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Running Sleddogs

Arctic dogsledding Polar Husky Mille Por

In a World of  dogs!

Join Mille Porsild in her world powered by dogs

The 2021 Iditarod Team

Iditarod 2022



Sponsored by
David and Marianne Solomon

OOKRUG is the Inupiaq (Alaskan Native) word for “bearded seal.” The largest Ice Seal in Alaska, this is the most important species of seal for coastal Alaskan villages because they provide large quantities of meat, oil, and skins for umiaks (skinboats) and boots. They are known to be exceptionally vocal. Fittingly, so is our Ookrug!

3 years old
Main lead dog and power house
Owner: Dean Osmar

Lineage: (Osmar) Rousey x Braeburn (Osmar)

He is... Crazy boisterous. Hard-core. Charming. Gifted.

His experience...  Born, raised and trained by iditarod Champion Dean Osmar, Ookrug started Iditarod 2020 on the team of Anna Berington. When she ended her race in Unalakleet to attend the funeral of her grandfather - Ookrug was in lead, roaring to go. That's Ookrug in three words: Roaring-To-Go! With a lot of weight punching behind each word...

Ookrug is a very large male and he knows how to throw around his weight, literally! This dog is nothing short of an explosion at time of take-off in training. The biggest challenge with him is to find another dog that can tolerate his behavior and not be utterly intimidated by him because he is so whacked whenever the sled is not in motion. "We have been working on finding a bit of a balance between crazy and still being a team-player" says Mille. "Ookrug is one of the most talented Alaskan Husky sled dogs I have worked with. Its really an honor to be running him. He has a unique mixture of crazed eagerness while he has the capacity to entirely focus on what you would like him to do. That's what makes him such a good lead dog. Power, brains, the ability to focus, listen and execute." Amazingly, Ookrug is almost the opposite as a run ends. Ookrug has an on/off switch. When off, he is entirely mellow, ready to eat quick, then roll up to catch some zzz's till its time to go crazy again. Very very ideal for a long-distance-racing dog, really.


Oh, and this dog is a charmer alright. Its hard to not just melt and let him do whatever it is he wants to do as he stares into your soul with his big brown eyes. And he knows it. But charmer-Ookrug just does not leave much room for anyone else. He is very social and loves a running partner that he can torture with his excitement, barking into their face while the team is moving , while he is also not shy to push that partner off the trail in his eagerness to power forward!

DAVID AND MARIANNE SOLOMON have generously sponsored Ookrug's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Joe Millican

KUSKO is short for Kuskokwim, which is the longest free-flowing river in the United States. Making its way through the country of the Yupik and Athabascan peoples in Alaska, the some 700 mile (1200 km) long river makes its way into the Bering Sea. 

5 years old
Main lead dog and barking cheerleader from anywhere in the team
Owner: Mille Porsild

Lineage: (Porsild - Ulsom) Missy x Jesus (P.Arnesen)

He is... a snuggle-butt. Happy. Super-athlete. Easy going.

His experience...  Kusko is an Iditarod Champion. At just 2 years old in 2018.  In 2019 he was on the team that placed 2nd. Yep, this dog has the goods. And, he is sooooo sweeeeeeeeet!

"Kusko is a talent of the extraordinary. He reminds me so much of his dad Jesus, our main stud in the past and one of the best dogs I have ever had the honor to work with," says Mille. Kusko has a really tough head. He is super happy, rock solid. And he is a looker, but yeah, you would not know cause he is also not one for strutting his stuff or creating any much fuss. He is an unbelievable athlete, with such ease. He is very laid-back, playful, gets along with everyone. Kusko truly just makes it all looks so dang easy. Last years season he took his talents to the lead, really starting to take 'lead dog" on as part of his repertoire -- and this season he has it pretty well perfected. He is now one hard-driving very reliable lead dog. Kusko is however one of those dogs that is tremendously important as a team dog. It can be a hard place to stand out, kinda takes that you shine even brighter on your own than any other position, to be noticed. Kusko does that. His signature move is grabbing the main running line (while on the move), shaking it vigorously, to get the team going faster. And barking his head off while running.

Last years Iditarod 2020 race with Mille was Kusko's third time on the trail to Nome. Before the race during the ECG (heart monitoring procedure of all dogs that go to start the Iditarod race to ensure they are tip-top race ready), it was established that Kusko has one of those rare hearts of a super-athlete. Some years ago an abnormal ECG reading such as what Kusko produces was thought to present a problem. Now they known its the opposite—only absolutely top athletes, Olympic gold medalist etc. have been seen to produce readings like his.


 Unfortunately the 2020 race went sideways really early for Kusko. He was a machine at the front-end running, but he developed a swelling with fluid on the leg while the team was in checkpoint and he had to return home from Rainy Pass. It was a huge loss to the team indeed. But, his spirit and effort to the team all season was not lessened and was a foundation cornerstone of what took the team to Nome.

JOE MILLICAN has generously sponsored Kusko's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Julie Coleman

WHITEHORSE is the capital of the Yukon Territory in Canada. Yukon is the eastern part of the ancient Beringia region. Sitting on the mighty Yukon River,  Whitehorse is with some 25,000 citizens the largest and only city in the territory.

6 years old
Main lead dog - and a bit of a queen bee!
Owner: Dean Osmar

Lineage: (Osmar) AD x Ivan (Jonrowe)

She is... Strong-minded. Affectionate. Bold. Gritty.

Her experience...  Whitehorse has many Iditarod finishes under her paws. She is simply a tremendously solid sled dog. And sweet. "She has to be one of the sweetest most easy-going sled dogs I have ever had the pleasure of running with," says Mille. "I don’t think it was one hour that we had known each other before she had melted my heart with her little sweet kisses and oh-so-trusting nature."


As sweet as Whitehorse is, she is also a pretty dominant female and is a lady who likes it her way. Whitehorse is strong-minded.. actually, stubborn. She is what we call a pacer. Her favorite gate is moving two legs on one side of her body at once, swinging the other side forward. Its maybe not all that pretty, but as it is, this is actually a very efficient gait – the one preferred by wolves traveling over long distances. And Whitehorse is just that: Efficient. Effective. Enthusiastic. About everything! Whitehorse is enthusiastic about everything, with a great appetite for food, affection and action. She has a very curious nature, which makes for a great sled dog because she is always keen to know what is around the next bend, so to speak. Whitehorse charges forward, dancing, jumping over and sliding under the lines, the terrific athlete she is.


This all makes her a great dog to run literally anywhere in the team.   As a lead dog she wants to do what is right and lead the way.


During the 2020 Iditarod she was in heat at the start of the race, so she did not do much leading during that race – from the front that is. She was a tremendous asset to the team, all the way to Nome. This season she has been leading the pack, continuously bringing it all!

JULIE COLEMAN has generously sponsored Whitehorse's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Lene & Claus Topp

His experience...  Viper finished his first Iditarod in 6th place as as a 2-year old and he is still going strong at 7 -- really, he is better than ever. This dog has tremendous heart. Literally and figuratively! Yes, he actually physically has an unusually big heart. That means he has a stronger cardiovascular system, pumping oxygen from his lungs at a very high rate. With that, Viper, in comparison to most other dogs he has ever run with, barely shows signs of an elevated output even when cruising at 17-18 miles per hour (some 28-29 km/h). He also has great conformation, meaning he has really nice proportions and the angles of his legs and body make for such fluid and easy movement. So yeah, he is super athletic and runs with great ease in any gait. His preference much of the time is the canter, a highly efficient lope-looking gate with one hind leg on the ground altering with the two front legs on the ground. Most important, Viper has the big heart of a superior athlete that gives all he has, all the time, going above and beyond. He is laser-focused, intrinsically motivated, immensely resilient, incredibly passionate and super excitable. There are  no boundaries in the universe of Viper. Viper is VOCAL, barking with endless enthusiasm. He is one of the first to start barking when he knows it is about time to take off, and it is entirely normal for him to be running down the trail barking his head off – for no apparent reason but that it's fun and he is excited. A fantastic lead dog, Viper takes charge with great confidence yet has a very relaxed and easy-going vibe to his style. He is afraid of nothing or nobody and can run with any dog. And with people he is beyond lovable and affectionate. 


He gives the best hugs. Visiting schools and classrooms, Viper can handle a crowd of any size, just reveling in pets and attention.


"Yeah... Viper is the life of the party for me. And he just loves me so dang much. I really couldn’t ask for a more loyal partner-in-crime than Viper," says Mille. "I appreciate him beyond what I can put in words. Crossing under the burled arch in Nome with Viper in the 2020 Iditarod was an honor and the honor of doing it was in large part due to him and his incredible ability and personality. And he is only getting better and better with age."

LENE & CLAUS TOPP has generously sponsored Viper's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Ronnie Williams Jr., Mayor of Natchitoches, Louisiana

Her experience...  Nikko is small in physical stature and is with her mild personality not one that takes up a lot of lime light. But goodness does this dog shine! A fantastic lead dog , Nikko has several Iditarods under her small paws.


Nikko is such a darling sweet personality that just aims to please paired with curiosity and tireless drive. She can run with any other dog next to her. Even the big boisterous males fold for Nikko; It seems her gentle nature makes them try be on their best behavior so as to not make her uncomfortable. Nikko has no hesitation or lack of confidence when in lead moving the team down the trail. When not in harness, Nikko is a lot less confident. So we have been working on that this season.

NIKKO in japanese means "daylight" and is a term used to describe the sun. If you look up the slang definition of Nikko, its used to describe "a cute athlete that is heartwarming".. and, it's a French adjective to qualify someone as "close to perfection." All is very fitting for this Nikko! 

5 years old
Main lead
Owner: Dean Osmar

Lineage: (Bacon) Felon x Digger (Osmar)

She is... Bright. Timid. Endearing. Playful

Here at the kennel she has been living in a pen with Hank, who is exceptionally confident to the point of it coming off as aggresive, and not a guy who would goof off.  The two of them are now absolute besties and  complement each others' personalities beautifully. They often run in lead together but even when not it is clear that Nikko has gained in confidence feeding off Hank, while Hank is now so playful he even goofs around when leading tho he in no way gets off task while doing so. "Its super fun to watch those two and what they have done for each other is downright inspiring," says Mille. "Nikko being confident is what I expect takes her to the level of a super-leader--I am thrilled to see her shine in Iditarod 2021!"

RONNIE WILLIAMS JR., MAYOR OF NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA has generously sponsored Nikko's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Trude Liverød Paulsson

KNUD is named after the Grennlandic Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen.

5 years old
Lead dog - and phenomenal wheel dog
Owner: Cim Smyth

Lineage: (Smyth) Mom x Dad (Smyth)

He is... a soldier. Loyal. Focused. Self-conscious.

His experience...  Knud is a dog that really thrives with boundaries and strong leadership that allows him to sort of shed any responsibility of dealing with stuff. He is not overly confident, he often has doubt about himself and a situation, but when coached, encouraged and praised, he becomes so happy – even easy-going and playful with other dogs. Knud does not want to fail or not be all he can be, but sometimes it is just hard for him. When he realizes he can and he will, he takes tremendous pride and truly shines.


"It was amazing and so much fun to see him growing with the experiences in the 2020 season becoming a super solid team member that I could entirely rely on giving the team all he's got," says Mille. "He is one of the more complicated personalities I have worked with. He has a soft nature, but at the same time his fall-back when in doubt is aggression. He is incredibly sweet with me and I have no doubt he would go to the end of the world to please me. His loyalty to me is absolute. Last season I considered him to be one of, if not the dog, I saw most drastically improve himself. Low and behold he has done it again this season... he has now becomes a really strong lead dog that I know I can rely on to soldier forward. I am blown away by this dog, really."


Knud has a solid almost stocky build paired with great athletic ability. His gate trotting is smooth as can be, but he actually prefers to keep in a slow moving canter. It looks like a loping gallop, but it is not actually. True gallop has all four paws lifted off the ground at once, whereas canter is a 3-beat gate that has a hind leg on the ground replaced by the two front legs on the ground. Canter is used by four-legged animals for long distance as it's smooth and helps the dog conserve energy vs. gallop. I believe when Knud canters it allows him to feel the tightness of his tugline the best at all times—just the way he likes it. And it makes him really good at tight corners and jumping the lines. With all that, Knud is indeed a fantastic wheel dog, and that’s where he ran all the way to Unalakleet in Iditarod 2020.

" Knud has really big paws and when I looked at them in Unalakleet they were a bit swollen. The fact that because of COVID we did not at the time have the ability to return dogs home for the next +110 miles, and that I was looking to move as quickly as possible over this stretch – I decided it was best to return Knud home from Unalakleet. To where he had shined, all the way running in the team with great pride!   I was so proud of him," Mille tells.

TRUDE LIVERØD PAULSSON has generously sponsored Knud's training season and Iditarod 2021. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Jane  Pachomski

SCOTT is named after the British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott.


5 years old
Owner: Cim Smyth

Lineage: (Smyth) Mom x Dad (Smyth)

He is... a bit immature. Jovial. Agile. Timorous

His experience...  Scott is an easy-going gangster dude who really likes to have fun. Sometimes he turns gangster-tricks to be sure things a fun. If things get tooo dull and average Scott is not always the most focused and might loose his concentration.... he gets almost a bit bored. Then he nuzzles his running partner, maybe sees if he can catch a snow flake, whatever. He loves when Mille sings. He might be the only being in the world that finds it amusingly entertaining. Scott likes to be amused. He is a real sweetheart. An outgoing and very playful fella with other dogs, Scott is not all that confident though. He is hesitant with new people and when Scott gets really worried about situations he can get defensive. Just like his brother Knud, Scott thrives in an environment where he knows the boundaries, what is expected of him and he can rely on who is in charge. He seems to think that makes life’s little situations easier to deal!

"Scott has gained so much confidence over the course of this training season and he is now one of the hardcore cheerleaders on the team," says Mille. "I am super proud of the work this dog has done with himself. He has taken such ownership of cheering on the team and he is overcoming his fears one by one, becoming downright extrovert even with people he doesn't know all that well."


Iditarod 2020 was Scott's first big race. Mille says: "Scott had a great run to Unalakleet but as we pulled in to the checkpoint I had made the decision it was time for him to return home. He was not running as concentrated on the last part of that run. Until this point I had been so happy with how focused and upbeat he had been. I honestly figured he was just starting to find the miles and the experience too ho-hum. So after him having a good meal and going through our routine as normal, making sure he knew just how appreciated his part in the team was, I handed him over to the veterinary team. Turns out Scott developed a fever over the next couple of hours and then was not extending his front smoothly – so it was indeed the exact right time for Scott to return home, hang-out and relax."

JANE PACHOMSKI has generously sponsored Scott's training season and Iditarod 2021 -- THANK YOU!

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Sponsored  by Conor Lord of Kerry Champion

Ferlin is named after the legendary American Country-western singer Ferlin Husky!

7 years old
Team - engine
Owner: Kristin Pace

Lineage: (King) Clipper x Barnum (King)

He is... Herculean. Powerful. Devoted. Snuggly.

His experience...  No line of rope is safe around Ferlin. Not because he chews it to break it, but because he simply is capable of busting the rope as he forcefully throws himself in the harness to go. This horse of a dog, is a total work-horse, a true force-to-be-reckoned-with. Ferlin is an exceptionally powerful and hard worker, with phenomenal work ethic and, he is incredibly happy by nature. He eats. Everything, everytime. He is completely honest giving everything he has in him to the team, at all times. Ferlin is also a real sweetheart, very loving. He loves resting his paws on your shoulders, looking you deep in the eyes.. and if he can get away with it, showers your face with kisses. That’s with people. With other dogs, he can be a brute. Ferlin had to learn some boundaries on what is appropriate behavior, but once he figured out that he gets to go hard when in harness, and be free to roam and have a blast with the rest of the gang in his spare-time, he cleaned up his act to be exemplary… Most the time ;)

Ferlin has run and finished four 1000-mile races: two Yukon Quests and two Iditarods.  Ferlin’s performance in Iditarod 2020 from Willow to White Mountain was nothing short of flawless. Just as his entire training season had been up to the race. "I frankly expected nothing less after his great performance in Copperbasin 300 in February 2020, but because I expected it, didn’t make it any less of a joy to see him come through," says Mille. As we were wrapping up the mandatory 8-hour rest in White Mountain with a meal of snacks before we were to take off, Ferlin didn’t really touch it much. Not like him at all, and when he didn’t spring to his paws to go as I was attaching the lines to the harnesses, I knew for real something was up with him. The team ready to roll, I asked the vets standing to see us off to please carefully check him. Sure enough, his temperature was elevated.


I hated that it was reality, but it was an easy decision to make – White Mountain was it for Ferlin’s Iditarod 2020, it was time for him to go home! The caring vet team apparently really picked up on my agony – by the time I came through the next “hospitality checkpoint” of Safety some 50-mile later, there was a message for me: Ferlin was laying inside the checkpoint with the volunteers, stretched out after a good meal, enjoying belly scratches and loving them all up, juuuust the way Ferlin likes to roll. I was all smiles and Ferlin in his own beautiful way with his joyful spirit kept powering me and the rest of the gang even that last 20-mile, all the way to Nome."

CONOR LORD OF KERRY CHAMPION has generously sponsored Ferlin's training season and the Iditarod 2021 race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Inky Ford

ELORA is named after Princess Elora in the movie "Willow." In the movie Princess Elora is in fact a powerful sorceress that makes the world a better place with her good powers... Yeah, fitting name-sis for this Elora!

5 years old
Main lead dog - and little canon-ball of a busy-butt
Owner: DeeDee Jonrowe

Lineage: (Jonrowe) Willow x Jarvie (Jonrowe)

She is... Dandy. Tenacious. Funny. Foxy.

Her experience...  Elora is petite but she is stockier than what might be gleaned from a first impression, and what she doesn't have in physical power because of her smaller size, she makes up for with mental power. This is one little unwavering lady. unwavering in getting it her way. Be it, leading the team 'of giants' behind her exactly where she is suppose to take them -- or getting it her way in the dog yard or around the house. Elora is no 'quitter.' Elora is stubborn. Elora is a little bit sneaky ;)


But first and foremost, Elora is a great lead dog. Very determined. She wants to get the job done right, and go as fast as possible. With her legs being much shorter than most anyone else in the team, she is most often running in a short lope in what looks like almost rolling down the trail -- with great force.

"My nickname for her is 'the canonball,' says Mille. "I think of her as my little secret weapon. She likes her naps and she is so little and such a pro at riding in the sled (she thinks she is quite special when that happens) -- so I let her ride a bit in there for some extra nap time, then take her out and fire off the canonball for some souped up dog-team-speed. Pretty fun stuff" smiles Mille. Elora trained with the team also all last season but had a sore wrist the day before the start in 2020--so she sat out that race.  With that this will be her first 1000-mile race, but "Elora is a pro with an incredibly good head on her; I have full confidence in her," says Mille.

INKY FORD has generously sponsored Elora's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Danielle Dubetz

HANK is named after Hank Williams who is considered one of the most influential and significant American singer-songwriters of the 20th century. 

7 years old
Main lead - and let's-go-commandor
Owner: Kristin Pace

Lineage: (King) Kabob x Solo (King)

He is... a warrior. Tough. Unafraid. Confident.

His experience...  Hank has four thousand-mile races under his paws. Two Iditarods, and two Yukon Quests. He is a smaller guy alright, but a mighty and very masculine dog. He growls. That is probably what people that interact with him notice first and do not forget. Hank struts his chest out, prances around on stiff legs, holds his head high and does not move his gaze for anyone or anything. He is a pretty fearless fella. And tough. Utterly tough. He likes straw, actually, he loves straw.. but a house – nah - he prefers to fall asleep under the stars. Well, until his girlfirend Nikko moved in this season that is. Now, he is often found sharing a house with Nikko -- the two of them curled up together.


Hank is actually despite his staged appearance, such an affectionate and loving little guy when it comes down to it. He is very excitable. That’s what his constant growling is really all about. Hank growls when he is excited, when he is happy, when there is food coming, when I let him go to run across the field, when he greets a friend and when he is annoyed with another dog. He is just very vocal, and at times it's confusing. But that is the only thing confusing about Hank. Otherwise he is just a really, really, really good sled dog that absolutely loves to be a sled dog. Hank is a phenomenal athlete.

When the dogs are free-running, Hank cruises, usually way ahead of everybody else – maybe half a mile out there – and often covering at least twice as much ground as the rest of them, easily staying at a fluid trot going some 14 mph (22 km/hr).


"It was seeing this behavior, watching Hank really taking pride in 'leading the pack' that made me hell-bent on him running lots of lead last season," says Mille. And Hank truly excelled. He simply loves being in lead! Now he is one of the absolute go-to-leaders in the team that can be relied on to charge through any situation or challenge. Hank is basically always ready. "I have not seen him tired, or not charging – ok, growling – to go; to eat; to run with pride…" says Mille.

DANIELLE DUBETZ has generously sponsored Hank's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Conor Lord of Kerry Champion

TEX is named after the famous American actor and country western singer "Tex" Ritter.

7 years old
Wheel master - lead, team...anywhere you need him
Owner: Kristin Pace

Lineage: (King) Kabob x Barnum (King)

He is... in command. Never tires. Alert. Agile.

His experience...  Tex comes across as very stoic, maybe even a bit reserved, but yeah, that’s all a façade. He is very playful, a great buddy for the other dogs, and very very affectionate, loving-him-some-loving once you are his chosen human.


This dude has heart and this dude has style. Tex is such an easy dog to work with. Tex is so flawless and easy – just a dog with not a single issue – you basically sort of don’t take much notice of him. His paws are always perfect, his gate is perfect, he eats perfect, he does growl a lot – but just like his brother Hank, its all just noise. Tex runs with anyone and everyone, just perfect. He is very fluid so he runs a lot in the wheel position right in front of the sled. He maneuvers the lines and tight corners so easily. Tex likes to pee on stuff when he is running up towards the lead, so yeah, he can lead the team but that can get annoying. Turns out, that’s when it is not Iditarod-time. During Iditarod 2020, this dog just stepped it up into a whole ‘nother stratosphere of performance level. "Tex was always a really really good sled dog. But wow. I will dare to say that Tex can be a top performing dog on any ultra-long-distance racing team out there," says Mille.

"He shined in a way during the race that I did not expect. Basically, Tex took on a role of co-commander with me. No matter where I had him in the team, he was the first on his paws, barking to get everyone charged up and ready to leave out of every checkpoint or stop we did on the trail. Going uphill, he would bark to enforce with unwavering enthusiasm, driving the team forward. Going into the wind, I couldn’t necessarily see him, but I could hear him. Me giving a command to swing the team, or pick it up – was followed by a Tex bark. The later it got in the race, the more forcefully Tex was on his game, barking and leaning into that harness with all his might. I can not emphasize enough how big of a role Tex was in our 2020 race. I expect nothing less from him this year. He is a phenomenal long-distanne racing dog."

CONOR LORD OF KERRY CHAMPION has generously sponsored Tex's training season and Iditarod 2021 -- THANK YOU!

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Sponsored by Deborah Martin

BUZZARD is named after the Red-tailed Hawk, which is nicknamed “The Buzzard” and is one of the largest birds in North America – with an enormous wingspan that travels very fast over long distances.

5 years old
Main lead - and speedy-gonzales
Owner: Mille Porsild

Lineage: (Arnesen) Emmelou x Hunter (Reitan)

He is... Fast. Sensitive. Kind. Gentle.

His experience...  Buzzard is a big goofy oh-so-lovable and oh-so-gentle sled dog with an enormous gait and tremendous capacity. He is really tall with very long legs, well everything is just long on “Buzzi”—even his dangly ears. Because of his size he was brought forward very slowly to let him grow into his own body and for tendons and muscles to develop a strong framework to support his big skeleton. He was just a cute puppy not unusually large at all, but with his beautiful reddish color we did name him after the enourmous Red-tailed 'Buzzard' hawk.  Now the 'bird reference' is more than fitting. Not only is it hard to get around that Buzzard has a lot of resemblance with some breed of French bird hunting dog, but Buzzi is a bird -dog: When he turns on the burners, he flies, the team flies. Buzzard is an incredibly powerful lead dog.

All the dogs love Buzzard. He is just such a loving gentle giant. Ever-sweet and very soft natured. That is his biggest challenge. Buzzard is such an excellent lead dog, great on his commands, a driving force that can MOVE the entire team forward with his power and speed, but he still at times doubt himself.

Iditarod 2020 was the first race Buzzard ever ran, and he was an amazing dog on the team all the way to Nome.


Mille tells, "I had Buzzard in lead with Viper once we finally left Takotna. We had taken our mandatory 24-hour break there. It was great, maybe too great. I somehow managed to oversleep waking up just twenty minutes before our set departure time. Hugely embarrassing to me. I was really upset and disappointed with myself. The 24-hour rest is not where you want to take “extra rest” – is absolutely no benefit to the dogs.. pretty much just time wasted. And getting everything put back together and the dogs hooked up to go, which in most checkpoints takes me some 40 minutes, took me 2 hours!

I was so grumpy with myself, but knew I had to shake it to not let the dogs feel down. They were rested and happy, what do they care about the time on the clock! Off we went and we went flying. Goodness. We had a big tangle with a team we passed, taking me forever to get everything untangled. With that we ran the 23 miles (37 km) to the next checkpoint of Ophir in about 2 hours. That’s a cruising sustained speed of 11.5 mph or almost 19 km/hr. All Buzzard. Viper basically took a step back, happy to support, give him a bark once in a while, but yeah, let that bird fly!"


This training season Buzzard has gained loads of confidence... "I cannot wait to see him soar in Iditarod 2021," says Mille.

DEBORAH MARTIN has generously sponsored Buzzard's training season and Iditarod 2021 race. THANK YOU!!

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Sponsored by Danny Gallacher

NOLA is the acronym for the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, America. 

3 years old
Team player
Owner: Jessie Holmes

Lineage: (King) Clipper x Baily (King)

She is... Playfull. Jolly. Laid-back. Hardy.

Her experience...  When Jessie came with Nola he said her nickname at home with him was 'Naughty Nola." Nola is indeed a bit of a gangster in that she reeeeeally loves to play and have herself a good time. But at the same time that she is sure one that can be all riled up to party, this very large female is also an extremely laid back, easy keeper. In that way her name really IS fitting. New Orleans is nicknamed "Big Easy"... and Nola is just that, big and easy. With her very relaxed personality she is not the hardest worker in the team. But, she is one of the toughest heads in the team. Nola stands up for herself; she is extremely playful but she lets no one push her around. She doesn't tire, she deals incredibly well with little sleep and the further we go running the more fired up Nola gets. Pretty fabulous for a long-distance race dog! Add to that her thick lustrous coat, her fantastic appetite for food and her 'always-looking-around-for excitement' attitude.

Nola porsild.jpg

Nola does not have much race experience and Iditarod 2021 will be her first thousand-mile race.


"Nola is very much going to be a rookie in the race," says Mille. "But in training she has shown me the kind of mettle she is made from and I have no qualms bringing her with me as a solid team member that I expect to perform at par with the great veterans that are on this team, all the way to the finishline. Nola has the goods, she is mentally very positive and strong-natured, and she is fully developed physically with a light-footed gait and a very durable frame that has handled the training to an A+... I am excited!"

DANNY GALLACHER  has generously sponsored Nola's training season and Iditarod 2021 -- THANK YOU!

Kahvik snow Mille Porsild Iditarod


has been sponsored by
Anita & Brent Bristow

KHAVIK means wolverine in the native Alaskan Inupiaq language -- wolverines are fearless and known for their ferosity and incredible strentgh out off proportion with their size...

4 years old
Lead, team or wheel
Owner: Dean Osmar

Lineage: (Osmar) Rousey x Braeburn (Osmar)

He is... Fearless. Vivacious. Over-the-top. Lovey-dovey.

His experience...  Khavik is one energetic wiiiild dude! A bull-of-a-puller, fearless and ferocious, the traits of a wolverine indeed describe him well. Khavik is not a very large male, but he is a bundle of hard muscles and he is so incredibly nimble on his feet. When Khavik funnels all his power, energy and agility into just moving forward leaning into the harness, he is simply nothing short of a phenomenal. We have worked hard this season on learning some manners tho :) ... from getting along with everyone else -  all the time - to self-control, like not letting the excitement of wanting to go-go-go be overwhelming.

What Khavik at times lacks in social skills with other dogs, he makes up for many-fold in his sweetness with people.  He will do anything for belly scratches, he loves attention, he loves cuddling. Intensely. Yeah, Khavik is just that: crazy intense. He intensely wants to do right, but it is just sometimes so dang hard in light of how much he wants to go-go-go...and, get that belly-rub!


"Khavik is incredibly gifted and his over-the-top-happy personality is such a forcefield of energy," says Mille. "He ran Iditarod as a yearling already,  and this year's route fits his personality real well. He loves climbing.."

ANITA & BRENT BRISTOW has generously sponsored Khavik's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

Fenix Mille Porsild Iditarod LG.jpg


Sponsored by Libby Harrop

FENIX is named after the mythical phoenix bird: the bird that goes on in eternity as when it meets its momentary end  bursting into flames, out of the ashes it rises again in all its brilliant colors and with great strength. This is essentially exactly Fenix. 

5 years old
Super leader - the brain
Owner: Mille Porsild

Lineage: (Arnesen) Emmelou x Hunter (Reitan)

She is... Brilliant. Driven. Tough. Relilable. Gentle

Her experience...  Fenix is a goddess of a sled dog! She has always been a dog of extraordinary talent and ability. Fenix was part of the 2018 Iditarod Champion team; She placed 2nd in one of the toughest Kuskowkim 300 races just a month before that ultimate victory—and all that when she was just 2 years old. Today, she embodies everything in a super lead dog. Her confidence in her own ability truly flourished last season, catapulting Fenix into a whole ‘nother level of leadership.


"My main-go-to-leader, she is brilliantly smart. Its literally like a self-driving car having Fenix in lead. She reads the landscape, she reads the trail conditions and the trail markers, she reads the situation – so incredibly well. She wants to lead. She wants to work with me best she can," says Mille. "Fenix knows when we are racing. She goes as hard as possible, pretty much attacks the trail, and does so with tremendous stamina." Fenix really never gets too tired to get back at it in force. That she is an excellent eater supports her staying so charged up. She does have a petite frame and is ever-so-gentle and mild-mannered, but Fenix is really tough and mentally strong. 

Always on the hunt, Fenix likes to be in constant motion. Like her father Hunter, she is a hunter with unusually good hearing and very sensitive to what is going on around her. "Sometimes that means she needs some reassurance and she looks to me with total trust," says Mille.  "She has such a sweet personality and looooves to cuddle with me, or cuddles up on the cushy armchair after a good run."


A good run she had in Iditarod 2020. She was simply outstanding. Fenix took the team across the finish line in single lead, just the way she ran for much of the race—just the way she likes it.

LIBBY HARROP has once again sponsored Fenix's training season and now her 2021 Iditarod! THANK YOU!! Wish you were here to give the annual loving -- but with us in spirit you are!

Cole Mille Porsild Iditarod LG.jpg


Sponsored by Marc Millican

COLE the name originates with the old English word meaning 'swarthy, coal-black, charcoal'... Cole's nickname is "Coal-man" -- like coal he is a rock and a highly combustible source of power that lights up the team with his energy. 

4 years old
Team dog speedy-Gonzales
Owner: Dean Osmar

Lineage: (Osmar) Falken x Velvet (Bacon)

He is... a kisser! Energetic. Agile. Cheery

His experience...  The 2020 season and Iditarod 2020 was Cole's first year of  hard-core racing and he was nothing but outstanding. And 2021 has only seen him building on his strengths. Cole is a very sweet guy who gets along with everyone and is happy to just run-run-run-to-have-fun, no matter if going uphill, plowing through deep snow or skating high-speed across the sea ice. A tall guy with very long limbs he is actually still filling in his body, is a bit dangly to look at really… but don’t be fooled. This guy, with his goofy smile, is a high performing super-athlete. And he eats like a monster.


"During the Iditarod 2020 race I could watch his brain compute all of the new impressions and experiences he was taking in. I was really proud to watch how he handled it all and how he handled himself throughout the race," says Mille. "That ability to compute, adapt and respond is his ultimate strength in putting out such top-notch performance."  

He is a shy guy at times, who can be holding it back a bit till he feels secure in new people, but when it comes to running in harness and anything on the trail, he just throws himself at it: no holding back. Cole is very honest--a tremendous quality in a long-distance-racing dog.


"As we were coming into White Mountain to take our 8-hour mandatory break at the end of the Iditarod 2020 race, just outside the checkpoint I saw him shift gait and then look back at me. Sure enough, as I had the vet check him through in the checkpoint, stretching him out, Cole held back on full extension of one front leg. It was time for him to go home for some nice lavender-oil massages and his favorite pork treats! Cole ended that race on a very high note and he is coming into Iditarod 2021 even better and now as an experienced competitor. Its thrilling to me!" says Mille.

MARC MILLICAN has generously sponsored Cole's training season and the 2021 Iditarod race. THANK YOU!!

Natchiq snow Mille Porsild Iditarod LG.j


Sponsored by Mai B.

NATCHIQ is the Alaskan native Inupiaq word for the ringed seal - the smallest but also most common of the Alaskan Ice Seals. They are an important part of Alaskan Native Culture and Heritage still today. The name fits Natchiq so well. She has a precious way of moving about when she is all playful (most all the time) that is not far off that of a little seal basking with its flippers. While she basks, cute brown eyes rope you in to whatever she is trying to accomplish -- or, get her out of whatever trouble she just created ;)

4 years old
Main lead
Owner: Dean Osmar

Lineage: (Osmar) Rousey x Braeburn (Osmar)

She is... Smart. Charming. Mischievous.

Her experience...  Natchiq has already started two Iditarods. Raised and trained by Iditarod Champion Dean Osmar, last year she ran the Iditarod 2020 race with Anna Berington leading the way for her team for most of her race.


Natchiq is all "soft and fuzzy" but yes,  she is also one smart cookie. She is a woman of nuance. She gets fired up to go but she is also very laid back, especially compared to her brothers Ookrug and Kahvik.  She is definitey the "Sis" who has grown up having to deal with being pushed around and having their shenanigans pointed at her... just kinda giving them an eye-roll and, well, maybe sometimes getting in on the hoopla. Natchiq is not easily rattled. She is super playful, loves to run around and charm the pants off anyone - human or dog.

Natchiq KNOWS how to work the crowd to her benefit. She is one of those personalities who does everything with a tail-wag pushing the limits ever-so-gently seeing what she can get away with.


"She is such a bubbly gangster, but her experience shows when she is in that harness," says Mille. "She is still developing as a lead dog, but she is already very trail-wise; being excellent at commands is one thing, but knowing not to burn too hot is a real asset in Natchiq."

MAI B.  has generously sponsored Natchiq's training season and Iditarod 2021 -- THANK YOU!

Keino Mille Porsild Iditarod LG.jpg


Sponsored by Turner Paddock

KEINO shares name with the famed Kenyan distance runner - and the word means "God is Gracious" in Hawaiian! 

3 years old
Lead - and excellent team player
Owner: Jessie Holmes

Lineage: (M.Seavey) Chile x Keyes (M.Seavey)

He is... Playful. Jolly. Sweet. Timid.

His experience...  Born and raised in the kennel of 3-time Iditarod Champion Mitch Seavey, Keino ran the 2020 Iditarod as a 2-year old with Mitch Seavey's handler Grayson Bruton. Over the summer Jessie Holmes was lucky to buy him from Mitch. This is one phenomenally good dude; a fine-tuned sleek running machine built to exact specifications of long-distance-racing, is what he is!

"For starters Keino is beyond sweet. He is timid, does not have a lot of confidence in himself, but he is so playful and happy-natured that he is such a pleasure to work with and have in the team. He is very very vocal. Whenever I walk up and down the line out on a run, he nibbles my hand pushing his head into me, making 'Keino noises,' that are just music to my ears--it's really uplifting," says Mille. "I love having him on the team and its such a pleasure to watch him motor ahead anywhere in the team, but especially up in lead. He likes to be in a cantor-lope ready to accelerate should the team pick up in speed."

Keino is still young, his build is slender and he has been developing a lot of muscle over the course of this training season. We have also worked a lot on 'having confidence' and as part of that,  just having plain ol' fun. Keino maybe tends to over-worry a bit and get tensed up about life. So learning to 'let-the-hair-down and let-it-flow-with-the-wind' has been in focus. His favorite play-mate is Nola. they live together in a pen and have long wrestling matches daily, break out of the pen together (nope, not supposed to) and zoom around getting everyone else riled up... having a blast. Yeah, Keino is really a blossoming guy and will be nothing short of a phenomenal racer. 

TURNER PADDOCK has generously sponsored Keino's training season and Iditarod 2021 -- THANK YOU!

Dawson Mille Porsild Iditarod LG.jpg


Sponsored by Elsa Vestergaard

DAWSON is today a town of some 1400 people in the Canadian Yukon Territory, in the eastern part of Beringia. During the Klondike Gold Rush - in the early 1900's - it was a buzzing city of more than 40,000 people. Sitting on the bank of the Yukon River, it's traditionally the homeland of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in People.

6 years old
Team - and acrobat wheel dog
Owner: DeeDee Jonrowe

Lineage: (D.Osmar) AD x Eivin (D.Jonrowe)

She is... Bouncy. Zippy. Chipper. Vivacious.

Her experience...  She started her last Iditarods in 2016 and 2015 with legendary Deedee Jonrowe, in the last race DeeDee made to the finish-line crossing under the burled arch in Nome.


DeeDee's description of her as "the dog that never empties," is spot-on.


It can actually be a bit mind-blowing to run this lady; she is super-hyper, spinning around herself (literally) with utter excitement--infinitely excited to go. And she is very, very vocal about it as well. But Dawson is not only psyched about running in front of the sled, she is also extremely good at it. A small dog in stature, she maneuvers with such fluid eloquence and is not only incredibly athletic but a terrific athlete. Despite the fact that Dawson has had a couple of years "off" from hard-core training, she has been able to escalate in training, building up miles in increments this training season as if she was in top-conditioning from the get-go. 


"She is so fun to have on the team and such a talented athlete, I have been super stoked to have her with me in the 2021 Iditarod," says Mille, "unfortunately a tendon in her front leg has swollen up and with that Dawson needs to sit out this race. Such a bummer, but her bouncy spirit throughout the season has sure meant a lot in our training and building the team to get us to the start-line a happy team!"

ELSA VESTERGAARD  has generously sponsored Dawson's training season and Iditarod 2021 -- THANK YOU!


- Mille

WHO IS MILLE ? ...I am a dog musher. It has taken me many years to say this, first. I am also an educator. And I am a story teller. I have written much in my life. Taken many pictures of incredible people, places, stories, situations and more than anything: dogs, sled dogs. I have done presentations for a living. I am … a professional Arctic walker... a ‘title’ we just about keeled over laughing at while on our skis walking next to the dogsled when a German news anchor who had traveled around the globe to cover our expedition asked if that’s a fitting title. It actually seemed like a pretty good title. I am not an explorer. I signed my emails, posters et al. for many years “Keep Exploring” – it’s pretty much a life motto of mine. But, that saying goes for all of us. In that sense, yes I am an explorer – cause we all are. Children beautifully truly so with their open hearts and minds. That heart and mind is what I strive for. But all the places I have had the incredible fortune and honor to travel by dog team were already discovered. Eons ago. By the traditional peoples of the circumpolar north. So yeah. For most of my life I was a professional arctic walker. I started walking with sled dogs across the vast expanse of the north when I had just turned 19 – this expanse, this magnificient place on earth that brings me to tears just at the mere thought of standing in its vastness. It led me to lead programming, expeditions, companies, organizations… so whenever the question of occupation was asked, for the far majority of my adult life I have written: Executive Director, Program Director, Instructional Designer or Educator. All true. But as of very recent I have come to terms with – what I am, and always will be, even without sled dogs outside of my window: I am a dog musher."

Mille Porsild Iditarod 2021.JPG

Mille Porsild

Iditarod route 2021 porsild website.jpg
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The race

Iditarod 2021
March 7 at 2 PM / 14:00 start

START 2 minute intervals
Start differential = additional minutes stopped at 24-hour stop


A 24-hour stop between Willow start and Iditarod 1. (way out)
An 8-hour stop between Rohn 1. and Rohn 2.
An 8-hour stop in Skwetna 2. (on the return)

The race
Fenix Iditarod 2021 Mille Porsild



Mille & Co.

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Sponsors & Donors making it happen!

Backcountry Creations
Sleddogs Snowskates

Hatcher Pass Remote Services

S C Trucking

James Chick
Ingrid/Tom Kottre
Thomas Gummer
Lippy Harrop

Conscious Coffee

Fossil Fuel

Dog Sponsors & The Kennel Foundation Sponsors

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