from the Author
An Owner's Guide
Reading the book, observing as the dogs
are started, tested, conditioned, then chosen for the racing string becomes a fascinating
story. Interspersed with the day-to-day runs are gems of wisdom for every person
who presumes to drive a team of dogs.
One of my favorite passages came in the Fall of 1978. Doc Lombard
was a well-known champion, but his competition in an informal dirt race held in New
Hampshire in mid-October was marred by some problems in meeting and passing head-on.
"Doc got right to work.
The next training days
are marked by an evaluation of each dog's
particular problem with passing."
Doc got right to work. The next training days are marked by an
evaluation of each dogs particular problem with passing. The journals contain notes
on Rolands approach to correction. The normal training routine was interspersed with
comments like the following:
- Two teams of sixteen dogs run for eight miles with Louise and
Bill walking dogs (means that walkers had dogs on leashes as the teams passed).
- Staked two dogs in separate places in middle of trail and drove
all past in harness on foot (Roland walked beside the team so he could immediately make
- Trained four teams with Toyota (gangline was hitched to car
bumper) on the Pump House Loop (trail) with one dog chained to a tree, four dogs on a
picket line and three dogs on the side of truck.
|The next gig race came just a month after the one
marked by passing troubles. This time Doc Lombard noted in his journal, Passing very
The following week, Doc and Louise ran
their own trials and gave scores to each team dog in order to evaluate
eligibility for the coming seasons race line-up.
Problems with passing solved, the Lombards now were able to change
their training focus to the speed of the potential front-enders.
Roland with Chuck, 1958
As you read this book, you will become familiar with the qualities
that made Lombard so great. In evaluating his dogs as candidates for his 1967 racing
string, Doc says, Several puzzling dogs for one reason or another. Not content
with analyzing every bit of the outside of his dogs, Lombard worked hard to
understand the inside. He wanted to get into the head of each dog to see the
WHY of the dogs performance.
When Dr. Lombard writes about sled dogs, the words come
from a master of his subject. I tried to sum up that quality in the following passage from
"Roland Lombard was that rare entity, a master of masters at
he did who was also mentally and near telepathically in tune with his
team. He loved and understood his dogs. They loved and understood
Lombard. Lombards labor made a science of sled dog racing but in
his talented hands sled dog racing became an art."
Like the words from any master of an art, Roland Lombards
words about training and racing will surely become a classic in the years to come.
Author Nancy Cowan has been
writing about aspects of sled dog history -- especially in her home region of New England
-- for some 20 years now, this being her fifth sled dog book. In that process, she has
made available to dog lovers and mushers a wealth of resources hidden away in boxes of
photographs or diaries or, in this case, the training journals of one of the 20th
century's most famous mushers, Doc Lombard, and his wife Weezie.
We were delighted to have her write this
short article for The Racing Siberian Husky Online as the Lombards owned and raced Alaskan
Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and then Alaskan Huskies. Note:
the photo above, from the book by permission of the author, is of Doc Lombard with Chuck,
one of his Siberian Huskies.
Click here for our
of this sled dog book!
Available NOW - order online or from the
The Training and Racing Journals
of Roland and Louise Lombard
|In 1990, the sled dog world said good-bye to one of its all-time
greats, Dr. Roland Lombard. He was well known for his championships (8
World Championships, 6 NACs, 7 at Tok, 3 years holding Alaskas dual-championship
title), as a founder of ISDRA and SEPP, past president of NESDC. He bred and
raced some of the fastest Siberian Huskies to set foot on snow, and initiated the spread
of Alaskan Huskies beyond the Alaskan racing trails.
the championship exterior was a man of sweetness and good humor, combined with a
tremendous love for his dogs and a steely will to win. The book is comprised
mainly of diary-like entries from the training and racing journals written by Roland and
by Louise, his wife and his team handler on most occasions. It is the first
definitive work on this internationally admired sprint racer and on the sports most
Journal entries begin in 1945 and continue through 1989.
Also included are highlights from seven years of letters written by Doc. Including
training tips, Docs lists to himself for things to do and to
pack, detailed hitch diagrams, weight charts and more, the book covers championship
sprint racing in a way in which it has never before been seen.
Book available online at SledDogCentral.com
Click below to order
and Racing Journals
of Roland and Louise Lombard
Book also available
directly from the author
at $50 to addresses within the USA,
including shipping & handling,
with payment via check, money order or PayPal.
183 Deering Center Road
Deering, New Hampshire 03244 USA
Prices are higher to locations outside
and also include shipping & handling.
For details on these prices, contact Nancy Cowan at
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