Meet the Mushers
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31 Mile Race

Morgan has been watching and helping with the Eagle Cap Extreme for as long as she can remember.  She got her mushing start when one of the ECX mushers offered her a dog and she couldn't say no.

Her mushing highlight was helping a Czech musher at the LaGrande Odysee, when she was an exchange student in France.

Morgan plans to eventually have a full sled dog team, but will probably wait until after she finishes college.  She just applied to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and if she decides to go to college there, she says she will definitely help with the Yukon Quest!

  • Hometown: Enterprise, OR
  • Family: mom ~ Renee, dad ~ Craig, and exhange student sister ~ Charlotte
  • Age: 17
  • Hobbies: Riding horses, reading, skiing, mushing, and bikejoring
  • Number of Years Racing: 2
  • Number of Dogs: 2 + 1 Jack Russell Terrier
  • Breeds Used: Alaskan Husky
  • Lead Dogs: Inca and Aztec
  • Sponsors: Her loving parents and the Warren family for lending her dogs

The Hassilev family stared mushing when they got a Chinook as a puppy to be a companion for their older mixed-breed dog.  They attended a pull clinic at the Cascade Sled Dog Club and began a rapid and slippery slope into mushing.

David hopes to expand their small kennel and experience level in order to run longer distance races such as the Eagle Cap Extreme 100 and 200 mile races.

  • Hometown: Priest River, ID
  • Family: wife and handler~Jane, daugher ~ Michelle Thomas, and son ~ Zach
  • Age:56
  • Occupation: semi-retired IT professional, retired Coast Guard
  • Hobbies: running dogs
  • Number of Years Racing: 3
  • Kennel Name: Hoodoo Valley Howlers
  • Number of Dogs: 14
  • Breeds Used: Alaska Huskies, Chinooks
  • Lead Dogs: Alfalfa, Flyer, Maggie, and Galaxy
  • Sponsors: Priest River Ace Hardware

Connie got started mushing when her first Husky would pull her around on her roller blades.  Her husband then bought her a sled dog ride with Perry Solmonson and she was hooked!

Her mushing highlight was winning the Best Kept Team from the Northwest Sled Dog Association for the 2013-2014 season.  Her team is all rescues or re-homes.  She is so proud of them!

The 60 year old's goal for the future is to stay upright on the runners for as long as she can.

Connie's most embarrassing dog situation: "My dogs quit on me during a dry land race.  That's when I came up my kennel name, Weeno Pullya.  It's Native American for "lose some weight, lady!"  I had to practically push the cart back."

  • Hometown: Cle Elum, WA
  • Occupation: semi-retired and dog sled tour guide
  • Hobbies: hiking, reading, and scooping poop
  • Family: Husband ~ Scott, 2 sons, and 2 grandchildren
  • Number of Years Racing: 8
  • Kennel Name: Weeno-Pullyu
  • Number of Dogs: 7
  • Breeds Used: Siberian Husky, Alaskan Husky
  • Lead Dogs: Journey and Gidget

In the late 80’s Dina lived in Colorado and the hiked a lot with her 2 husky hybrid dogs and she watched some local sprint races. When she moved back to Washington state she bought a sled and started collecting and breeding Siberian Huskies. She did many recreational activities with her dogs, started a group called Work-9 to do fun runs, did the Oregon Dune Run, and the Mail Run in Quesnel, BC Canada. Her first race was the Cascade Quest where she realized her Siberians were not competitive enough, so she started collecting Alaskans.

Dina’s mushing highlight was a number of years ago during the Cascade Quest. She had doing a lot of training on hills and on the first huge hill of that race she and her team went charging up and they startled the race marshal that was kicked back on his snow machine. He said “What are you doing here?” It turned out she was leading the whole pack!

Dina hopes to one day retire and buy a coffee plantation in Kona, Hawaii. “I figure if I put it out there enough, it could happen!”

  • Hometown: Okanogan, WA
  • Occupation: Physical Therapist
  • Hobbies: riding her horse, running dogs, and building stuff
  • Number of Years Racing: 20
  • Kennel Name: Little Loup Creek Huskies
  • Number of Dogs:
  • Breeds Used: Alaskan Huskies
  • Lead Dogs: Per, Petra, and Aleut

Susan Parraga, 55, was our first local musher to enter the Eagle Cap Extreme! She has been running dogs around their Wallowa County property or taking them out carting for fifteen years but had mostly concentrated on showing her dogs rather than racing them.  She and her husband would hook up 2 to 4 dogs and run them around their yard.  It was 2 years ago that some of her dogs participated in the ECX Junior Race and last year her team ran in the 31 mile, 2 day ECX Race.  Now she says it's HER turn to catch up!

She says her mushing highlight so far does not involve her, because her dogs are more experienced that she is.  Her highlight was watching her dogs finish the Eagle Cap Extreme 31 mile, 2 day event in 2016.

Parraga has owned and bred multiple AKC champions and several years ago bred one of the top 25 Siberians. Her current team includes AKC Champion and Pointed show dogs.  Her long term goal is to get a sled dog title for her dogs and exhibit in the sled dog class at the National Specialty.  But first, she wants to finish this race!

“I have Siberian Huskies, it is a challenge to keep our of embarrassing situations!” Parraga writes. When passing by a vendor’s table, her foundation bitch jumped up and gobbled all of the snacks. For years afterwards, whenever that vendor saw them coming, she would clear her table."

Susan's favorite quote:  "Dogs have given us their absolute all.  We are the center of their universe.  We are the focus of their love, faith, and trust.  They serve us in return for scraps.  It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." ~ Roger Caras

  • Hometown:  Joseph, Oregon
  • Family:  Husband ~ Gary and 15 dogs
  • Occupation:  Store Manager at Mt Joseph Family Foods
  • Hobbies:  Dogs! Showing and running
  • Number of Years Racing:  Rookie
  • Kennel Name:  Zuska’s Siberians
  • Number of Dogs:  15
  • Breeds Used:  Siberian Huskies & a “token” Rat Terrier (cheer leader)
  • Lead Dogs:  Veronica and Speedy
  • Sponsor:  Mt Joseph Family Foods

Jane Devlin, 53, started her mushing adventures by rescuing Siberian Huskies in California. After attending a mushing boot camp with some rescued Siberian Huskies, she relocated to central Oregon to learn more about the sport and have access to trails and a mushing community.

Devlin includes running the Pedigree Stage Stop 8 dog Classic, chasing a moose at the Priest Lake Race, and having dogs that trust her and are a pleasure to work with as her mushing highlights thus far.

Jane’s goals are to make her dogs the best they can be in every aspect of the their lives.

She describes an embarrassing situation: “One of my dogs used to eat people’s jackets if they left food in the pockets. I bought a few jackets, kept my friends, and the dog lived to be 14.”

Another time she made her leaders turn the team around twice in a race when they knew the right trail.  She bought them hamburgers as an apology!

  • Hometown:  Bend, Oregon
  • Occupation:  Professional Dog Trainer
  • Family:  her dogs
  • Hobbies: Dog agility, Hiking, Kayaking, & Music!
  • Number of Years Racing:  10 (3rd year in the ECX)
  • Kennel Name:  Snomouse
  • Number of Dogs: 13
  • Breeds Used:  Siberian Huskies
  • Lead Dogs:  Roxyanne, Misty, Spock, & Dyce
  • Sponsor:  The Money Tree