Race officials investigating abuse incident

Musher caught on tape kicking and beating dog during Copper Basin 300

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2000

GLENNALLEN - A video taken during the running of the Copper Basin 300 shows a musher kicking and beating a dog, a race official said Friday.

The video is being enhanced in an effort to identify the musher. It also is being compared to film taken of each team and musher that began the race in hopes of finding a match.

Race marshal Jon Van Zyle said once an identification is made, the musher will be fined at least $1,000 and banned for life from the Copper Basin 300. Zyle said a letter also will be sent to every race organization in the United States and England to ``tell them what happened here.''

It was expected to take several days to enhance the video.

This year's race with a $25,000 purse was won by Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof. Jessie Royer of Fairbanks finished second and Hans Gatt of Atlin, British Columbia, was third. Jon Little, Thomas Tetz, John Barron, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Cim Smyth, Doug Grilliot and Brian MacDougall rounded out the top 10.

The announcement of this year's winners was delayed a day while race officials assessed penalties. Zyle said almost everyone in the race was in trouble for doing something wrong. He said much of the problem had to do with litter left in checkpoints and along the trail.

Last year's race had its problems, too. Winner Martin Buser of Big Lake was penalized for leaving a litter of dog dishes and booties in the second-to-last checkpoint. Second-place finisher Linwood Fiedler of Willow was penalized for failing to wear a bib into a checkpoint.

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