Professional musher Jaye Foucher moved to Mohawk to train her sled dogs

Jaye Foucher, a native of Wentworth, New Hampshire, temporarily moved to Mohawk to train his dog sledding team through the fall and winter due to the amount of snow the area receives.

“It was awesome. I just got a lot of training that I couldn’t get on the East Coast, and I really appreciate the mushing community here. It’s really fantastic. There are a lot of mushers in the region and UP, and they have been very hospitable to me,” said Foucher.

Foucher started mushing in 2000 after looking for a winter activity to do with his first Siberian husky.

“I went to my first race the following winter in 2001 and I was just hooked. I have a competitive streak and it looked like great fun. So a few years later I moved to New Hampshire and I started building my kennel, basically,” Foucher said.

Currently, Foucher breeds all the dogs she races with and has a kennel of 23 huskies in training for the UP200 race, a qualifying race for the Iditarod.

“Every year we have a few mushers who want to go through this routine, they have to have special paperwork for that. It’s a bit different from how they run the race, they have an unassisted checkpoint that they have to do on their It works like an Iditarod qualifier, and of course it adds to the reputation of the race,” said Darlene Walch, president of the UP Sled Dog Association.

The Iditarod, a nearly 1,000-mile race in Alaska from Anchorage to Nome, is considered the Super Bowl of dog sled racing. Participating is Foucher’s ultimate goal.

“They say there are fewer people who have completed the Iditarod than they have climbed Mount Everest. It’s a very tough race and I’m looking forward to the challenge of doing it. I read about it, watched videos and watched YouTube clips of it for years,” Foucher said.

While the future is uncertain, Foucher hopes to continue racing for years to come.

“Iditarod, and then I’m not sure, you know? I’m sure I’m going to keep doing these longer races here in the Midwest and on the East Coast. I love being out there. Something in the long racing just pushes me, I guess, so I can’t see giving that up,” Foucher added.

Bette C. Alvarado