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French team snags first place in Pedigree Stage Stop sled dog race

A sled dog racer stands behind his sled, while his dogs run along a snowy track, with mountains in the distance.
Pedigree Stage Stop Race
Remy Coste's team won the 2024 Pedigree Stage Stop dog sled race.

Remy Coste and his 10 sled dog team whipped around a hairpin turn through some snowy switchbacks near Driggs, Idaho. He gave them calls in a distinctively French accent, making their way through the final leg of the Pedigree Stage Stop sled dog race.

The 225-mile race is done in daily stages over a week in western Wyoming and eastern Idaho communities.

Coste and his dogs, which came over from Europe, won the race. They’re one of only two teams to have ever traveled across an ocean for this race. Coste is one of the best sled dog competitors in Europe already, but this is his first race in North America.

“Well, of course, the goal of every competitor that wants to do things right, is to win,” said Aurelie Delattre, Remy’s partner and the team’s vet in an earlier interview. “And it's not just winning. It’s showing ourselves that everything we thought about for the last six months, everything we tried, everything we did worked.”

Delattre was speaking to the monumental effort of flying 31 dogs and a giant RV to the states and then training for several months ahead of the race.

Coste beat five-time Pedigree Stage Stop champion Anny Malo by about 10 minutes. Malo is from Canada and is considered a fierce competitor, as well.

“Well, I want to congratulate Remy,” Malo said in a Pedigree Stage Stop interview. “He did a wonderful race too. It’s amazing to see those dogs going so fast in the first 10 miles and we’re just learning from them.”

Coste has a unique approach to racing and training compared to others. His dogs are extremely calm and quiet in the start, he often races with eight dogs instead of 10 or 12 and he unhooks his dogs from the sled and walks them after they cross the finish line.

There were other notable finishes, too. Jess Moore of Jackson, came in third place. In an interview with race officials, Moore said the last day of the race was a challenge.

“It was slow, it was really really soft. And also mogle-ey underneath at the same time and steep obviously,” she said.

Moore is somewhat of a rookie – this was her largest dog sled event yet. She took the place of Bondurant’s Alix Crittenden, a seasoned Pedigree Stage Stop competitor, last minute after Crittenden had to undergo emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor.

“So proud of our dogs and all the hard work we’ve done all season. Glad I got to be at most of the race despite all my challenges recently,” Crittenden said in a recent Facebook post. “Sad I didn’t get to drive them but so happy that my girl Jess did everything probably better than I would’ve done. She’s an amazing dog driver and I’m so proud of her.”

It was the 29th running of the Pedigree Stage Stop. It was originally started by Frank Teasley, a former racer of the sled dog world’s super bowl of races – the Iditarod, and Jackson public health nurse Jayne Ottman. The two collaborated to create a race that showcased small communities in our region, as well as spreading awareness about childhood immunization.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.

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