North

Frontrunner Brent Sass drops out of Yukon Quest dog race

Two more mushers, including former Yukon Quest champion Brent Sass, have dropped out of this year’s race, which is still underway.

Race officials say Sass was concerned about the safety of his dogs Caputo and Healy

Brent Sass became the sixth musher to drop out of this year's Yukon Quest, leaving 15 teams still on the trail towards the finish line in Fairbanks. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC News)

Two more mushers, including former Yukon Quest champion Brent Sass, have dropped out of this year's race, which is still underway.

Frontrunner Brent Sass, who was the first racer to reach the halfway point at Dawson City last week, scratched from the race in Central, Alaska, Sunday evening.

"Sass requested assistance via his Spot Tracker approximately [26 kilometres] outside of Central, Alaska, due to concern over the safety of two dogs, Caputo and Healy, on his team," race officials wrote on the race's official website.

"The Yukon Quest responded to this call, sending a trailbreaker, race veterinarian and official out to the location. As per trail procedure rule #13 he would have been allowed to continue the race but made the decision to scratch once the two dogs were brought to Central for a vet check.

"The two dogs, Caputo and Healy, were checked and are both in stable condition."

DeBruin drops out too

Early Monday morning, Canadian musher Hank DeBruin scratched from the race at the Eagle checkpoint in Alaska.

Quest officials say his decision was made for the wellbeing of his team.

He became the sixth musher to drop out of this year's race, leaving 15 teams still on the trail towards the finish line in Fairbanks.

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