Meet the 2023 race officials

ISDC privileged to have a well experienced group of officials to oversee the 5th running of the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge.
The Race Marshal and Judges are responsible for the enforcement of all ISDC policies and race rules. Decisions relating to dog care and treatment are made after consultation with the Head Veterinarian.

They are the representatives of the race organization at the checkpoints during the race. Their job is to ensure that the race runs smoothly and is fair for all mushers. Situations can arise suddenly. The race judge must be able to make an immediate decision so as to neither disadvantage nor favor one team over another.

Jerry Wortley

Jerry Wortley

Race Organizer

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.

Mark Cox

Mark Cox

Race Judge

Mark Cox is a returning Judge and is the ever smiling Checkpoint Lead at the Third Fork Cabin remote checkpoint.
Mark hails from McGrath, Alaska and works for the Division of Forestry as a Firefighter and in Logistics. 
He has spent over 30 years working logistics and as race judge for the Iditarod at the McGrath Checkpoint. The two ISDC alumni running the Iditarod this year will see him in March in McGrath.
Dona Miller

Dona Miller

Race Judge

Dona’s mushing career started when she went on a sled dog ride in 1989 and, having been bitten by the mushing bug, she soon had two sled dogs and was happily skijoring. It wasn’t long before the skis were replaced with a sled and she and her husband Gary, began building their kennel and participating in competitive racing. Dona has raced many sprint and mid-distance races and since hanging up the runners, she is the long time Race Marshal at the Eagle Cap Extreme and has been a judge on the Yukon Quest and several sprint races. Dona lives in Joseph, Oregon with her husband and their dogs where she is a jewelry artist and instructor.

Rick Katucki

Rick Katucki

Race Marshal

Rick Katucki returns as the Race Marshal for 2023. He was the 2022 race marshal after having been a judge at ISDC for several years prior. Rick has been a judge at the Eagle Cap Extreme for many years and race marshal for the Stanley Sled Dog Rendezvous. He trained and raced sled dogs for 20+ years in the northwest and in Alaska and has received a Best Kept Team Award. These days his kennel is much smaller and he races in dryland events. His objective is a smooth running race that is fair and fun for mushers, volunteers, and spectators.

Laura Kat

Laura Kat

Race Judge

Laura is a returning judge to ISDC. Returning mushers will remember her smiling face at Smiths Ferry Checkpoint. She has volunteered on the Yukon Quest, presented at the International Sled Dog Symposium in Fairbanks, Alaska and was an active member of the Alaskan Recreational Musher Association. She raised and drove dogs in Fairbanks for 20 plus years and now calls Connecticut home.

Steve Riggs

Steve Riggs

Race Judge

We are pleased to have Steve Riggs back as a judge. Steve has raced and won mid-distance races for 20 some years. He has an excellent understanding as to how a race needs to run from a trail perspective. He has experience as a judge and race marshal for various races in Montana including the Race to the Sky. He is also the recipient of Best Kept Team award. Steve Riggs lives in Olney, Montana.
Dave Looney

Dave Looney

Logistics

A local of McCall, Idaho, Dave Looney has volunteered as an Iditarod Air Force Pilot for over a decade and became interested in sled dog racing after being involved in a weather event rescue during the Yukon Quest in Alaska.  Dave has helped run logistics and trails for the ISDC since its inception.

Joanie Fauci

Joanie Fauci

Head Timer

Joanie is a multi-year volunteer at ISDC. Over her tenure with the race, she has been a timer, worked race central, been a dog handler and a checkpoint worker. She has an intimate understanding of the internal workings of the race
Joanie lives in Boise, travels extensively and enjoys long distance backpacking and gravel bike expeditions.

Meet YOUR OFFICIAL RACE VEterINARIANS

We are proud to have so many returning veterinarians to the ISDC.  Many have years of Iditarod experience which helps the ISDC provide the best possible care for our athletic dog teams.

Dawn Sessions, D.V.M.

Dawn Sessions, D.V.M.

Head Veterinarian

Dr. Dawn Sessions is a Washington State 1990 grad, a 7-year Iditarod Trail vet, and the head vet of the ISDC with 2 years of experience at ISDC.

She likes to fish, hunt, ride her motorcycle, boat, cook, and garden.

Helping the mushers and sleddogs race as best as they can is her goal for the ISDC 2022.

Michelle Chan, D.V.M.

Michelle Chan, D.V.M.

Veterinarian

Dr. Michelle Chan graduated from Washington State University in 2019 and has been practicing around Idaho, Washington, and Montana.

She has interest in emergency/critical care, rural area medicine, and general practice.

Michelle was first introduced to sled dog medicine as a new graduate when she shadowed at the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge in 2020 and was hooked! She enjoys meeting the teams, working with the mushers, and spending time outside during her favorite season.

Outside of work Michelle enjoys a number of outdoor activities including hiking, climbing, backpacking, and snowshoeing in the backcountry.

She currently resides in Boise, Idaho with her husband and her pets.

Kari Reina, D.V.M.

Kari Reina, D.V.M.

Veterinarian

Dr Kari Reina is Iditarod trained with 2 years as ISDC trail vet.

She is a 2013 graduate of Western University and is currently practicing high quality medicine, dentistry and surgery in Boise.

Her hobbies are snowboarding, travel, camping and hiking with her dogs.

Ashley Kimbel, D.V.M.

Ashley Kimbel, D.V.M.

Veterinarian

Dr. Ashley Kimbel is a Pacific Northwest native that recently made the move from Oregon to Idaho.

She loves being outdoors and is really enjoying the break from Oregon’s infamous rain.

She graduated from Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine and did a rotating internship at West Vet, which is how she came to live and fall in love with Idaho.

Participating in Idaho’s sled dog challenge is a refreshing juxtaposition of her love of nature and her career. She has overwhelming respect for working animals, from sled dogs to police and military members and is humbled to have the opportunity to support their health and wellness on the job.

Savanna Strohmeyer, D.V.M.

Savanna Strohmeyer, D.V.M.

Veterinarian

Dr. Savanna Strohmeyer is a 2020 graduate of the University of Florida and is currently practicing high-quality medicine, dentistry, and surgery in Boise. She is an ISDC trail vet rookie but is very willing to help mushers and sleddogs. She likes biking, hiking, and playing piano.

Chad Hunt, D.V.M.

Chad Hunt, D.V.M.

Dr. Chadwick Hunt is a Washington State 2008 grad, an 8-year Iditarod Trail vet, and a 2-year ISDC trail vet.

He is an experienced orthopedic veterinary surgeon in Meridian and will be vetting the remote checkpoint of 3rd Fork Cabin.

He likes to fish, run and ski Idaho

View the 2022 Race Gallery

photos credit Melissa Shelby Photography