DPSAY Twister Race Rules

(as of December 7, 2011)


The DPSAY Twister Race Series is a series of monthly race events at various locations in the greater Whitehorse area. The intention of the race organizers is to provide an event for the local community, where dogs, mushers and skijorers can gain experience in a race situation and enjoy the sport of dog mushing.



1.         The entry fee for the DPSAY Twister Race Series will be as follows:

–           $10cdn for DPSAY Members/event

–           $15cdn for non-DPSAY Members/event

2.         Entries will not be accepted after 10:15am on the day of the event.

3.         Receipt of the entry fee will constitute the musher’s intent to enter the race and further acknowledge that the musher/driver agrees to comply with each and every rule as stated.

4.         The Musher/Driver must be 16 years old to enter a DPSAY Twister race (including             recreational class).

5.         Musher’s/Drivers must be 15 years old or younger to enter the kids race.

6.         DPSAY Twister Race organization reserves the right to reject any entry.

7.         The musher starting at the beginning of the race shall drive the team throughout the race.

8.         Attendance at the musher’s/drivers meeting is mandatory.

Temperature Cut-off

1.         If the air temperature is -30 degrees Celsius or colder the event will be canceled or postponed.

2.         The decision to postpone or cancel the event will be determined by the Race Marshal, Host and/or the DPSAY Twister race committee.



1.                     Team Sizes:

  • 4 – 8 dogs for the DPSAY Twister Sled Race
  • 1 – 4 dogs for the DPSAY Twister Skijor Race
  • 1 – 4 dogs for the Kids race (1 dog only for skijoring)
  • 1 – 2 dogs for the recreational class

If the trail conditions do not allow teams of this size for safety reasons the Race   Marshal and the DPSAY race committee can limit the team size to less dogs.

2.         All dogs shall be harnessed in single or double file.

3.         All dogs are expected to meet general standards of good health and the race committee may publish any other specific criteria in advance.

4.                     All dogs entered in the race should have current vaccinations for parvovirus, distemper and current rabies certificates; the musher/driver may be required to present these certificates to the RM or DPSAY Board Member(s).

5.         Any dogs that are not considered to be in good health or physically capable to run in one of the DPSAY Twister events may not run in a DPSAY Twister, this decision can only be made by the Race Marshal with the agreement of present DPSAY Board Members.

6.         The Race Marshal can also request to have a dog(s) or the entire team checked by a DPSAY approved Veterinarian.  Any cost associated to this will be paid by the Musher/Driver.

7.         Cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs by anyone is strictly prohibited and will be penalized by disqualification.

8.         Whips and jinglers are not allowed.

9.         All dogs that start a DPSAY Twister event must finish the event, dropping dogs is not allowed.

10.       A musher’s dogs that is injured or unable to continue the race must be hauled in a         humane manner in his own sled.

11.       A musher may not allow any of his/her dogs to be hauled by another team.

Expired dogs

The  death  of  any  dog may  result  in  the  disqualification  of  the  driver,  and/or  prohibition  from  entering future races.

1.         Any dog that expires on the trail for any reason must be taken to the finish line.

2.         Expired dogs must be completely covered when being carried on the sled. (Inside a closable sled bag is sufficient)

3.         Skijorer’s must retrieve expired dogs either by soliciting the help of a musher with a sled or by skiing to the finish line and requesting the help of a race official.  If a skijorer leaves a expired dog s/he must ensure that the            expired dog is moved off the trail and secured in a manner that will not interfere with other traffic on the trail.

4.         An expired dog will not be dragged to the finish line.

5.         An autopsy may be requested to be performed on expired dogs by the race marshal or the DPSAY board. All costs associate with a recovery or an autopsy will be at the expense of the Musher/Driver.

6.         The incident will not be discussed with the public or media until the Race Marshall gives an official release to the media and public.


1.         No injectable substances of any kind and no oral or topical drugs, which suppress the signs of illness or injury to the dogs, may be in the possession of the musher or used during the race.

2.         The use or possession of the following drugs is prohibited:

–  Analgesics (pain relievers), prescription or non-prescription

–  Anti-inflammatory drugs including corticosteroids, anti-prostaglandins, and salicylates. (The exception to this rule will be the use of topical corticosteroids for use only in topical foot ointments approved by the veterinary.)

–  Nervous system stimulants

–  Cough suppressants

–  Diuretics

–  Muscle relaxants

–  Antihistamines

–  Diet pills

–  Aspirin

3.                     It is the intent of this rule that no drugs or other artificial means be used to drive a dog beyond its natural ability. A musher must have his/her team free of any of these prohibited drugs at the time of the race. If, in the view of the Race Marshall it is necessary to use one of these drugs for the dog’s well being, that dog will be pulled from the race, including intravenous.

4.         Administration of any drugs other than those mentioned above shall be done only with prior knowledge and consent of the Race Marshal.


1.         Booties (1/dog foot, booties may be either on the dog or carried)

2.         Necklines (for each dog except single lead dogs)

Sleds:             – Working Brake

– 1 Snow hook

– A sled bag capable of safely restraining a struggling dog, and if necessary covering a severely injured or expired dog is required

Skijorers:        – A means of securing your dog team to a tree or other suitable object that can hold your dog team stationary. (if asked to, the skijorer must explain how their system works to the race marshal)


ON Trail

1.         Race Course:

All teams must follow the trail as marked or as instructed by the Race Marshal.

2.         Standard Race Courtesy and Passing:

Standard race courtesy shall prevail. An overtaken driver and team must relinquish the trail at the request of the overtaking driver, except within one (1) mile/1.6 kilometers of the finish line.

An overtaking skijorer is not allowed to use his/her ski poles while passing another team. The team beeing passed needs to slow down or stop completely to allow for quick and safe passing.

A team that has been passed needs to stay behind the passing team for at least 2 minutes before the musher/skijorer can make an attempt to re-overtake.

3.         Litter:

Litter of any kind may not be left along the trail.

Parking spaces must be cleaned up before the Musher/Driver’s dog truck/vehicle moves on. Failure to abide by this rule may result in disqualification and/or time penalty at the next DPSAY Twister event

4.         Unmanageable Team:

Outside assistance will be allowed only if a team is unmanageable.  Whether a team is unmanageable will be ruled upon by the Race Marshal in each separate instance.

5.         Team Configuration:

There will be no loose leaders; necklines are required on all dogs except single lead dogs. All team dogs will be either attached to the towline, no more than 2 dogs abreast, or hauled in the sled. Dogs may not be led behind the sled/skijorer.

6.         Lost Team:

A lost team will not be disqualified if the driver regains control of it, provided that the team and driver complete the entire race trail and comply with the rules. A driver may receive assistance from another driver in recovering his/her team. A driver may receive assistance from a motorized vehicle to regain control of a lost team as long as the driver and team return to the point at which the team was lost and continue the race from that point. The incident shall be reported at the finish line.


Scratch / Withdraw / Disqualification:

All decisions by the Race Marshal shall be final.

1.         Drivers wishing to end their participation in the race may do so by telling the race marshal.

2.         Drivers are responsible for making their own arrangements for retrieving personal gear.  Items remaining become the property of DPSAY.

3.         A team may be involuntarily withdrawn from the race by the Race Marshal. This decision would be made to protect the dogs, the driver, or the event itself, and does not imply deliberate misconduct or rule violation.

4.         Failure of  a  driver  to  comply  with  DPSAY Twister Race Series Rules will result in disqualification, or a time penalty. Disqualified drivers will forfeit all placements and monetary values.



  1. Subject  to checking of mandatory gear,  the  time of a  team’s official  finish  is when the nose of  the dog  in  lead crosses the finish line. Should any mandatory gear be missing, fifteen minutes per item will be added to the finish time.


  1. The purse for the sled and skijor category should consist of the money sponsored by the race day sponsor and will be paid out as followed:

1st Place $60

2nd Place $50

3rd Place $40

4th Place $30

5th Place $20

  1. The race organizers can change the purse and the breakdown for each place, but have to announce any changes before the race sign-up.
  2. There will be no price money for the recreational and the kids category.



The Code of the North dictates that all travelers be courteous, helpful, generous and honorable. Rude behavior or inappropriate actions by a driver or handler will result in a penalty.

Any competitor must be aware that all people—officials, volunteers, media, and fans—are equal  participants  in  this  event,  and  that  it  is  the  driver’s  responsibility  to  define  the  upper  limits  of  human performance. A true Sportsman is an inspiration to all witnesses.