Meet LAST YEARS race officials
A race of this caliber requires many volunteers and organizers in order to run smoothly. Meet a few of the people who helped maintain and run last year’s inaugural race.
Race Organizer: Jerry Wortley
Official Race Organizer and the brains behind the event, Jerry Wortley dreamed up the idea of Idaho’s Sled Dog Challenge while watching the “Dog Pull” event in the winter carnival. Jerry is a long time Iditarod Air Force Pilot with several years of volunteer work and logistics related to the last great race.
A local of McCall, Idaho, Dave Looney has volunteered as an Iditarod Air Force Pilot for almost a decade.
Race Judge: Phil Morgan
Phil Morgan is another Iditarod Airforce Pilot who has several years of experience working with the Last Great Race in Alaska. More importantly, Phil completed the Iditarod as a musher himself. He worked as a race judge during our inaugural McCall Ultra Challenge in 2018 and will be returning to Valley County for our upcoming 2019 race.
Race Marshal: Andy Angstman
Andy Angstman was born and raised in Bethel, Alaska. His family was heavily involved in the founding and organization of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race, which Andy raced three times. He also raced the Kobuk 440 and the 2007 Iditarod, in addition to many shorter races. He currently lives in Anchorage, where he is the Director of Safety and Compliance for Ryan Air, an Alaskan freight and passenger airline. He is a race judge in both the Kuskokwim 300 and the Iditarod.
Head Veterinarian: Dr. Ronda Aliah
Dr. Rhonda Aliah is a 6 year Iditarod veteran and returning this year to work the dropped dog lot in Anchorage. She has 8 years of experience working on the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race in Wyoming and 8 years as race veterinarian for the American Dog Derby in Ashton, ID. She really enjoys watching the dogs and mushers work as a team and the incredible endurance and toughness of both dog and musher.
Dr. Aliah graduated from Michigan State University in 1976. She worked 5 years in the Midwest in a farm practice. In 1981, she moved in Idaho Falls to purchase the Skyline Animal clinic which she owned for 30 years. After selling the practice in 2010, she has operated her own relief veterinary service for the past 7 years and continues to work as the staff veterinarian for the Idaho Falls Zoo, a position she has held for 27 years.
Rhonda is very excited about this new Iditarod qualifier in Idaho and looks forward to meeting new mushers and race officials and making this one of the best races in the northwest.
Veterinarian: Dr. Dawn Sessions
Dr Dawn Sessions went to WSU Veterinary College, graduating in 1990. She purchased Broadway Veterinary Hospital in 1994 and has grown the practice to a 5-Dr 7 day per week booming veterinary clinic. She has been married to Stan Sessions for 31 years and has a daughter Rebecca that is her practice manager. She enjoys cooking, camping, fishing, hunting and traveling. She has been an Iditarod Trail Vet for 5 years now and loves the cold weather extreme adventure of the race. She also enjoys the local villagers of Alaska and the small aircraft flights taken for the Iditarod trailstops. She fishes Payette Lake frequently for Mackinaw and has caught some very nice fish while in McCall. Looking forward to the first Ultimate McCall Challenge, she will be there to help the sleddogs and mushers race as safely and smoothly as possible.
Veterinarian: Dr. Jennifer Pearson
I have lived in Idaho for 10 years and worked as a critical care and emergency veterinarian for several years. For the last 3 years I have been working as a general practitioner at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I became involved with sled dog races 6 years ago at the Iditarod, which I have volunteered at for the the last 5 years. I am excited to be involved with a local race this year. In my spare time I enjoy running, hiking, and camping with my golden retrievers. Good luck and I will see you on the trail.
Veterinarian: Dr. Chad Hunt
Dr. Chad Hunt is a two time veteran of the Iditarod. Witnessing the unique human animal bond between mushers and their canine team has motivated him to rejoin the 2018 Iditarod team. He is excited to do his part to help bring the unique sport of sled dog racing back to his home state by vetting the McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge.
Dr. Hunt received his DVM at WSU in 2008 and completed an interniship under the tutelage of baoraded specialsts at WestVet in 2009. He started Canine Blood Heroes, Boise, a local blood bank, in 2010 and completed advanced training and certification in canine physical therapy and rehabilitation in 2012.