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1. When did your first dog move in and how many dogs do you have now?
I got my first dog in 2003 when I was 11 years old. Now I have three own dogs and my boyfriend have also three dogs.
2. When did you start with dog-sport and how did it happen?
I started sleddog sports in year 2005 with my first dog, border collie Nekku. I and my friend both had dogs and we just bought harness to them and started practicing some skijoring together. In my first competition in winter 2006 I placed second in junior class and then I really got excited to competing.
3. What type of dogs do you work with?
I competed five years with my border collie and after that my racing dogs have been German Shorthaired pointers. GSP is very versatile breed and we also do some hunting and dog shows with our dogs.
4. Please give us some information about your training methods! How many times per week do you train (summer and winter)?
I train my dogs always 5 times per week. In summer time dogs enjoy swimming, in autumn free running and kickbike trainings, and in winter skijoring and free running. After racing season my dogs have about one month resting season which includes some free running. I try to have about 5-7 training days in week for myself also.
5.Please tell us about your greatest sporting success – with and without dog(s).
The greatest victory so far is definitely junior World Championship gold medal in Holmenkollen 2011. It was the first season with my first German shorthaired pointer – he was just 20 months old and I didn’t know what to expect. I trained so hard for that race and it was so unbelievable feeling to win gold medal in amongst all best athletes.
6. What is he „special thing“ in this kind of sport for you?
I have always loved animals, especially dogs. All kind of sports have also been very important for me all my life. Sleddog sports are the perfect way to combine two things I love – dogs and sports.
7. Could you please tell us about your future plans and the competitions you want to take part in in the upcoming season?
My biggest dream with this sport is to achieve someday same kind of good success in women’s class that I got in junior class. It will require a huge amount of work but I’m eager to try, and let’s see what happens! Next winter my biggest goal will be European Championships in Norway.
8.Do you want to tell us about some special moments you had while you were working with the dogs?
I have experienced so many wonderful moments with this sport! Something so great and special is to see how dogs really love what they are doing and it’s always so amazing to watch dogs running. It is a great feeling to have deep connection and trust between you and your dog.
Dogs: Border Collie Nekku 12,5 years, GSP Arttu 4 years, GSP Haades 3 months
Sporting success: In junior classes: World Champion 2011, WCh silver 2011, 2x European Champion 2012, 2x Gold medal in Scandinavian open Championships 2012
In adult classes: 2x 4th place in World Championships 2015, 3x silver medal in Scandinavian open Championships, 4x Finnish Championship Gold medal
Job: I work as a clothing seller in local store
Residence: A little village called Ii in northern Finland
Sponsors: Royal Canin, Rossignol, Zero DC, Kennelpakaste, Customer Oriented Massage
Thank you Saara and good luck for the future