Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Winners of the Ultimate Jamaica Villa Adventure Vacation

Congratulations Dale and Anne Babala!

These two are the first lucky winners of the Ultimate Jamaica Villa Vacation, which was contributed by Chukka Caribbean Adventures, the Jamaica Dogsled Team and WestJet Vacations for the fundraising event in Calgary October 2008.

Dale and Anne had a wonderful time in the beautiful island of Jamaica. They stayed in Danny Melville's wonderfully breathtaking villa by the cove at Chukka Cove Farm in Llandovery St. Ann.

The couple was entertained for their entire stay which lasted for 8 days and seven nights with adventurous tours at their disposal. On top of it all Dale and Anne were treated to some of the most superb Jamaican dishes which was accompanied with all the tropical delights imagineable.

Anne and Dale-we salute you, your welcome back anytime!

Anne and Dale on the patio at the villa
Anne and Dale at the Villa where they stayed for their one week adventure
Getting ready to go out on the Dogsled Experience tour
On tour with RObb on a nice cool day!
On tour with Robb.
Whoooo! What a great ride!

Anne, Dale, Sarah and of course Marbles trying to get into the picture
The couple poses with Marbles and Sarah

Friday, March 20, 2009

More celebration for the return of Newton and Robb!!!

Danny Newton and Robb toast away the afternoon
Robb and Newton cutting the welcome home cake-yum yum!

Newton's family came to Chukka Cove Farm to welcome him home

Newton and Robb poses with staff and friend, 'Bulby'

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome Back Photos taken at Sangster's Interational Airport, Montego Bay.

Newton be greeted by Danny Melville on his return-big smiles!
The JDT/CHUKKA family poses for the camera-from left Vaneka Mckenzie, Danny Melville, Newton Marshall, Marc Melville, Daniel Melville, John Byles and Damion Robb

Newton and Robb are welcomed by friends and co-workers

Newton being welcomed by Margaritaville

Welcome Welcome Welcome Back!!!!

Newton and Robb returned to their beautiful island, filled with sunshine and sand.........a far fetched comparison to where they spent the last couple of months, which was filled with snow and ice.
Robb returned on the 10th of March while Newton came back on the 11th.
JDT members as well as Chukka Caribbean team mates were all so proud of the two mushers and are happy to tag them as Jamaican Ambassadors.
There was a big JDT welcome home celebration on a bright afternoon:
Location-Sangster's International Airport, Montego Bay.
..............and the Atmosphere? Pride filled Jamaicans~~

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More pics of the JDT Truck for all you doggie truck lovers out there-ENJOY!!!

(Check out our chrome dog-Mush mon!)

Snowflake 09-contributed by Ken~

Robb & I had a fantastic finish for our racing season. We both ran the 4-Dog Pro at Snowflake International in Duluth, MN. A lot of people came out just to see Robb and the JDT. There is so much support and interest everywhere we go. We had fun as this is one of our favorite trails. It is a tough, curvy and hilly 6K that is a blast to run a team on. Robb had good clean runs on both Saturday and Sunday finishing 6th out of 25 in a very competitive field. I finished 5th, just beating Robb but my older leader has done this race 7 times. She knows the trail quite well. It is exciting to me to now watch Robb as he drives his team like a professional. We also had a mushers party Saturday night at our house for all that attended Snowflake. It was a great way to send Robb back to JA. He is so well thought of up here by all the mushers that he competes with. Robb did an awesome job on and off the trail again this season. It is with pride and pleasure to be Robb's coach and affiliated with the Jamaica Dogsled Team. Thank You. Ken -- Ken Davis

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Snowflake with Robb

Fast Sled Rider
Cranking on the sled

Here's going out to you Craig

Please take a look at Robb as he leans on the JDT truck; this one is going out to Craig from Duluth. Hope you like-will try to get some more to pass on to you!!!!

Take Care~

Hermantown Elementary Jamaican Musher Encounter :-)

Thursday and Friday before Snowflake International Robb and I did two different school functions. On Thursday Proctor High School sent 18 students out to the kennel. They got to visit with all the dogs and talk to Robb about mushing and Jamaica. Their teacher Mrs. Vicki Lee said the students enjoyed it. It was a great 2 hours. On Friday we went to Hermantown Elementary School and did an hour long visit with the 2nd and 3rd graders. They had already been studying the Itidarod and the Yukon Quest and were following Newton online, they had also watched 'Sun Dogs'. The whole school learns about mushing from the librarian Mrs. Juntenen. The kids loved Robb and got to ask a lot of good questions. We took 3 dogs with us and they were a hit also. We enjoy doing this so much and it seems like the kids had a great learning experience.
Ken Ken DavisElfstone KennelJamaica Dogsled Team

Monday, March 2, 2009

The finish banquet in Fairbanks

Newton thanking his sponsors after receiving his cheque (US$3K) for 13th placeNewton looking at his trophy

The icing on the cake came at the finish banquet in Fairbanks when it was announced that Newton had won the coveted ‘Challenge of the North Award’ for best exemplifying the spirit of the Yukon Quest.
The winner is chosen by the race marshal and judges; on making the presentation to Newton the marshal said:-
“I’ll be the first to admit when I saw his entry I didn’t think it was much more than a publicity stunt,” race marshal Doug Grilliot said.
We felt so proud; imagine a Jamaican musher being awarded for “exemplifying the spirit of the Yukon Quest”. Newton is a true ambassador for Jamaica.
The trophy is a beautiful ink drawing of ravens on a caribou antler.
Newton is in Anchorage to witness the start of the Iditarod; who knows where he will be racing next winterJ
He returns home to Jamaica on March 11th.

Friday, February 27, 2009

~~Newton's completion of the Yukon Quest~~

Looking great other than a touch of frost bite
Crossing the finish line at 6:26amBeing hugged by Danny Melville
Being congratulated by race marshalls
Steel drum music began to filter over the river bed as the crowd awaited Jamaican musher Newton Marshall. The film crew that has been following him for over a year was on hand as well as a number of other media outlets. Champion musher Hans Gatt who has been training Newton watched the river for the familiar bob of a headlamp and the sound of his dogs. Newton rounded the bend and the crowd cheered and applauded as he came down the chute. When asked how hard his journey had been he stated that many things in life are hard and he was proud. It was an emotional finish for Danny Melville the founder of the team. "I can hardly believe it" he said "he has come so far." Newton shared a long hug and private conversation with Hans. He was smiling and waved as he headed off for the dog yard and a well deserved rest.

Newton valiantly crosses the finish line!!!!!!

****Newton came charging into Fairbanks at 6:26am this morning 11days 19hours and 2minutes after leaving Whitehorse.

This is a huge achievement and we are all elated with his performance. Twenty nine mushers started the race and ten have scratched so far; there are six mushers still out on the trail.****

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Newton Marshall places 13th out of 29 in the Yukon Quest!!!!!!!!

Fanatstic news greeted the JDT family today-Newton has completed the Quest, and not only completed but placed 13th out of 29!!!!!!!!
This is a great accomplishment and everyone is soooo proud of Newton.
Who would have thought that the JDT would have soared to such heights? certainly not even the visionary behind it, Danny Melville.
No pictures as yet but will post as soon as possible.
Congrats again Newton this is fantastic news!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mushers giving rides at Beaverton~contributed by Ken

Robb and some local mushers giving rides to 6 local Mayor's and reporters from Toronto. We had the 2 reporters from the Toronto Star and the Mayors went out with the other teams. Ken

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beaverton/Cannington event~contributed by Ken

Hello....Robb and I went down to Beaverton, Ontario and gave rides on Lake Simcoe. Robb used a 6-dog team and gave 2 reporters from the Toronto Star rides out to the ice fishing houses. There were 4 other teams giving rides at the same time to 6 of the local Mayor's. There was a big turn out. Also 'Live at 5' was there filming most of it and there were some CBC people there. The dog sledding race is just a small part of this particular event. It is in conjunction with a big ice fishing contest and the race in Cannington this coming weekend. We will be there on Friday looking forward to racing there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Newton at the Pelly Crossing~contributed by Danny


A sequence of photos of Newton on the trail between McCabe and Pelly Crossing.

Love that Jamaican flagJ

Newton is now sleeping at Pelly and will leave at 3:00am for the most lonely section of this incredible race; 210 miles to Dawson City; no facilities, he must sleep with his dogs on the trail; no roads; no people; only one checkpoint.

One mush

Haliburton Finals~contributed by Ken Davis

Hello....We had another fantastic weekend. The race organizers were tireless and managed to put on a very good race. Even though it was +9C and raining on Thursday the trail held up so that both days it was a nice hard, fast trail. This trail is very hilly and curvy. It is tough on both dogs and driver because of the high speeds and the sharp curves. There is no falling asleep out there. This is also a very competitive race since it has a $10,000 purse and a good reputation for putting on a great race. I ran the 4-Dog Pro and finished 4th out of 22 after 2 days of racing. (7km each day). Robb ran the 6-dog Pro and was 4th after Saturday's run but had some trouble on Sunday. The team ran very well but it was just -1C and sunny when he went out. By the last 2km of 11km one of the dogs was having problems and the dog went down. Robb hooked down and loaded her in a very fast and safe manner then took off. The dogs is fine, she was a little over heated but recovered quickly. Robb did the right thing and did it so well that he only dropped 1 place. He finished 5th out of 17 teams in a extremely competitive class and after having to load a dog. That's racing! There are no trophies at Haliburton but we both recieved nice payouts. There were a lot of spectators and everybody seemed to enjoy the event. We also went downtown to the water front right after the 6-Dog event to do a meet-and-greet the 'Jamaican Musher'. There was a huge crowd and Robb and the dogs were a big hit. We had so much fun that this is a must do race for us every year. Ken

Robb at JDT Truck in Haliburton

Haliburton Track

Haliburton Saturday~contributed by Ken Davis

Hello Danny....We both had good solid runs. Robb is 4th out of 18 in the 6-Dog Pro and I'm 4th out 22 in the 4-Dog Pro. Since the weather was so warm and raining on Thursday it is amazing that there is such a nice trial. Fast but very nice. It is a very hilly and curvy trail so both dog and driver need to be in their game. There has been quite a turn-out and all seem to be happy. Heard that Newton had a good start and is already doing well. The JDT is making its mark on both ends of Canada. Fantastic! Ken

Yukon Quest Update-contributed by Danny Melville


The ‘meet the mushers’ event in Whitehorse saw hundreds of people lining up to have the mushers autograph their Quest posters. It was so cool to see Newton among some of the best in the world; he even signed a poster for me….. J

Photos show Newton signing and me chilling a bottle of wine for laterJ

See link below for a report in the Fairbanks Newsminer today…… several comments at the end…

Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.

Mush Mon

Kearney 4-Dog 3rd Place Trophy-contributed by Ken

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Thanks from Kearney~contributed by Lisa Houliston, Kearney Dog Sled Committee

Hi guys,
First I would like to say Danny you have one heck of a team representing Jamaica. Ken and Robb are incrediable and the the town of Kearney welcomes them with open arms. I am sure there heads were swellling as the compliments about these two guys were constant all weekend!!!!
Thank You for putting Kearney on your schedule again!!! They are always welcome and I hope to see them next year!!!! Hey Danny maybe you could come too??????????? This little town may surprise you!!!
Again thank you and I wish you all the very best in all your adventures.
Kearney Dog Sled Committee

Let me know if it comes through.

Kearney Winterfest Feb 6-8, 2009 contributed by KEN!

Hello....We had another great racing weekend. There was a full crowd there both days. This is a race that the whole community and more comes out to support. We met people from all over Ontario that came just for the dog sled races and some just to see the JDT. Robb is a big attraction and a lot of people really want to spend time and take pictures of the 'Jamaican Musher'. Everybody loved the coffee and the Jamaican caps and bandannas...there are a lot of people coming to JA!!! In the 6-Dog Pro Robb and his team had some interesting runs. Saturday it was +9C and raining...not great conditions for racing sled dogs. Robb came in 5th the first day at 21:33:02, with a good chance to move up. Sunday the trail froze and the trail was dangerously fast. It is a very hard and technical trail to start with and this didn't make it better. Even though Robb 'crashed & burned' a couple of times he stayed with the team and had a blazing time of 18:06:99. He moved up to 4th place out of 14 teams. While he didn't get a trophy this time he did get $ get paid in the Pro class. We did get to take home a trophy though since I ran the 4-Dog Pro and finished 3rd out of 19...we had the 2nd fastest time on Sunday, 8 seconds from 1st, so the team seems to be running fast again. BTW one of Robb's wheel dogs, Vandal, got under the truck and ripped out a 2 foot section of the main electric lines for the whole truck. The guys from Kearney got the local mechanic to rewire all 40+ the rain, at +2C, at 8 PM. Wow what a town. Ken