Bighorn Rush Sled Dog Challenge

Antelope Butte Ski Area, Bighorn Mountains, WY

5th Annual Bighorn Rush


Cash and Gear Prizes!



The fifth annual Bighorn Rush is a continued effort to promote dog-powered and winter sports in the Bighorn Mountains. The Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area, host of the race, is located along Wyoming State Hwy 14 about 10 miles south of Burgess Junction (junction of Hwy 14 and 14A). The trails mostly sit between 8,500 and 9,800 feet above sea level. This is a two-day event, with musher’s racing the same course both days.

The Trails: 
All races start and finish at the same location – adjacent to the ski lodge.
- 8-12-dog, 25 mile loop
- 8-dog, 12 mile loop
- 6-dog, 7 mile loop
- 4-dog, 4 mile loop (exhibition recreation run)
- 1-2-dog, 7 mile skijor loop

Event Schedule (Click Here)

All courses include a fair bit of ups and downs – it is called a sled dog challenge for a reason. But along with the elevation changes come incredible vistas and a really great variety of terrain. It is well worth the climbs.

Food will be available for purchase at the race for both spectators and mushers (snacks, lunch, hot/cold drinks, etc.). 

The lodging listed below is provided roughly in order of distance from the race site.

There is no on-site lodging at Antelope Butte Ski Area, but mushers are welcome to camp at the site – there is lots of space for musher parking. Electricity is not available to hook up to campers.

There are several lodges within about 10 miles of the ski area – just keep in mind that this is the start of the snowmobile season in the Bighorns, so the lodge parking lots typically are busy with iron dogs. All lodges have on-site restaurants. The lodges are listed below.
- Elk View Inn -- 
- Bear Lodge Resort -- 
- Arrowhead Lodge -

Off the east face of the mountain is Dayton, Wyoming (about 45 minutes from the race site). Dayton has a few lodging options:
- Shire Valley Cabins --
- Foothills Motel & Campgrounds --

Five miles east of Dayton sits Ranchester, Wyoming. Ranchester has the following lodging options:
- Western Motel --
- Lazy R Campground and Cabins -

Dayton and Ranchester are small towns (less than 1,000 people). However, they both have several good restaurants, gas stations, small grocery stores, and bars. 

About 15-20 minutes from Ranchester, along I-90 is Sheridan, Wyoming – about an hour from the race site. Sheridan is the closest “large” town and has numerous lodging options as well as any other significant amenity one could need. 

Off the west face of the mountain sits the towns of Shell, Wyoming (population less than 100)
- Shell Campground -;

...then Greybull, Wyoming. Greybull has several motels and lodging options as well. Shell and Greybull are about 30-45 minute drives from the race site.


Registration Information

$75.00 - 8-12-dog 25 mile loop

$60.00 - 8-dog 12 mile loop

$50.00 - 6-dog 7 mile loop

$40.00 - 4-dog 4 mile loop (exhibition recreation run)

$50.00 - 2-dog skijor 7 mile loop 




7-8 a.m. – check-in at the Yurt at Antelope Butte (race site)

8:00 a.m. - mandatory mushers pre-race meeting.

10:00 a.m. - Races begin in the following order:
- 8-12-dog 25 mile
- Skijor 7 mile
- 6-dog 7 mile
- 8-dog 12 mile (will start after all 7-milers return)
- 4-dog 4 mile


8:00 a.m. - Races begin.





  1. a) All dogs are subject to a veterinary check prior to the start of the race.
  2. b) Any dogs not qualifying for a certificate of good health may not run in the race.
  3. c) All dogs entered in the race must have current parvo, rabies, and distemper vaccinations according to the AVHA guidelines.
  4. d) The dogs that cross the start line Saturday constitutes the team. No dogs may be substituted or added to a team after the start.
  5. e) Any dog dropped by the musher or any team disqualified at any point of the race is not eligible to compete in the remainder of the race.
  6. f) It is the musher’s responsibility to ensure that all dogs in his/her team are healthy and conditioned adequately to complete the race.


  1. a) No dog, equipment or clothing shall be brought from a kennel where rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, or other contagious diseases exist.
  2. b) If the RGO deems any dog present to potentially have a transmissible disease, that team shall be disqualified and shall immediately leave the race area.


  1. a) All harnesses shall have padded neck and chest areas.
  2. b) All dogs shall be harnessed in single or double file.
  3. c) All teams must be equipped with functional necklines. Necklines are not mandatory, however mushers are required to maintain control of their team so as not to interfere with passing teams. If appropriate control is not maintained, the musher in question will be required to use necklines in order to continue with the race.
  4. d) If a cable or cable-core gangline is used, a cable cutter must be carried in a readily accessible place. If a rope gangline is used, a knife must be carried in an accessible place.
  5. e) A snub line may be carried on the sled but shall not be used in any manner that would constitute abuse of the dogs or interfere with the progress of another team.
  6. f) Some type of sled shall be drawn.
  7. g) A sled shall have an adequate brake, brush bow, snowhook, and snub line.
  8. h) A sled/dog bag capable of safely restraining a struggling or injured dog and all mandatory gear is required.
  9. i) Any driver who uses ski poles must stop poling and place the poles in or on the sled whenever his/her team is within 100 feet of another team or whenever an approaching driver calls “trail”. Failure to do so may result in a penalty at the discretion of the race marshal.



  1. a) The Race Marshall has the final word over all safety considerations for both dogs and mushers. He/she has authority to interpret rules at the mushers meeting, alter the time and location of the start, alter the race route, alter a participant's official running time, levy monetary penalties, disqualify dogs, teams and mushers, stop the race, order drug testing, and determine winners and subsequent placing. The Race Manager will supply any information as required by the Race Marshal for the purpose of providing the best possible decision. The Race Marshal may have one or more assistants.
  2. b) The Trail Boss is responsible for laying out the trail. The Trail Boss will be responsible for scheduling maintenance of the trail and making trail breaking decisions.
  3. d) The Start/Finish Coordinators, Timers and Checkpoint Coordinators each have immediate authority in their areas and will act as consultants to the Race Marshals, who ultimately have the final word.


  1. a) Mushers shall be responsible for the conduct of their dogs and crew at any race function, on the trail, and at the race staging area.
  2. b) Common sense and good sportsmanship shall prevail. If the Race Marshal determines that the conduct of the musher or crew at any time in any race area or on the trail is detrimental to the sport in general, or to Bighorn Rush, the team may be disqualified. This includes negative comments made in the presence of the public or the media. It is expected that complaints or criticisms will be directed privately to race officials.
  3. c) Willful failure to adhere to the published rules may result in disqualification.
  4. d) The penalties which may be assessed by the Race Marshal include disqualification, fines, or time penalties, and will depend on the nature and severity of the infraction. Disqualified mushers will forfeit all entry fees, awards, placements, and participation in the purse. Time penalties will be added to finish time as appropriate and may affect the final place of the team. Fines will be paid before the awards ceremony or will result in a deduction from any award from the purse, or will be added to the entry fee for a subsequent year’s race.
  5. e) The use of illegal drugs and/or illegal substances as defined by state law or the excessive use of alcohol by mushers during the race is strictly prohibited.
  6. f) If a musher withdraws from the race before completing the entire course, he/she must return race property to a Race Official and check out with the Race Marshal before leaving the race site.



  1. a) Pre-Start Schedule
  2. i) All mushers, handlers, and team trucks must be in the official parking area at a specified time to be announced at the mushers meeting.
  3. ii) All mushers and dogs will be required to take part in ceremonial festivities and functions.
  4. b) Start Times
  5. i) Teams will start Saturday’s and Sunday’s legs in 2-minute intervals in the order determined by the Head Timers.
  6. c) Finish
  7. i) The person of the musher crossing the finish line signals a team’s official finish. In the event that the musher is not with the team when it finishes, the finish time will be officially recorded when the musher crosses the line after the team.
  8. ii) Mushers must make a sincere effort to continue in the race in a timely manner or they will be disqualified.

iii) There will be no calling of trail in the section called “no-man’s land.” This section of trail will be identified and announced at the mushers meeting.


  1. a) Absolutely no outside assistance on the trail.
  2. b) Mushers may assist each other in appropriate ways in an emergency. Good sportsmanship is encouraged.
  3. c) Race participants may not accept rides on any motorized vehicles unless an emergency exists. An emergency exists when the safety of the driver or dogs is in jeopardy, for example, a loose team or severely injured dog or driver.
  4. d) Pacing of any kind is strictly prohibited.
  5. e) The use of two-way radios by mushers will not be permitted.


  1. a) Cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs by any musher and/or his/her handlers is strictly prohibited. Cruel and inhumane treatment is any action or inaction which causes pain or suffering to a dog that could have been prevented.
  2. b) No whips of any kind shall be allowed.
  3. c) Expired Dogs
  4. i) Any dog that expires on the trail for any reason must be taken to the finish.
  5. ii) Expired dogs must be completely covered when being carried on the sled. An autopsy may be performed on any expired dog by a designated veterinarian.
  6. d) Carrying Dogs
  7. i) A musher may not allow any of his/her dogs to be carried by another team except in an emergency.
  8. ii) A musher's dogs carried in his/her own sled must be transported in a humane fashion.
  9. e) Loose Dogs
  10. i) All dogs will be in the team, on the sled, or appropriately restrained.
  11. ii) In the event that a dog becomes loose from its team, the musher may not leave the staging area until the dog is recovered.

iii) Good sportsmanship is encouraged between mushers in recovering a loose dog. If the dog cannot be recovered, the team will be disqualified.


  1. a) Planned assistance is acceptable in the race staging areas only.
  2. b) Any veterinary expense incurred by a musher is his/her responsibility.


  1. a) Each musher and their handlers are responsible for having necessary food and water at the start/finish.


  1. a) Bighorn Rush is a guest on lands of the Bighorn National Forest, and on the premises of Antelope Butte Foundation. In light of this fact, mushers will conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and will at no time demand “rights” to the trail. Please clean-up the parking area of any dog feces, straw and trash before leaving.
  2. b) Passing
  3. i) When overtaking another team, the musher shall call “trail.” The overtaken team must relinquish the trail, must stop if asked, and assist the passing team when necessary.
  4. ii) When neither of two teams is able to pull away from the other, the mushers shall mutually decide on the appropriate team to lead out.

iii) In a head-on passing situation, the outward bound team has the right-of-way, and the team travelling against the flow must relinquish the trail.

  1. c) Lost Team
  2. i) In the case of a lost team, the team will not be disqualified if the musher regains control of the team, provided that the team and musher complete the entire race trail and comply with the rules.
  3. ii) All teams must follow the trail as marked. As long as the team and musher continue on the trail when separated, the musher may continue after regaining control.

iii) Mushers may receive assistance from another musher in recovering their team.

  1. iv) Teams inadvertently leaving the course must regain the course where it was first left.
  2. d) Safety
  3. i) The Bighorn Rush official trail is part of a multi-use trail system. Be cautious when overtaking, encountering or being overtaken by snow machines or skiers.
  4. e) Stopping on the trail
  5. i) When stopped on the trail, adequate room must be allowed for teams to get past and assistance given, if necessary. Every effort should be made to get completely off the trail while stopped.
  6. ii) If snacking, watering or feeding on the trail, the team must be completely off the trail, if possible. The trail must be free of food or debris. Penalties may be imposed by the Race Marshal for not complying with this rule.

iii) Pack out all garbage, including runner plastic and dog booties removed by the musher. Littering is prohibited and will be penalized.

  1. f) Bibs
  2. i) Numbered bibs must be worn at all times.


  1. a) The race will continue under all but the most severe trail and weather conditions.
  2. b) Postponement or cancellation of the race will be made no less than seven (7) days prior to the start of the race.
  3. c) In the event of questionable trail conditions, the Race Committee and Race Marshall will decide which portion(s) of trail will be altered.
  4. d) The Race Marshals are responsible for alteration of starting and/or finishing locations.


1) It is the desire of the Bighorn Rush Race Committee that all mushers finishing the race be present at the awards ceremony. Absence will result in disqualification and/or forfeiture of winnings. Extenuating circumstances may be considered. The Bighorn Rush Race Committee encourages all non-finishing mushers to be present at the awards ceremony.

2) Purse money will be awarded only to participants who are designated official finishers.

When & Where

Jan 1, 2022 - Jan 2, 2022


6:00 AM

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Antelope Butte Ski Area, Bighorn Mountains, WY

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