Racing TeamEuropean Championship silver medalist and Finnish Champion of 6-dog sprint in 2020
Trainer and breeder of the dogs
Assisting trainer and handler
Junior Musher Siiri Kytölä
Musher Ripsa Järvi
Master mind behind the dog breeding
Team Finland: musher in the national team of Finnish Sleddog Sport Federation
Club: Sisä-Suomen Valjakkourheilijat (SiSuVa)
Kennel and the dogs: We have 18 cross breed dogs. They are the Alaskanhusky lines of Ari Laitinen, Egil Ellis (SWE) and Kevin and Raymond Cook (Can). German short hair ski-dogs used for breeding are the lines of Kimmo Hytönen, Akiina’s kennel. GSHP Speedy, owed by Vesa-Pekka and Kati Jurvelin, is the father of the youngest J-litter. You can find the pedigrees of my dogs in trekkhundregissteret. The dogs are designed for limited sprint classes. Winter races are my main focus, but sometimes I race also four dogs cart races.
Racing team: Riitta, Siiri my daughter races in junior class and my niece Ripsa in various limited classes.
Coach: Ari Laitinen
World Championships of sled dog sports
Yleisen sarjan MM-mitalin saavuttaminen on valjakkoajajan unelma ja tiimin pitkäjänteisen uran huippusaavutus.Valjakkoajon MM-kisat järjestetään kahden vuoden välein vuorotellen Euroopan ja Pohjois-Amerikan mantereilla. Käytännössä tämä merkitsee sitä, että valjakkoajon MM-mitalia on mahdollisuus tavoitella 4 vuoden välein. Kaikkina kolmena kilpailupäivänä on onnistuttava tai uusi mahdollisuus lipuu neljän vuoden päähän.
Success in the international races
European Championships 2020, silver medal in Sp6 (Åsarna, Sweden)
World Championships 2019, 6th place in Sp6 (Bessans, Alps in France)
European Championships 2018, 5th palce in Sp6 (Millegrobbe, Alps in Italy)
European Championships 2016, gold medal in Sp6 (Savalen, Norway)
World Championships 2015, silver medal in Sp6 (Todtmoos, Germany)
Scandinavian Open Championships 2015, gold medal in Sp6 (Kiruna, Sweden)
European Championships 2012, 5th place in Sp6 (Jura mountains, France)
World Championships 2011, broze medal in Sp6 (Hamar, Norway)
European Championships 2003 in LMD 7th place (Nurmes, Finland)
Scandinavian Open Championships 2002, silver in LMD (2002 Finland)
Finnish Championships, 24 medals – 8 gold, 6 silver, 10 broze
My first sled dog race in Finnish Chapionships 4-dogs sprint class was in winter 1998 in Jämijärvi. My first whole racing season was the year 1999. So I have been racing 20 years with sled dogs.
2001 LMD FC2
2002 Sp8 FC3, LMD FC2/SOC2 (Team Pilkku & co)
2003 Sp8 FC2, LMD EC 7.
2004 Sp6 FC3
2008 Sp6 FC3
2009 DR4 FC2, Sp6 SOC 4.
2010 Sp6 FC1, Sp8 FC3, DR4 FC3, Sp6 SOC 6. (Team Raitanen & Roni)
2011 Sp6 WC3, Sp6 FC1, Sp8 FC3
2012 Sp8 FC 3., Sp6 EC 5.
2013 Sp6 FC 3., Sp6 SOC 4.
2014 Sp6 FC 3., Sp6 EC 5., DR4 FC 2.
2015 Sp6 WC 2., Sp6 SOC 1., Sp6 FC 1., DR4 FC 1. (S-team alias ”Ässät”)
2016 Sp6 EC 1., Sp8 FC 3., DR4 FC 2. (S- and L-teams)
2017 DR4 FC 1. (S- and L-dogs) (not racing in winter season 2017)
2018 Sp6 World Cup 1., Finnish Champion (S- and L-dogs) in Sp6 and EC 5. in Sp6; Siiri DR4J Finnish champion
2019 Riitta: Sp6 WC 6th and Finnish Champion in Sp6, DR4 FC 2nd; Siiri: Sp4J 1st, DR4J 1st; Ripsa DS2 FC 3rd
2020 Riitta Sp6 EC 2nd and Finnish Champion in Sp6; Ripsa FC 2nd in Sp6, Siiri EC Sp4J 4th
Start of my mushing career
My first job after university studies (animal breeding, genetics and nutrition) was to develop dry foods for working dogs. Research animals were sled dogs of Juhani Heikkinen, who was the first Finnish World Championship medalist. So, everyone knows what will happen, if you give racing sled dogs to athlete – she will get hooked. Research projects started to prolong and finally Jussi didn’t get his dogs back before summer.
When I began to race with sled dogs, I was quite soon asked to join the board of Finnish Sled dog sport federation. I had a privilege to be the president of Finnish sleddog sport federation for eight years (03-12) and to participate the breakthrough of ”Team Finland” in the 2011 World Championships, Hamar, Norway. Here I am, 20 years later, racing in the international level with my wonderful sprint dogs.