FARMINGTON — Maine State Sled Dog Races will be held at Sandy River Farms’ cornfield beginning at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 and 17, weather permitting. Parking will be available in the field off Routes 2 and 27.

For years the sled dog races in Farmington have been organized by Mark and Joy Turner of Jay. Their son Jake Turner competes and his daughters Rylee, 10; Ava, 7; and Aspen, 4, will be competing too.

The Maine State Sled Dog Races will be held Feb. 16 and 17 at Sandy River Farms’ cornfields in Farmington. Races start at 9 a.m. Winners are determined by combined times from both days. Seen is a team competing in a prior year. (Franklin Journal file photo)

Turner said snow is predicted Wednesday with a mix of snow and rain on Saturday. She hopes it will stay cold enough for snow. Recent rain storms have made trails icy, hampering training.

Turner said the Maine State Sled Dog Race is the only sled dog race still held in Maine.

“There were five races in Maine at one time. Now the others are all in Canada,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun.”

The combined results from both days of racing determine the winners in each category. Categories include one- or two-dog skijor (for professionals), three-dog junior, four-dog, six-dog and eight-dog. On Saturday afternoon a recreational-skijor race will be held after those races are completed.

Another race scheduled for this weekend in Laconia, New Hampshire, was cancelled. Some mushers wanted to attend a big race also scheduled this weekend in Alaska. Some may be in Farmington.

Mark Turner has been preparing the trails that will be used for the races. A brook between the two cornfields will not be able to be crossed which will alter the route.

“We can’t build a bridge over the brook,” Joy said.

The Maine State Sled Dog Races will be held Feb. 16 and 17 at Sandy River Farms’ cornfields in Farmington. Races start at 9 a.m. Icy trail conditions have hampered training for local competitor Jake Turner of Jay, seen preparing for a prior race. (Franklin Journal file photo)

She said the races will have a new feature. Back 40 Events will provide music and time each race. Each team will have a computerized chip attached to it.

The Franklin County 4-H Beef Boosters Club will be selling food. Proceeds will go towards a trip to Kentucky this spring.

A bonfire will be available to help keep spectators warm between races. The front row of parking will be reserved for the elderly and handicapped to watch races from their vehicles.

The sled dog races are free but donations are accepted.

“People like to see us come back,” Joy said.

For event cancellation or more information call Joy Turner 645-2864, Mark Turner 578-1057 or Jake Turner 491-9165.

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