The Iditarod's board of directors has given one of its mushers a two-year ban for spanking his dogs multiple times. The board should have given itself a two-year ban as well because they are just as guilty of the violation.
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The board did not take the direct action of spanking the dog team, but it set up the conditions for the event to occur. The board did this by refusing to throttle back the race's speed by not putting in the badly needed equal-run, equal-rest recommendations.
There is enormous pressure for these mushers to perform the best they can. The results of this are that to be competitive mushers now run their dog teams day and night, around the clock. The musher who gives his or her dog teams equal run, equal rest are behind the front of the pack. Most of them cannot afford to keep racing for more than a few years.
This musher did not do anything differently than all the other top mushers. What happened is this musher got caught. With equal run, equal rest, rested dogs will be able to keep running, and rested mushers' brains will not be stuck on stupid.
Four-time Iditarod finisher
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