Reef, Dallas Seavey’s 4 year-old lead dog, “trotted” away with the Iditarod Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness award for the second year in a row! The mayor of Nome, Richard Beneville, did the honors at the 2016 Iditarod Finisher’s Banquet. “Reef is my hero,” Dallas said as he took the stage.
Reef needed a little coaxing to come to the stage, but the special yellow monogrammed harness was a perfect fit. This award is voted upon by the mushers, and is given to the most outstanding lead dog in the race.
Lolly Medley was one of the first women to mush in the Iditarod, along with Mary Shields, in 1974. She was a gifted harness maker from Wasilla, who convinced the Iditarod that they needed a special award for the best lead dog each year. In the early years, she created the harnesses herself.
I honestly think this is one of everyone’s favorite awards of the evening. Dallas spoke about how much his dogs mean to him, and I am sure every musher felt the same way about their teams.
Below is a list of all past winners of the Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness Award. Here are some suggested activities for the classroom:
- Research the musher – were they the winner that year? If not, why do you think their lead dog was awarded the Golden Harness?
- Look at the names of the dogs – what do you think the puppy litter “theme” was?
- Make a line plot or graph of the mushers using data such as: veteran or rookie? Alaska resident? Lower 48 resident? Other country?
Golden Harness (Outstanding Lead Dogs)
|2011||Snickers & Velvet||Baker, John|
|2005||Kvitsokk (Whitesock)||Sørlie, Robert|
|2000||Red Dog||Gebhardt, Paul|
|1997||Blondie and Fearless||Buser, Martin|
|1994||D2 and Dave||Buser, Martin|
|1993||Herbie and Kitty||King, Jeff|
|1991||Goose and Major||Swenson, Rick|
|1985||Axle and Dugan||Riddles, Libby|
|1984||Red and Bullet||Osmar, Dean|
|1983||Preacher and Jody||Mackey, Rick|
|1978||Nuggett and Blackie||Anderson, Ralph|
|1976||Puppy and Sugar||Riley, Gerald|