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International Dog Sled Race in Todtmoos

27. to 29. January 2017

Dog sledding in Todtmoos in the Black Forest


History of dog sledding in Todtmoos - over 30 years of the dog sledding sport in the Black Forest

History of dog sledding in Todtmoos - over 30 years of the dog sledding sport in the Black Forest

The dog sledding sport in Germany began on 3rd February 1973 in Bad Sooden-Allendorf. 16 mushers took part on this weekend, amusing and being mocked by a very small number of spectators. At this time no one expected what a popular sport this would become in the following years. And no one realised what an important role Todtmoos would play in the new sport.

The second race in 1974 in Bad Sooden-Allendorf also took part without foreign competitors, but this changed in 1975 as Todtmoos began a real town for action. In the first international race in 1975, 25 teams from Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands took part.

The dog sled races in Todtmoos were given a fixed slot in the calendar as the International German Championships. Every year, always on the last January weekend, this event took place. The number of participants increased every year. In 1976 there were 48 teams competing for the title.

In 1977 it was decided to stage the German Championship not only in one location, but to introduce a Cup Championship using a points system in three locations: Winterberg/Sauerland, Splügen/Switzerland and the last race in Todtmoos/Black Forest. By this time, there were 84 teams on the starting line, with some also competing from Denmark and the USA.

The dog sledding sport increased in popularity even more in 1978. Bad Wiessee was introduced as a new race location and teams from Austria, Finland and France took to the start line for the first time. 115 teams were present for the last race in Todtmoos and were cheered on by 13,000 spectators.

The heyday in the history of dog sled racing in Todtmoos was the European Championships on 23rd/24th February 1985 and the Dog Sled World Championships on 25th - 27th February 1994. During the World Championships in 1994, (the first to take place in Germany) there was a record number of spectators in Todtmoos, with 40,000 fans. The World Championships in 2003 was also a success: 329 mushers from 21 nations had a total of around 2,500 dogs pulling the sledges.

Even today the dog sledding sport has not lost its popularity, in fact it is the opposite. Every year hundreds of mushers with thousands of dogs come to Todtmoos, cheered on by many thousand spectators, in order to take part in the german championship “Schwarzwald-Cup”.

New traditions are also appearing: for those of you who are overwhelmed by the romantic Jack London atmosphere and all impressions, for those who would like to get to the start line, there is now a special musher course that can be booked through the tourist info center - GO!