Jocelyn Bradbury of Oxford leans into her sled  as her team pulls her over the final stretch to victory in February 2019 during races in the Sandy River Farms cornfields in Farmington. This year’s race is set for Feb. 25 and 26 at the farm on Farmington Falls Road. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

FARMINGTON — The Maine State Championship Races are planned for the cornfields of Sandy River Farms on Feb. 25 and 26.

“We are expecting about 50 to 75 teams” of sled dogs, said Jake Turner, son of Mark and Joy Turner of Jay who have helped organize the event for years. “We are hoping for good weather, a good turnout,” Jake said.

The fields are on the Farmington Falls Road, which is Route 2.

“If we hang on to this snow, we can put the trail in,” Joy Turner said recently. “If we get freezing rain, maybe not. It is so unpredictable.”

Down East Sled Dog Club sponsored the races in the past, but has joined forces with the New England Dog Sled Club. In 2020 the race name was changed to Maine State Championship Races.

“There used to be four or five races in Maine, they were racing for points,” she said. “Farmington was one of the last races.”


She is working on sponsors for the race. “The economy is so hard right now,” she said. “We can’t compete with Canada that gets $5,000 in sponsorships.”

Mushers compete both days with their dogs’ combined speeds determining final placements. Skijoring events will be held first. “It is harder for them to ski on a mushy trail,” Jake Turner said. “They will have a flat, level surface to race on.”

Four dog teams will compete next, followed by the junior class. During a lunch break a 50-yard dash for kids takes place, followed by the six- and eight-dog teams.

Flyers with more details will be put in local businesses.

For more information or to sponsor the races call Joy Turner at 207-645-2864.

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