CARMACKS, Yukon Territory -- Peter Butteri of Tok held onto his lead in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race early today.
Butteri was the first musher to leave the Carmacks checkpoint for the 80-mile run to Braeburn. He left Carmacks at 7:47 a.m. Joran Freeman of Two Rivers followed him out of Carmacks at 9:35 a.m.
Canadian contender Hans Gatt pulled out of Carmacks at 10:17 a.m.
Twenty-eight mushers remain in the 1,000-mile race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse. Thirteen mushers have scratched, including Juneau's Deborah Bicknell early last week in Angel Creek.
Meanwhile, another dog has died on the Yukon Quest trail. Two Rivers musher Christopher Knott saw one of his dogs collapse on the way into Pelly Crossing.
Quest vets couldn't find an obvious cause for the death and they have sent the body to Fairbanks for a necropsy. It is the second dog death this race.
Colorado musher Bill Pinkham lost his dog, Friendly, Feb. 10 near Central when he lost control of his sled and it flipped over. The musher was able to right the sled, but two of his dogs were tangled up in the line. Pinkham freed one of the dogs, but the second one was hurt.
Pinkham tried to resuscitate the injured animal but after about five minutes realized it was dead.