Races Rules



FEBRUARY 24-25, 2018




1.    Event                                                                                Entry Fee             Late Entry (after 2/16)

1 dog skijor (2.5 miles per day)                                        $30                          $35

2 dog skijor (5.5 miles per day)                                        $35                         $40

1 dog bikejor (2.5 miles per day)                                      $30                         $35

2 dog bikejor (5.5 miles per day)                                     $35                         $40

2 dog junior class (2.5 miles per day)                            FREE                     FREE

4 dog class (5.5 miles per day) adult and junior        $35                          $40

6 dog class (18 miles per day)                                         $75                          $80

8 dog class (38 miles per day)                                         $85                          $90

12 dog class (38 miles per day)                                       $95                          $100       


DEADLINE for regular entry is 2/16/2018. Late entries will be accepted until the day of the race, provided the musher pre-register by calling Brett at (406) 239-0858 and stating his/her intentions to run the race.

2.     Receipt of the entry fee will constitute the musher’s intent to enter the race and further acknowledges that the musher agrees to comply with every rule as stated.



1.     A musher must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to enter. However, an experienced musher under 18 years of age wishing to enter the race must supply additional information (SEE UNDER 18 ADDENDUM TO THE RULES).

2.     The musher beginning the race must drive the team throughout the race. There will be one musher per team.

3.     The Flathead Classic Sled Dog Race Committee (Race Committee) reserves the right to reject an entry.

4.     Conviction for any offense pertaining to the inhumane treatment of animals or a prior documented instance of unacceptable treatment of animals in this or other events could, at the discretion of the Race Committee, disqualify a musher from entering this race.



1.     All registered mushers must attend the mandatory mushers meeting. Roll call will be taken at the start of the meeting. Late mushers may be penalized at the Race Marshall’s discretion.

2.     Only mushers will participate in the rules discussion.



1.     The starting positions for Saturday’s leg shall be determined at the mushers meeting.

2.     The start order for Sunday’s leg shall be determined by Saturday’s times with the last place team leaving first and the first place team leaving last.



1.     In the 12 dog, 76 mile race, teams must start with 9-12 dogs, and finish with at least 8 dogs in the team. Teams entered in the 8 dog, 76 mile race must start with 7-8 dogs and finish with at least 6 dogs. Teams in the 6 dog, 36 mile race must start with 5-6 dogs, and finish with at least 4 dogs. Teams entered in the 4 dog, 11 mile race must start with 2-4 dogs and finish with at least 2 dogs.

2.     Any dogs not qualifying for a certificate of good health may not run in the race.

3.     All dogs entered in the race must have current parvo, rabies, and distemper vaccinations. All vaccinations for each entered dog must be current and administered prior to February 9, 2018.

4.     The dogs paperwork for each dog equals the entered team. No dogs may be added to a team after the driver's meeting.

6.     Any dog dropped by the musher or any disqualified team disqualified may not compete in the remainder of the race.

7.     It is the musher’s responsibility to ensure that all dogs in his/her team are healthy and conditioned adequately to complete the race.



1.     No dog, equipment or clothing shall be brought from a kennel where rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, or other contagious diseases exist.

2.     If a Race Veterinarian diagnoses any dog present in the race area to have a contagious disease, that team will be disqualified and must immediately leave the race area.



The intent of the rules concerning the use of drugs, injectable vitamins, and/or nutrients in racing sled dogs is to insure that all competing dogs are racing in a state of acceptable normal health, with natural ability. This is to insure the safety, health, and well being of the dogs.

1.     Allowable drugs that may be administered by the driver:

a. Topical Drugs. Preparations containing antibiotics, antibacterials, antiseptics, and/or germicidals, i.e., Furacin, triple antibiotic ointment, povidine (betadine) ointment, may be used externally on the foot pads and/or in the web of the foot. Topical drugs allowed under wrist wraps include Furacin ointment and Algyval liniment. The use of all topicals should be judicious and used in combination with boots/wraps where appropriate, excess amounts may be licked off, swallowed, and then be absorbed in the general body circulation. DMSO in any form or combination is prohibited. Topical ointments that don’t contain anti-inflammatory drugs are permitted. All topical preparations need to be in original containers with original labels.

b. Anti-Diarrheals. Drugs not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, such as kaolin, bismuth compounds and pectin (Kaopectate), may be used to control diarrhea and vomiting. These may be combined with systemic absorbable drugs, if prescribed by an official race veterinarian).

2.     Allowable drugs that may be administered by a race veterinarian only or by the driver under the authority of a race veterinarian (by prescription only):

a. Antibiotics. The use of oral or injectable antibiotics is allowed if prescribed by an official race veterinarian. This is for the benefit of the dog, to allow continuance in the race where it will not mask a condition which could cause harm to the dog.

b. Anti-Diarrheals. Systemic absorbable drugs may be used if prescribed by a race veterinarian.

c. Topical ointments which contain steroids.

3.     Prohibited Drugs.

All DEA listed stimulants and depressants, analgesics, prescriptive and nonprescriptive, anti-inflammatory drugs, including but not limited to corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-prostagladins and aspirin or any of its salts or derivatives (e.g. salicylates), anti-anxiety drugs, anabolic steroids, or antihistamines. Any state or federally-restricted substance or any substance that would artificially enhance the performance of the dog is strictly prohibited. Exceptions: Estrual suppressant drugs such as Cheque may be used in appropriate doses to suppress heat cycles in female dogs and anti-inflammatory drugs used topically in foot ointments.

4.     Other.

Vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, probiotics and dietary supplements are considered foods and are allowed only if administered orally. Race veterinarians shall have the authority to collect random blood and/or urine samples for analysis from any entered dog any time during the race, commencing at the driver's meeting and ending 2 hours after each team’s official finish, or in the event the team does not reach the finish, ending 2 hours after the team’s official withdrawal from competition. Mushers must assist the race veterinarian in collection of these samples whenever the request is made. If, during the race, it is deemed necessary by the race veterinarian to use a prohibited substance to protect the dog’s health and well-being, that dog will be dropped from the race. If, during the time period for which restrictions are stipulated, any competing musher or team is guilty of violating the banned substance rules, that team will be immediately disqualified from the race and will automatically and irrevocably forfeit all prizes, money, entry fees, titles, recognition and/or other considerations awarded that team.



1.     All harnesses shall have padded neck and chest areas.

2.     All dogs shall be harnessed in single or double file.

3.     All teams must possess functional necklines. Necklines are not mandatory, however mushers are required to maintain control of their team so as not to interfere with passing teams. If appropriate control is not maintained, the musher in question will be required to use necklines in order to continue with the race.

4.     If a cable or cable-core gangline is used, a cable cutter must be carried in a readily accessible place. If a rope gangline is used, a knife must be carried in an accessible place.

4a. All teams entered in the 8 dog and 12 dog classes are required to use cable gang lines and mushers will be required to carry a cable cutter.

5.     A snub line will be carried on the sled but shall not be used in any manner that would constitute abuse of the dogs or interfere with the progress of another team.

6.     Some type of sled shall be drawn.

7.     A sled shall have an adequate brake, brush bow, snowhook and snub line.

8.     A sled/dog bag capable of safely restraining a struggling or injured dog and all mandatory gear is required.

9.     Any driver who uses ski poles must stop poling and place the poles in or on the sled whenever his/her team is within 100 feet of another team or whenever an approaching driver calls “trail.” Failure to do so may result in a penalty at the discretion of the race marshall.


MANDATORY GEAR IN SLED, ON DOGS OR ON MUSHER for 76 mile 8 & 12 dog classes

1.     a) Set of booties (4) for each dog either on the sled or on the dogs (weather dependent)

b) Race bib, if applicable

c) Snow hook

d) Sled/Dog bag

e) drag mat/brake system

f) Arctic parka or acceptable winter trail clothing

g) Headlamp capable of seeing entire team

h) Matches or fire starting equipment

i) Sleeping Bag

j) Saw or Axe capable of cutting/clearing downed trees/obstructions in trail

k) One day’s rations for musher and competing team

l) Any promotional material provided by the race, i.e. sled banner

2.     All mandatory gear must be present on the sled, on the dogs or on the musher at all times.



1.     The Race Marshall has the final word over all safety considerations for both dogs and mushers. He/she has authority to interpret rules at the mushers meeting, alter the time and location of the start, alter the race route, alter a participant's official running time, levy monetary penalties, disqualify dogs, teams and mushers, refer questions to the Rules Interpretation Committee, stop the race, order drug testing, and determine winners and subsequent placing. The Race Committee will supply any information required by the Race Marshal for the purpose of providing the best possible decision. The Race Marshall may have one or more assistants.

2.     The Rules Interpretation Committee is a three person committee available for consultation with a Race Marshal prior to, during and following the race. Once called together by the Race Marshal on a specific issue, its decision becomes the final word on that issue. The Rules Interpretation Committee will consist of a Race Marshall, Race Coordinator and the head Race Veterinarian.

3.     The Race Veterinarians are consulting specialists for the race. They will be available throughout the race for consultations, first aid and major medical situations. Their recommendations to disallow an entry, remove a dog or team from the race or delay a team at the checkpoint will go directly to the Race Marshall, who will then make the final decision.



The Trail Boss is responsible for laying out the trail, scheduling maintenance of the trail and making trail breaking decisions.

The Start/Finish Coordinators, Timers and Checkpoint Coordinators each have immediate authority in their areas and will act as consultants to the Race Marshall, who ultimately has the final word.



1.     Mushers shall be responsible for the conduct of their dogs and crew at any race function, on the trail and at the race staging area.

2.     Common sense and good sportsmanship shall prevail. If the Race Marshall determines that the conduct of the musher or crew is detrimental to the sport or to the Flathead Classic sled dog race, the team may be disqualified. This includes negative comments made in the presence of the public or the media. It is expected that complaints or criticisms will be directed privately to race officials. In the event that agreement cannot be reached readily, a protest should be filed (see c(1-4) below).

3.     Willful failure to adhere to the published rules may result in disqualification.

4.     The penalties which may be assessed by the Race Marshal include disqualification, fines or time penalties and will depend on the nature and severity of the infraction. Disqualified mushers will forfeit all entry fees, awards, placements and participation in the purse. Time penalties will be added to finish time as appropriate and may affect the final place of the team. Fines will be paid before the awards ceremony or will result in a deduction from any purse monies or will be added to the entry fee for a subsequent year’s race.

5.     The use of illegal drugs and/or illegal substances as defined by state law or the excessive use of alcohol by mushers during the race is strictly prohibited. Mushers are subject to collection of urine until one hour after each team finishes.

6.     If a musher withdraws from the race before completing the entire course, he/she must return race property to a Race Marshall and check out with the Race Marshall before leaving the race site.



1.     Any musher wishing to register a protest must do so in writing no later than one hour following the protester's finish. Only mushers may register written protests and the protest must be accompanied by a $10.00 deposit.

2.     Protest fee refunds may be obtained at the Awards Ceremony providing written protests have been filled out as prescribed and upon presentation of receipt.

3.     Protests must be submitted directly to a Race Official (Race Marshall, Assistant Race Marshall, Veterinarian or Race Coordinator) and shall not be discussed with spectators, media representatives or the general public prior to a decision being handed down.

4.     An official decision will be made by the Rules Interpretation Committee following a hearing attended by all parties involved.




a) All mushers, handlers and team trucks must be in the official parking area at a specified time to be announced at the mushers meeting. At this time, each participant’s sled and mandatory equipment must be ready and available for inspection.



b) All mushers and dogs may be required to take part in ceremonial festivities and



a) Teams will start Saturday’s leg in 2 to 5 minute-minute intervals depending on class in the order determined at the musher meeting.

b) Teams will start Sunday’s leg in 2 to 5 minute intervals in the reverse order of Saturday’s finish times.



1.     The nose of the lead dog crossing the finish line signals a team’s official finish. In the event that the musher is not with the team when it finishes, the finish time will be officially recorded when the musher crosses the line after the team.

2.     Mushers must make a sincere effort to continue in the race in a timely manner or they will be disqualified. All teams in the 6, 8 & 12 dog class must finish within 4 hours of the fastest team in their class on Saturday in order to compete on Sunday. All teams in the skijoring, bikejoring, 2 & 4 dog classes must finish within 1 hour of the fastest team on Saturday in order to compete on Sunday.



1.     Absolutely no outside assistance on the trail.

2.     Mushers may assist each other in appropriate ways in an emergency. Good sportsmanship is encouraged.

3.     Race participants may not accept rides on any motorized vehicles unless an emergency exists. An emergency exists when the safety of the driver or dogs is in jeopardy, for example, a loose team or severely injured dog or driver.

4.     Pacing of any kind is strictly prohibited.

5.     The use of two-way radios or cell phones by mushers will not be permitted (unless there is an emergency).



1.     Cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs by any musher or his/her handlers is strictly prohibited. Cruel and inhumane treatment is any action or inaction which causes pain or suffering to a dog that could have been prevented.

2.     No whips of any kind shall be allowed.

3.     Expired Dogs

a. Any dog that expires on the trail for any reason must be taken to the finish.

b. Expired dogs must be completely covered when being carried on the sled. An autopsy may be performed on any expired dog by designated Race Veterinarians.

4.     Carrying Dogs

a. A musher may not allow any of his/her dogs to be carried by another team except in an emergency.

b. A musher's dogs carried in his/her own sled must be transported in a humane fashion.

5.     Loose Dogs

a. All dogs will be in the team, on the sled or appropriately restrained.

b. In the event that a dog becomes loose from its team, the musher may not leave the

staging area until the dog is recovered.

c. Good sportsmanship is encouraged between mushers in recovering a loose dog. If the dog cannot be recovered, the team will be disqualified.



1.     Planned assistance is acceptable in the race staging area only.

2.     Any veterinary expense incurred by a musher is his/her responsibility payable before leaving the Race.



Each musher and their handlers are responsible for having necessary food and water at the start, layover & finish.



1.     Flathead Classic Sled Dog Race is a guest on lands of the Stillwater State Forest, Flathead National Forest and private owners. In light of this fact, mushers will conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and will at no time demand “rights” to the trail.

2.     Passing:

a) When overtaking another team, the musher shall call “trail.” The overtaken team must relinquish the trail, must stop if asked and assist the passing when necessary.

b) When neither of two teams is able to pull away from the other, the mushers shall mutually decide on the appropriate team to lead out.

c) In a head-on passing situation, the homeward bound team has the right-of-way, and the outward bound team must relinquish the trail. The exception is when the outward bound team is moving downhill, then the outward bound team has the right-of-way.

3.     Lost Team:

a) In the case of a lost team, the team will not be disqualified if the musher regains control of the team, provided that the team and musher complete the entire race trail and comply with the rules.

b) All teams must follow the trail as marked. As long as the team and musher continue on the trail when separated, the musher may continue after regaining control.

c) Mushers may receive assistance from another musher in recovering their team.

d) Teams inadvertently leaving the course must regain the course where it was first deviated.


4.     Safety:

The Flathead Classic sled dog race official trail is part of a multi-use trail system. Be cautious when overtaking, encountering or being overtaken by snow machines or skiers.

5.     Stopping on the trail:

a) When stopped on the trail, adequate room must be allowed for teams to get past and assistance given, if necessary. Every effort should be made to get completely off the trail while stopped.

b)     If snacking, watering or feeding on the trail, the team must also be completely off the trail, if possible. The trail must be free of food or debris. Penalties may be imposed by the Race Marshal for not complying with this rule.

c)     Pack out all garbage, including runner plastic and dog booties, etc. removed by the musher. Littering is prohibited and will be penalized.

6.     Bibs: Numbered bibs must be worn at all times, if applicable.



1.     The race will continue under all but the most severe trail and weather conditions.

2.     Postponement or cancellation of the race will be made no less than five (5) days prior to the start of the race.

3.     In the event of questionable trail conditions, the Race Committee and Race Marshall will decide which portion(s) of trail will be altered.

4.     The Race Marshall is responsible for alteration of starting and/or finishing locations.



1.     It is the desire of the Race Committee that all mushers finishing the race be present at the awards ceremony. Absence may result in disqualification and/or forfeiture of winnings. Extenuating circumstances may be considered. The Race Committee encourages all non-finishing mushers to be present at the awards ceremony.

2.     Purse money will be awarded only to participants who are designated official top finishers. Official top finishers will share the total purse.



1.     Each musher is responsible for his/her own actions and the actions of his/her dogs and crew. The musher also agrees to release the sponsors, the Flathead Classic Sled Dog Race Committee and their agents, volunteers, and employees, from any claim or demand resulting from injury to the musher, his/her dogs, property or the property of his/her crew. The Flathead Classic Sled Dog Race Committee has full authority to photograph and collect information about the race and participants and to use such photographs and information for advertising, public relations or other publicity purposes.

2.     Each musher shall sign the entry form and all other documents requested by the Flathead Classic Sled Dog Race Committee to run the race. These documents will be executed at the mushers meeting or before the race. Any musher who does not sign these documents will not be allowed to participate in the race.