Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lance Mackey Hit by Snowmachine - Zorro seriously Injured

ADDENDUM II: This awesome professional photo is copyright, Theresa Daily.
Snowmachine injures dog in Mackey's Sweepstakes team - click and read
Note: In Alaska they call Snow Mobiles Snowmachines.

From the article: He was in third place in the Sweepstakes at around midnight Friday just 20 miles from the finish line when two snowmachines came up fast from behind.

"I was flashing them like mad with my headlamp," he said. "I was shining my headlamp right in his face, but they kept on coming at me. I jumped aside, and by 30 feet further up the trail, there was a snowmachine sitting on the middle of my sled."

The machine impaled the sled bag with its runners.

"Three or four dogs were sucked underneath and Zorro was trapped in the sled bag," Mackey said......

Mackey made a plea for race officials to keep snowmachines away from the trail at the end of the race, a growing safety issue.

"Running from Safety to Front Street is almost suicidal," Mackey said. "I almost got hit on the way into Nome during Iditarod and then was almost hit half an hour later."

Safety Roadhouse, about 22 miles east of Nome, operates as a bar during the race and attracts spectators on snowmachines. Mackey said he wanted to focus attention on trail safety.

The 9-year-old injured dog has been a star in the teams that won Alaska's two major long-distance races the last two years. Last year, Zorro became ill at White Mountain near the end of the Iditarod and did not get to finish the race.

Zorro is the kennel's stud dog. If he dies, Mackey said, his future in sled dog racing is uncertain.

"My team's future, my personal future, my career, my whole life is in question," he told Nome Police Department officer Byron Redburn, who took a report in cooperation with Alaska State Troopers, who have jurisdiction. Photos from Lance's Website. ADDENDUM II: First image is by Theresa Daily - and this very touching and adorable shot was taken by, Helen Hegener. Thanks to the folks at Comeback and Dew Claw Kennels for their use.

Lance and Zorro

My husband says conspiracy. I say drunken idiocy. Either way, what a bummer.

Update from Mackey's Website: ...Many of you are aware that Lance Mackey's dog "Zorro" was injured during the 2008 All Alaska Sweepstakes when a snow machine collided with his team. Zorro was in the sled bag when the machine struck his sled. Zorro sustained 3 broken ribs, some internal bleeding, and spinal injuries.... Complete update on his website, there is also an active link to donate towards Zorro's medical costs; which are over $3700 at this point! They are hoping it is just spinal swelling that is causing the issues with his legs...

ADDENDUM II: From Jodi Bailey, Dew Claw Kennel, on behalf of Lance;

If people would like to
they can
donate to the Zorro Fund at


Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Drunk idiots on snowmachines abound in Alaska. A friend of mine died that way years ago (he was a drunk idiot on a snowmachine). I hope the morons who did this get some serious jail time, but I doubt it.

Very sad about zorro, bummer

redstarcafe said...

The good news is that Zorro's MRI went well and he is slated, knock wood, to go home on Friday, to a well-deserved retirement as one of Lance's "kids".

The snowmobiler did come forward last Sunday and Lance hopes he will make some reparations. The guy was "devastated" but you have to wonder if he would have been as devastated if he hadn't hit a champion dog and almost hit an Iditarod winner.

jojo roxx said...

Great update! Thanks Redstar. And a super howdy to ADDU; welcome!

Juliette said...

So glad Zorro is recovering - he looks like a beautiful dog.

eDog said...

Zorro looks a lovely dog - what a shame. Driver should be punished like any other drink drive incident.

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Dougie said...

Agree with above - drunk driving anywhere is unforgiveable.

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Sara said...

What a gorgeous dog Zorro is and how irresponsible of those people. Hope Zorro enjoying his well-deserved retirement. Great blog.

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Jamie said...

I know it's a dangerous sport but drunken people deserve punishing. Hope Zorro dog doing well. Great articles thanks.

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Julie said...

I never knew this sport was so dangerous, poor dog. Man responsible should be banned from driving anything.

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Dog lover said...

I am keen on watching the forthcoming iditarod but I had no idea how dangerous this is. Zorro looks absolutely gorgeous, please update info on him soon.

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Juliette said...

I have been following this blog for almost 11 months now, with interest and great awe at the race. I have never got the impression from any of the blog posts on this site (by Jojo rox) that there is anything cruel to dogs going on ( you even encourage people to adopt dogs from shelters). However something has really upset and riled me today (link below) and I would really welcome your comments on this. I appreciate you may be busy now! Thank you

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Sara said...

Heard Lance Mackey came 15th this 2011 event, please update. Hope no accidents this year with snow mobiles.

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