per day

Transprortation Expenses In addition to the speaking fee all transportation expenses to and from events must be paid by you.

Lance is also available for appearances for grand openings, autographing & promotions.

Fees vary depending on the amount of time, distance of travel, demand and schedule.”

– Lance Mackey’s website, 2010

DeeDee Jonrowe:

“Interested in inviting DeeDee to speak at your event? DeeDee is available for speaking engagements, appearances and sposor opportunities throughtout the summer (usually from April to September).


– DeeDee Jonrowe’s website, 2010

Hugh Neff:

“I do fifty to seventy talks a year. I get $500 to $600 an hour and sell books.”

– Hugh Neff, Chapter 22, Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail
– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail, Portland: Alaska Northwest Books, 2015

Pat Moon:

“Presentations and public speaking prices (for education, civic, religious, or community) start at $350 plus mileage or travel.

The ‘Leading From the Rear’ presentation starts at $500 plus mileage or travel.”

– Pat Moon’s website, 2010

Ed Stielstra and his wife Tasha Stielstra:

“Cost: $600, plus mileage for 2-3 assembly programs

$450, plus mileage for 1 assembly program”

“Program length is approximately 45 minutes for grades K-1, one hour for grades 2-5, and 90 minutes for grades 6-12.”

– Ed Stielstra’s website, 2011

Jeff King:


– Keynote Speaker’s, Inc.

Tom Thurston:

“Our fee is $500 for up to 2 hours of presentation time. This fee can be reduced when several schools in the same area book on the same day. We also do a traveling road show when the snow cooperates. This includes a short loop around a field at the school and we take students and teachers for rides. The cost for this varies and is based on individual needs and proximity.”

– Tom Thurston’s website, 2012

Dick Mackey:

“In December 1986, I was invited to speak at Timerland’s annual sales meeting in Fort Myers, Florida.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

Chained dog lives in dilapidated structure. Photo courtesy of

Chained dog lives in dilapidated structure.
Photo courtesy of

Companies profit from selling trips to see Iditarod

Sky Trekking Alaska:

The Iditarod Start Trek–

“4 days/4 nights beginning and ending in Anchorage. Available beginning the first Saturday each March $5,220.00 per person.”

Iditarod Expedition Trek–

“12 days/12 nights beginning in Anchorage and ending in Nome. Available beginning the first Saturday each March $13,775.00 per person.”

The Iditarod Winners Trek–

“4 days/4 nights beginning and ending in Nome. Available beginning the first Saturday each March $4,500.00 per person.”

– Sky Trekking Alaska, website, 2010

Mushers get prize money

“A $795,000 purse awaits this year’s top 30 finishers. Another $40,000 will be divvied up among the remaining arrivals to Nome. The winner will earn $69,000 and receive a new pickup valued at almost $45,000.”

– Jeannette J. Lee, Associated Press, March 6, 2006

“The restart, where the mushers get serious about getting a piece of this year’s about $795,000 purse, begins Sunday in Willow.”

– Mary Pemberton, Associated Press, March 2, 2007

“The total purse this year is $590,000 — down from a high of $925,000 in 2008.”

“The winner still receives a new Dodge truck.”

– Rachael D’Oro, Associated Press, March 5, 2010

“The first musher to Nome will take home $50,400 this year – the same amount Lance Mackey won in 2010, according to organizers.”

“All told, the top 30 finishers will split $528,000.”

– Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, March 1, 2011

“There is a significant monetary reward at the end — $50,400 and a new truck for the winner, and smaller cash prizes for all the finishers.”

– Yereth Rosen, Reuters, March 3, 2011

“The total purse is $550,000 for the first 30 finishers, with the winner receiving $50,400 and a new truck.”

– Mary Pemberton, Associated Press Published: March 4, 2012

“Besides the $70,000 check, the winner will receive a new Dodge pickup, making the total prize package for the first musher to cross the finish line in excess of $110,000.

The second place musher will pocket $58,600, up $11,000 from this year. The third place finisher gets $53,900, an increase of $9,000; the musher coming in fourth takes home $48,400, up $6,000; and the fifth place musher will receive $44,300, or $4,400 more than this year.”

– Mark Thiessen, Associated Press, December 2, 2014

“The winner will receive $70,000 and a pickup truck. Other top finishers will receive cash prizes from a purse totaling more than $725,000.”

– Steve Quinn, Reuters, March 9, 2015

“With the victory, [Mitch] Seavey gets a $75,000 check and a new truck.”

– Doreen McCallister, NPR, March 15, 2017

$3,500 cash prize in one dollar bills for being the first musher to reach the Yukon River, photo attributed to JKBrooks85 on flickr

$3,500 cash prize in one dollar bills for being the first musher to reach the Yukon River, photo attributed to JKBrooks85 on flickr

Speed pays

Mushers get rewards for being the fastest:

The Lakefront Anchorage First Musher to the Yukon Award
Awarded to the first musher to the Yukon.
Musher receives: A five course, gourmet dinner prepared at the checkpoint by The Lakefront Anchorage executive chef Roberto Sidro, a $3,500 in one-dollar bills served on a commemorative gold pan.

The PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award
Awarded to the first musher to reach the McGrath checkpoint. For the 2017 race route, this award was claimed in Ruby.
Musher receives: A framed print by Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle, a $500 flight credit.

GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award
Awarded to first musher to reach halfway point. For the 2017 race, this was was claimed in Huslia.
Musher receives: $3,000 in gold nuggets, a commemorative trophy.

Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award
Awarded to the first musher to reach the Kaltag checkpoint.
Musher receives: $2,000 check and a certificate for 25 pounds of fresh Bristol Bay salmon.

Wells Fargo Gold Coast Award
Awarded to the first musher to the Unalakleet checkpoint.
Musher receives: $3,500 worth of gold nuggets and a commemorative trophy.

Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time from Safety to Nome Award
Awarded to the musher with the fastest time from the Safety checkpoint to the finish in Nome.
Musher receives: $500 check and a commemorative trophy.

Jerry Austin Memorial Rookie of the Year Award
Awarded to the top-placing rookie.
Musher receives: $2,000 check and a commemorative trophy.

Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Official Truck Award
Award has been presented to the Iditarod first place winner. This musher receives: a 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 valued at $40,000.

– Iditarod website, 2017

Alaska Air Transit Spirit of Iditarod Award:

First musher to McGrath – Beaver mitts by Loretta Maillelle of McGrath
Musher hat made by Rosalie Egrass of McGrath

GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award:

First musher to Iditarod – $3,000 in gold nuggets, commemorative trophy

The Lakefront Anchorage First Musher to the Yukon Award:

$3,500 in one-dollar bills, bottle of Dom Pérignon

Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award: 

First musher to Reach Kaltag – $2,000 check, certificate for 25# fresh-caught Bristol Bay salmon, wood-burned art piece by Apayo Moore

Ryan Air Gold Coast Award:

First musher to reach Unalakleet – $1,500 in gold nuggets, carved Ivory Sled Dog Team made by Leonard Savage of Holy Cross

Northrim Bank Achieve More Award:

First musher to reach White Mountain – $2,500 check, one of a kind print by Anchorage artist Marianne Wieland

Rookie of the Year Award: 

Top placing rookie – $2,000 check, commemorative trophy

Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time Safety to Nome Award: 

Musher with fastest time from safety to Nome – $500

Matson Most Improved Musher:

Musher who betters previous finish by the most places, $2,000 in cash, commemorative trophy

– Iditarod website, 2019

A drop in position is costly:

“For each position a musher drops in the top five, there is a loss of about $7,000 in prize money. For each drop in position in the next five, there is a loss of $3,000 to $4,000.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, March 15, 2005

“The purse is set at $630,000, with $610,000 paid out to the top 30 finishers, and $1,049 apiece for the rest of the pack.”

– Diana Haecker, KTNA 88.9 FM, website, June 29, 2009
– Ms. Haecker is talking about the purse for the 2010 Iditarod.

Mushers win thousands of dollars:

Prize winnings of top 20 mushers in 2017 Iditarod:

Place Prize Musher
1st $71,250.00 Mitch Seavey
2nd $59,637.00 Dallas Seavey
3rd $54,862.00 Nicolas Petit
4th $49,234.00 Joar Leifseth Ulsom
5th $45,100.00 Jessie Royer
6th $38,190.00 Wade Marrs
7th $35,910.00 Ray Redington, Jr.
8th $33,700.00 Aliy Zirkle
9th $31,564.00 Pete Kaiser
10th $29,498.00 Paul Gebhardt
11th $27,503.00 Jeff King
12th $25,650.00 Ramey Smyth
13th $23,798.00 Michelle Phillips
14th $22,088.00 Ryan Redington
15th $20,378.00 Hans Gatt
16th $18,739.00 Ralph Johannessen
17th $17,171.00 Ken Anderson
18th $15,746.00 John Baker
19th $14,321.00 Katherine Keith
20th $12,896.00 Linwood Fielder

– KTVA website, March 15, 2017

“King collected $69,000 and a new truck for the win.”

“But Swingley’s move just as surely secured second place and a $64,000 chunk of the 2006 Iditarod purse…”

“Gebhardt got third and $59,800.”

“Jonrowe won $55,600.”

“Baker won $51,700”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, March 16, 2006

“The expected top prize is $50,000, the same amount as last year, but more than $20,000 below the 2017 prize. The total purse is again $500,000 — about $250,000 below the 2017 purse. The prize money comes from sponsors and other sources, including fundraisers, special promotions and the Iditarod Insider, a paid online subscription that provides race coverage.”

– Associated Press, March 4, 2019

“Where they finish has a big bearing on how much they win. Third place pays $57,000; sixth pays $40,000.”

Anchorage Daily News, March 14, 2007

Prize money payout totals for some mushers

(The totals are from the Iditarod’s website and includes winnings from the 2016 Iditarod.)

Jeff King………………….$921,244.78

DeeDee Jonrowe……..$543,446.44

Martin Buser…………..$814,668.89

Lance Mackey………… $369,942.44

Mitch Seavey…………..$702,729.33

Dallas Seavey…………..$396,215.88

Ramey Smyth………….$480,153.33

Paul Gebhardt…………$468,670.78

Rick Swenson………….$612,576.00

John Baker……………..$586,907.78

Ed Iten……………………$303,284.00

Ken Anderson………….$405,559.67

Hans Gatt………………..$269,993.22

Ray Redington, Jr……..$283,129.00

Sonny Lindner………….$259,397.00

Aaron Burmeister……..$291,519.56

Aliy Zirkle………………….$376,987.11

Profits from selling Iditarod artwork and trinkets

“I wanted to paint it [the Iditarod]. I did twenty paintings about the race and had a show at The Gallery in Anchorage.”

“It just went on from there. The twenty-eighth poster will be out for the 2004 race.”

– Iditarod musher Jon Van Zyle
– Freedman, Lew. More Iditarod Classics, Kenmore: Epicenter Press, 2004

“Her images depict…dog mushing. Since a kennel of over 50 sled dogs fills her back yard, Donna’s knowledge of mushing is firsthand.”

– Donna Gates King’s art gallery website
– Donna Gates King is married to Iditarod musher Jeff King

Iditarod administration sells Iditarod posters and trinkets.

– Iditarod website


People win money by following Iditarod in Anchorage Chrysler Dodge’s betting game:

“Choose your racers and follow them to Nome, collecting points at each checkpoint along the trail. The winner, determined by point total, takes home the $300 grand prize and a runner-up wins $200, courtesy of Anchorage Chrysler Dodge.”

– Published on the Alaska Dispatch News website, 2017

Money motivates the city of Wasilla

Wasilla cashes in on Iditarod despite losing restart:

“‘Way back into the ’80s … they’d hit here, and it was an all-day event,’ said Wasilla Mayor Verne Rupright. ‘What happens now is that you have the ceremonial start in Anchorage. And they load up in Anchorage, predominantly, and drive right on past us.’

But Rupright and other city officials are hoping to capitalize on the Iditarod, and bring locals out for two days of music, snowmachine racing and, believe it or not, hockey with horse poop.

It’s a rebranding effort to revitalize an existing event, said Hastings. When the race started in Wasilla, the event, called Iditarod Days, was huge.

‘We’re boosting it on that end because the Iditarod headquarters is still here,’ Rupright said. Though there was a much smaller event last year, this year is being billed as the first-annual Wasilla Winterfest Iditarod Days.”

– Sean Manget, Alaska Journal of Commerce, March 4, 2011

Wasilla cashed in when Iditarod restarted there:

“Metiva said no one has formally studied how much money the Iditarod restart brings to Wasilla, but she estimates the city makes roughly $500,000 from the event.”

– Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, March 16, 2005
– Cheryl Metiva is executive director of the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce

Iditarod boosts Nome's economy

“Bed taxes bring in an extra $109,000 in March, said Cussy Kauer of the city’s finance department, who has seen the finish of every single Iditarod race.”

– Margaret Bauman, Alaska Journal of Commerce, published by Siku News on 3/24/05

“Iditarod dog teams mushing under the finish line arch in Nome in the third week of March will be a welcome sight for race fans – and a $1.1 million shot in the arm for local merchants.”

“And after a very slow winter, this is a big shot in the arm. ‘This will be a good one, because there are so many mushers involved, and everyone has their favorite,”[Mitch] Erickson said.'”

– Mitch Erickson is the executive director of the Nome Chamber of Commerce
– Margaret Bauman, Alaska Journal of Commerce, March 20, 2005

The population of Nome:

“Nome’s population in 2000 was 9,196.”

– US Census Bureau website, 2005

Mushers smoke salmon for the dogs to eat. But smoking the salmon does not prevent dogs from getting salmon poisoning disease. Photo attributed to chiavatti on flickr

Mushers smoke salmon for the dogs to eat. But smoking the salmon does not prevent dogs from getting salmon poisoning disease. Photo attributed to chiavatti on flickr

Rachael Scdoris markets herself

“The marketing hook in all of this is her blindness. She has been sold as the little blind girl who could. This is why at the age of 20 she has a biography in print, her own marketing agent, and a budding career as a motivational speaker.

On the trail, Scdoris maneuvers around quite well, despite her limited vision. More than once, I found myself wondering what the media take on the “blind musher” would be if she were a middle-aged white guy. It would be easy to portray the whole Scdoris affair as something of a scam.

The gap between ‘blindness’ and ‘legal blindness’ is obviously large. Rachael is one of some 1.3 million Americans, including 13 out of every 100 people older than 65, in the latter category.

This distinction often is overlooked in stories about Rachael, although reporter Jon Little, an accomplished musher himself, has steadfastly pointed out that ‘her peripheral vision is excellent. She has 20-200 vision, is near- and far-sighted and color blind.’

She is also generally perceived as ‘blind,’ a perception the Scdoris camp has never really tried to counter.

I understand the marketing. Running the Iditarod is costly, and you have to raise money however you can. The Scdorises sold Rachael’s vision problems to gain exposure.”

– Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, March 27, 2005

How well can Rachael Scdoris see?

Rachael Scdoris says she’s legally blind. But how well can she see?

Some legally blind people can barely see anything, but others can see a lot.

Rachael Scdoris has congenital achromatopsia:

“‘Without a doubt Rachael has a rare disease called congenital achromatopsia.”

– Richard Weleber, M.D. giving his diagnosis
– Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

– What’s congenital achromatopsia?

“The eyes of achromats, lacking normal cone vision and having only rod vision, are not able to adapt normally to higher levels of illumination. Rods do not provide color vision or good detail vision. Therefore, persons with achromatopsia are either totally colorblind or almost totally colorblind, and they have poor visual acuity. There are many variations in the severity of these manifestations among individual achromats.” “Congenital achromatopsia is not progressive, and it does not lead to blindness. Some doctors refer to it as “stationary cone dystrophy.”

– The Achromatopsia Network, website article, 2008

“There are many degrees of severity of symptoms among achromats.”

– article, 2008

Rachael Scdoris runs 26 miles to high school:

Rachael Scdoris attended Richmond High School. It’s located at 17272 NE 104th St., Redmond, WA in a densely populated area. The school is surrounded by many intersections and major roads.

“I arrived at school as the bell rang for last period. My friends crowded around and wanted to know, ‘Where have you been?’

‘Missed the bus,’ I told them.

‘How did you get to school?’


‘From your mom’s place?’

‘No from Dad’s’

‘How far is that?’

‘Twenty-six miles. Something like that.'”

– Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

Rachael Scdoris explores Anchorage airport:

“Dan MacEachen was supposed to meet me, but I got in a little early and had the opportunity to explore the airport. I found the baggage claim area and located my bag.”

– Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

Rachael Scdoris catches loose dog, walks around Cessna 185 without bumping it:

“In his latest story he [Craig Medred] would point out that I had enough visual ability to catch my dog after it got loose, leash it, and walk around a Cessna 185 without bumping into the propeller or the strut beneath the wing.”

– Craig Medred is the outdoor editor of the Anchorage Daily News.
– Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

Without help Rachael Scdoris guides team across treacherous terrain:

– – Tim Osmar served as her visual guide or interpreter in the 2006 Iditarod:

“Musher Tim Osmar of Ninilchik will serve as Rachael Scdoris’ “visual interpreter” for next year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.”

“Osmar is a 20-time Iditarod veteran. He will travel ahead of Scdoris on a separate dog sled with a two-way radio to warn her about trail dangers ahead.”

– Associated Press, Anchorage Daily News, June 25, 2005

– – Scdoris arrived at checkpoint 15 minutes BEFORE her visual guide:

The 2006 Iditarod website and Cabela’s Iditarod Coverage website said Scdoris arrived at the Koyuk checkpoint 16 minutes BEFORE Osmar, her visual guide:

Rachael Scdoris: arrived at Koyuk checkpoint on March 16, 2006 at 04:54:00

Tim Osmar: arrived at Koyuk checkpoint on March 16, 2006 at 05:10:00

– – Rachael Scdoris veers off trail; goes to Koyuk without Osmar:

“He’d noticed her headlamp was pointing down at her feet for minutes at a time, a sure sign a musher has fallen asleep standing up.

With four miles to go, Osmar stopped his team to let her catch up a little closer. But suddenly she was no longer in sight. Forty minutes later, Dan Seavey rolled up and said he hadn’t seen her.

‘My only choice was to haul to Koyuk, and go find some snowmachines,’ he said. He had no idea where her team was, but obviously they’d trotted off the marked trail – not good when you’re crossing a crust of frozen salt water with open leads and open water to the west. ‘It wasn’t a real peaceful, easy feeling,’ Osmar said.

‘By the time we got there, she was already there, bedded down and everything,’ he said.”

– Jon Little, Cabela’s Iditarod coverage, Cabela’s website, March 21, 2006
– Jon Little formerly wrote for the Anchorage Daily News.

A lead is “A channel of open water created by a break in a mass of ice.” –

– – Scdoris guides team over jumbled ice and open leads into Koyuk:

“Scdoris said she had fallen asleep on the sled, as many mushers do, and veered off the trail.

‘It was so flat and so early in the morning, it was hard not to doze,’ Scdoris said. ‘I woke up in jumbled ice and no other dog tracks.’

As it turned out, Scdoris was close enough to Koyuk to make out the lights of the village and guide her dog team there.”

– Jeannette J. Lee, Associated Press, March 19, 2006

Rachael Scdoris said that when she woke up there were no tracks from other dog teams. Consequently, her dogs had no scent from other dogs to follow into Koyuk.

Rachael Scdoris snaps dogs onto drop chain:

“I went down the line pulling dogs and snapping them on the drop chain.”

– Rachael Scdoris is describing what she did before the ceremonial start of the 2006 Iditarod.
– Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

Rachael Scdoris notices her hands trembling:

“When I glanced at my hands I noticed they were trembling slightly.”

Scdoris, Rachael and Steber, Rick. No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007

Martin Buser markets himself

“No longer can Buser think only about his dogs and preparing for races. He has an image to manage. He is the poster boy for his sport, mushing’s de facto ambassador.

Besides doing television commercials for his sponsors, he makes appearances to promote mushing. He attends Rotary Club meetings in Wasilla. This year, Buser has started going on-line, answering questions sent to him by computer from people across the country.”

“An hour before the restart of the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race last month — a critical pre-Iditarod tuneup — mushers were tramping around the frozen surface of Lake Louise, sorting through their gear, cooking food, checking feet.

Buser was talking faxes.

‘Did the Alaska magazine people ever get back to us?’ he asked Kathy [Buser], as he loaded his gear into his royal blue sled bag. He’d been planning to run an ad in the magazine’s Iditarod issue to thank his sponsors.

‘That’s the only unfinished business at this point,’ she told him, promising to contact the magazine again when she got home.”

– Peter S. Goodman, Anchorage Daily News, February 22, 1995

Buser promotes himself in DVD:

“For the Love of Dogs DVD/Martin Buser: Documenting Martin’s relationship with his dogs and the Iditarod. For the Love of Dogs takes you from the puppy pens at the famed Happy Trails Kennels to the renowned Iditarod sled dog race finish line, in Nome. If you love dogs, you’ll love this film. An hour of fun for the whole family.”

Priced at $24.95 on; $40.00 when bought from the Iditarod.

–, 2010;, 2010

Lance Mackey markets himself

– Lance Mackey markets himself as guest speaker:

“Speaking Fee Range: $500-$1,500 per day

Transprortation Expenses In addition to the speaking fee all transportation expenses to and from events must be paid by you.

Lance is also available for appearances for grand openings, autographing & promotions.

Fees vary depending on the amount of time, distance of travel, demand and schedule.”

– Lance Mackey’s website

– Lance Mackey promotes himself in his book:

How My Obsession with Dog Mushing Saved My Life By Lance Mackey; Foreword by Joe Runyan; Edited by Tricia Brown Illustrated by Jon Van Zyle. $24.95.”

– Lance Mackey’s website

– Mackey promotes himself in his DVD:

“Appetite and Attitude: A Conversation with Lance Mackey, $25.00”


Lance Mackey promotes himself as someone who listens to his team:

“I always go by what the dogs tell me they are capable of doing.”

– Lance Mackey talking about his dogs after the 2009 Iditarod
– Kevin Wells, KTUU-TV,, March 18, 2009

Does Mackey go by what his dogs are capable of doing?

– Mackey admits he makes demands on his dogs:

“I think this team is capable of just about anything I ask it to do.”

– Lance Mackey talking to KTUU-TV interviewer at Eagle Island checkpoint
– KTUU-TV,, March, 2009

– Mackey wakes up his sleeping dogs:

“Off the straw, come on, come on. Wake up, wake up”

– Lance Mackey talking to his dogs at White Mountain checkpoint
– KTUU-TV,, March, 2009

Disney paid Dick Mackey for work on movie White Fang

“A company that specialized in finding film locations contacted the Iditarod Trail Committee and, in early 1990, I got a call asking would I be interested in providing dogs and being a technical advisor for the movie.”

“Things became more interesting as my role increased.”

“Now I was a stunt man!”

“…I had to join the guild [Screen Actor’s Guild]. Disney paid my dues. It wasn’t until eleven-thirty the night before the scheduled shoot that I was given a contract to sign. It was my fourth contract for White Fang.”

“Darned if this scene didn’t get cut from the finished picture.”

“I get residuals every time White Fang shows on TV. They are down to something like $100 a month, but they keep coming. They’re in addition to the $75,000 I made for six weeks of work.”

– Mackey, Dick. One Second to Glory, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2001.

Did Disney pay Butcher and Monson for advice?

Disney’s movie Eight Below names Iditarod mushers Susan Butcher and Dave Monson as advisors in the credits shown at the end. Were they paid for their advice?

Mushers profit from being in print advertisements

The Anchorage Daily News publishes an Iditarod section. In the 2006 section, Jeff King was featured in Cabela’s one-page ad. Martin Buser was featured in MTA’s half-page ad.

– Iditarod 34, Anchorage Daily News, February 26, 2006

Iditarod Trail Committee's history as a nonprofit

Charity Navigator gave Iditarod Trail Committee ZERO Stars

The Iditarod Trail Committee is incorporated as an nonprofit. It administers and promotes the Iditarod dog sled race. Charity Navigator gave the Iditarod Trail Committee one star out of four.

Charity Navigator’s Financial Performance Metrics about the Iditarod:

“Program expenses – 49.1 percent
Administrative – 18 percent
Fundraising – 32.8 percent”

– Charity Navigator website, 2014

BLOATED: Iditarod executive’s salaries and phone charges

— IRS filing for 2004 shows top execs making almost a quarter-million dollars:

“The Daily News reported that the Iditarod is losing so much money that it needs to borrow about a half-million dollars to make ends meet (“Iditarod scrambles to recoup its losses,” Nov. 29). I draw your attention to the organization’s 990 filing with the IRS for tax year 2004 — a public document showing income, expenses and salaries of employees compensated more than $50,000.

The Iditarod’s top two executives made almost a quarter-million dollars in compensation combined. The development director, Greg Bill ($117,837), and executive director, Stan Hooley ($118,422), each earned more than double the salary of Joanne Potts ($56,275), the race director. Similarly sized nonprofit organizations do not have such a pay disparity between program staff and executives. Program staff are the people on the ground doing the legwork of the organization — running the race.

Bringing the two high salaries down to a more reasonable level, say, $80,000, would have saved the organization $76,259, more than enough to cover losses in unsold raffle tickets. I have a hard time sympathizing with Mr. Hooley’s organization when he is paid so lavishly.

Next time you report on the woes of a nonprofit organization, I encourage you to look into executive pay. May I also mention that the Iditarod spent a bloated $197,437 on “telephone.”

– Britt Constantine, letter to the editor, Anchorage Daily News, December 7, 2006
– Ms. Constantine lives in Anchorage.

Salaries of top Iditarod executives increase in fiscal year ending June 2010:

Compensation paid to Executive Director Stan Hooley: $124,532

Compensation paid to Development Director Greg Bill: $156,426

– Charity Navigator, website, 2012

Profit from Iditaread program

Musher Kevin Morelock charges $385:

“This exclusive Team Michigan Iditaread program offers:

– One to one correspondence with Kevin Morlock…
– Personal access to training updates, qualifying races…
– After the race a school assembly lead by Kevin Morlock and his team as they come to your school and present the complete Iditarod experience to the students.
– Cross Curriculum ideas and resources for the and school…”

“Please send the registration from below along with a check for $385 to…”

– Kevin Morlock’s website, December 19, 2006

Mushers profit from giving sled dog shows

Mitch Seavey and sons run Wildride Sled Dog Show:

“The Seaveys, one of Alaska’s dog racing families, have created a live show in downtown Anchorage next to the railroad tracks to entertain and educate tourists about sled dog racing.

The show — which is still evolving — was envisioned by Mitch Seavey, the 2004 winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. His sons are in charge of running the show, which is packed with goofy incidents, mock races around a small track and lively tales about the origins of the race.”

“Their Wildride Sled Dog Show started up May 26. Every day since, it has changed a little bit — sometimes by accident. “We’re hoping by the end of the summer to have a killer show,” said Danny Seavey, 25, who runs the business operation.”

– Elizabeth Blumink, Anchorage Daily News, June 2, 2007

Wildride Sled Dog Show prices:

Adult: $24.00

Child: $12.00

– Seavey’s website, June, 2007

– Sled dog show and dinner in Anchorage

“Experience all 1,049 miles of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in one action-packed, laugh-out-loud, dog-powered performance in downtown Anchorage! Unlike anything else you will see in Alaska, this show offers 50 minutes of non-stop dog action going through all aspects of dog mushing.”

“Join us for the dinner show and get even more. Eat dinner with Dallas Seavey, the youngest musher to ever run the Iditarod.”

Adult: $19.00 matinee, $24.00 evening, $55.00 dinner show
Child: $9.50 matinee, $12.00 evening, $27.00 dinner show (ages 2-11)

– Seavey’s website, 2010

Mary Shields gives sled dog demonstrations:

“[Mary] Shields, originally from a suburb of Milwaukee, Wis., is an author who gives sled-dog demonstrations on the banks of the Tanana River each summer of passengers from the sternwheeler Discovery.”

– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Classics: Tales of the Trail Told by the Men & Women Who Race Across Alaska, Seattle: Epicenter Press, 1992

DeeDee Jonrowe markets herself


– DeeDee Jonrowe’s website

Jon Van Zyle, official Iditarod artist, advertises his Iditarod items

Jon Van Zyle advertises his prints, posters and book:

“Get your 2008 Iditarod prints and posters—available here first—coming in December 2007. A souvenir of Jon’s many, many years of Iditarod art can be found in the book, IDITAROD MEMORIES on our bookshelf page.”

Jon Van Zyle advertises his Iditarod kit for teachers:

“Iditarod classroom kits for grades 3-4-5: Classroom Kit #1 Price $99; Classroom Kit #2 Price $149”

– Jon Van Zyle’s website, 2007

Mushers profit from selling merchandise

Examples of the items mushers sell:

Jeff King–

Adult T-Shirt – $15.00
Hooded Sweatshirt – $40.00
Long Sleeve Adult T-Shirt – $25

– Jeff King’s website, January, 2008

Martin Buser–

Adult short sleeve tee – $20
Adult long sleeve tee – $25
Record Run Sweatshirt: $25

– Martin Buser’s website, January 2008

Lance Mackey–

Lance Mackey print – $58
Long Sleeve Dark T-Shirt – $31.19
Mackey 3.5 Button “Dreams do come true” (100 pack) – $181.99
Mackey Throw Pillow -$20.79
Mackey Messenger Bag – $24.69

– Link on Lance Mackey’s website, January, 2008

Video: Appetite and Attitude, a Conversation with Lance Mackey, $20.00 plus shipping and handling

– Lance Mackey’s website, March 17, 2008

DeeDee Jonrowe–

Autographed print of Jonrowe – $9.95

– Jonrowe’s website, January, 2008

Ramy Brooks–

T-Shirt “Top 10 Things NOT to do on the trail to Nome” $18 ($20 for XXL)

– Ramy Brooks’ website, January, 2008

Karen Ramstead–

Got Gas? Classic Thong – $9.99
You want me to pull what? Boxer Shorts – $19.49
Winter Chick Snowflakes Woman’s Hoodie – $43.19

– Link on Karen Ramstead’s website, January, 2008

Iditarod profits from its auctions

Ultimate Iditarider:

“The Ultimate IditaRider experience includes: *A ride in the musher’s sled at the start of the race with the ***musher of your choice *3 night’s stay at the Millennium Hotel *2 tickets for the Musher Drawing Banquet *The opportunity to cut the ribbon at the start of the Iditarod *VIP Pass (for 2) to be in the chute and experience the race up close and personal *A special IditaRider Gift Package which also includes 2015 Race DVD mailed to you in the spring after the race and 2015 Insider Video and GPS Package. *A round trip flight ticket for two to Rainy Pass where you’ll stay for at least two nights. (Sunday, March 8, Monday, March 9.) You’ll stay at the Rainy Pass Lodge where you’ll enjoy delicious meals, comfortable lodging, and have the opportunity to be the Official Checker for the first 10 mushers to arrive at the checkpoint. ***Musher of your choice: Choose any musher from the list of available mushers.”

– Iditarod website

According to the Iditarod, the winning bid for the 2015 Iditarod was $25,000.

2010 IditaRider Musher Auction:

“On November 1st 2009 The Iditarod Trail Committee will launch its 2010 Idita-Rider Auction on Winning Idita-Riders have the opportunity to enjoy the first leg of IDITAROD XXXVIII (approximately 11 miles) from one of the very best vantage points in the race; right behind a team of Iditarod canine athletes!

This year’s auction will include the Iditarod’s exclusive Ultimate Adventure package for $15,000. The package features a sled of choice and an overnight at Rainy Pass Lodge to watch the front runners come through Rainy Pass Checkpoint in the heart of the Alaska Range.

Minimum bids start at $500 but you can guarantee your sled of choice by bidding $7,500. The closing date for the 2010 Idita-Rider Auction is January 22, 2010.”

– Iditarod press release, Iditarod website

2010 Race Bib Auction:


Time to bid on a piece of the Race.

A 2010 musher autographed race bib worn from the Iditarod Start Line.

Musher’s number matches the bib number.”

– Iditarod website

Iditarod decides to hold monthly auctions:

“New Auctions Monthly – See what exciting things are up for bid today!”


– Iditarod website, March 30, 2009

DeeDee Jonrowe works for Martin Buser

“I [DeeDee Jonrowe] have been a fishing guide on the Talkeetna River and done other things in the summer for jobs, but I went to work doing tour groups with Martin Buser in 2013.” 
“Martin and his son Rohn and I do the presentations and Kathy, Martin’s wife, does all the scheduling.”

– Lew Freedman, Alaska Dispatch News,  March 1, 2015
– “This is excerpted from one chapter of Iditarod Adventures (2015, Alaska Northwest Books).”

Iditarod hired Gere Donovan advertising agency

“Gere Donovan Creative hired Lauren Agni as account executive. Agni was formerly marketing director at Carr Gottstein Properties. She will be handling accounts including the Iditarod Trail Committee, Katmai Government Services and Cook Inlet Housing Authority.”

Anchorage Daily News, March 6, 2008

Iditarod and mushers market their DVDs

“What they did is it make the DVDs available for the tourist season in Alaska during the summer instead of not being available until September. Traditionally, they’d always missed the tourist season and this is a big advantage to them so they saw an increase in sales because they produce the stuff quicker.”

– Dan Montgomery, President Image Products, interview video, Inside Indiana Business, website, March 2, 2008
– The Iditarod used the company’s software to help reduce editing time

Mushers and Iditarod profit from selling DVDs they’ve made:

Iditarod’s DVDs:

2006 Iditarod – $19.95
2007 Iditarod – $19.95
2008 Iditarod – $19.95
2009 Iditarod – $24.95
2010 Iditarod – $24.95
Iditarod History – $24.95

Musher DVDs:

Sven Haltmann: “See You In Nome! An Iditarod Rookie Journey,” price $20.00

Lance Mackey: “Appetite and Attitude” A Conversation with Lance Mackey,” price: $25.00

Martin Buser: “For the Love of Dogs,” prices: $40.00 on; $24.95 on

– Iditarod website, 2010;, 2010;, 2010

Veterinarians profit from doing research on Iditarod dogs

He [Dr. Michael Davis] is pursuing the research for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which gave him a $1.4 million grant in 2003 to study the physiology of fatigue resistance of sled dogs.

Dr. Davis, who is teaming with researchers at Texas A&M in a $300,000 Darpa grant, awarded last fall, has been traveling to Alaska for years to learn why the sled dogs are “fatigue-proof.”

– Douglas Robson, New York Times, May 6, 2008

[Dogs DO get tired racing in the Iditarod. They are NOT “fatigue-proof.”]

Iditarod charges for GPS tracking and Iditarod Insider

“The Iditarod contends being able to monitor this makes the race more interesting, but there is also a profit motive. Iditarod charges fans to download the GPS intel obtained from IonEarth tracking devices.”

“The race…collects $19.95 for each individual subscription, $39.95 for classrooms and $99.95 for schools.”

– Kevin Klott, Anchorage Daily News, March 14, 2009

“[Don] Patterson reported there were approximately 1,800 GPS Tracking only subscriptions and about 3,000 Insider subscriptions.”

– Don Patterson is the Iditarod’s Finance Director.
– Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors Meeting, Summary, April 24, 2009

“GPS Tracking – $19.95 individual subscription, $39.95 class subscription, $99.95 school subscription

Iditarod Insider – $19.95 individual subscription, $39.95 class subscription, $99.95 school subscription

Video + GPS – $33.95 for an individual subscription, $67.95 for a class subscription, $169.95 for a school subscription”

– Iditarod website

Iditarod asks people for $25,000 to do trail upkeep (Trail Sweep)

Riding behind all of the competition, the Trial Sweeps have three main tasks:

“• Pick up inorganic litter. (We don’t get it all but we try).
• Assist mushers who have decided that their race is over. If the end of their race comes between checkpoints, we move the dogs, drivers and gear to the closest checkpoint or the closest place a plane can land to fly them out.
• The Trail Sweeps also help break down remote checkpoints and have helped non- Iditarod travelers along the trail.”

“Experience the race first hand while driving a snowmachine and traveling with the Iditarod Trail Sweeps during the 2010 Iditarod. This unique fundraiser will be offered to 3 individuals willing to brave the elements of climate and trail conditions on the adventure of a lifetime.

During the race, Trail Sweep, a team of important race volunteers, play a major role in the upkeep of the Iditarod Trail.

Be a part of this team. This adventure sells for $25,000 per person and will provide 3 individuals with experiences that are priceless.”

– Iditarod website, December, 2009

Iditarod asks for coronavirus pandemic Emergency Relief money

The Iditarod isn’t having a coronovirus emergency! The Iditarod claimed it would bring in tourists for the March, 2021 race so it got $297,000:

“Iditarod COO Chas St. George and CEO Rob Urbach both spoke to the [Mat-Su Borough] Assembly to detail the need for Iditarod to receive relief funds.
‘If there’s no Iditarod, there’s a $7.6 million void of those revenues that ordinarily would flow into the Borough,’ said Urbach.

Joining Urbach and St. George were Iditarod veterans Martin Buser and Linwood Fiedler. Urbach said that he hoped Iditarod would take place next March so that Buser can continue his current streak of 34 consecutive Iditarod finishes.

‘This country is looking for sport and I think it will actually be a bigger event being able to pull off Iditarod this march than ever before because really the world is going to be looking at one of the very first sporting events that’s happening with covid so I think it will bring a lot of positive attention to our wonderful state,” said Fiedler.'”

” Amendment 2 provided $297,000 of relief funds to the Iditarod and passed unanimously.”

– Tim Rockey, Frontiersman, July 16, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the money is “emergency relief:”

“Senate leaders have unanimously passed a historic $2 trillion deal to provide economic relief for Americans, businesses and the health care industry in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.”

“‘This isn’t even a stimulus package,” he [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] said. ‘It is emergency relief. Emergency relief. That’s what this is.'”

– Barbara Sprunt, NPR, March 25, 2020

Musher profits from stud fees

Stud fees from $500 and up:

“This is the culmination of Doug Swingley’s work in the mushing world. Enjoy the efforts and work put into the creation and selective breeding program of this old Alasken husky gene pool. Stud fees from $500 and up.”

– Warren & Kate Palfrey’s Northern Star Kennels website, 2009

Musher profits from writing and taking photos for newspaper

“Even though there wasn’t much excitement in Alaska, I had a contract with the Seattle Times to write stories and take pictures. I thought, Boy, I’m in fat city.”

– Howard Farley, Iditarod musher
– Freedman, Lew. More Iditarod Classics: Tales of the Trail Told by the Men & Women Who Race Across Alaska, Kenmore: Epicenter Press, 2004

Iditarod Teacher on the Trail hopes to profit from pro-race stand

Herb Brambley Iditarod Teacher on the Trail in 2010:

“Cotton’s Tale: A True Iditarod Story by Herb Brambley combines text and photos to offer children a dog’s-eye-view of the longest dog sled race on earth.”

“In 2010, he was the Target® Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.”

“Review copies and interviews available.”

– Herb Brambley’s press release, MMD Newswire, October 29, 2010
– His paperback book sells for $12.50.

Musher profits from operating sled dog exhibit with gift shop

“[Dewey] Halverson, thirty-nine, operates a sled dog racing exhibit and gift shop near Denali National Park during the summer…”

– Freedman, Lew. Iditarod Classics: Tales of the Trail Told by the Men & Women Who Race Across Alaska, Seattle: Epicenter Press, 1992

State of Alaska gives Iditarod $100,000 - No strings attached


Baker reported that he’d been working in Juneau to get $1,000,000 from the State but was successful in getting $100,000, noting that that opens the door. It’s a start to build upon and said he wants to appoint a new committee with John Handeland in charge to do more lobbying. [Danny] Seybert asked to be part of that legislative committee. He noted that there are no strings on that $100,000.”

– Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc., board of directors meeting minutes, May 5, 2012, Iditarod website

Gary Paulsen talks about his Iditarod experiences and promotes his books. Photo attributed to Marcus Griep on flickr

Gary Paulsen talks about his Iditarod experiences and promotes his books. Photo attributed to Marcus Griep on flickr

Musher profits from boarding dogs

“The Shucks pay $300 a month to board several of their own sled dogs there [in Iditarod musher Jake Berkowitz’s dog yard].”

– Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, June 20, 2013