OFFICIAL RULES - 2018 Update


  1. All musher's must fill out the official entry forms.
  2. Receipt of entry fee will constitute the musher's intent to enter the race and further acknowledge that the musher agrees to comply with the rules as stated in this document.
  3. This is a class race. A team may be entered in only one class, either the 40, or 20 mile races.
  4. The American Dog Derby Committee reserves the right to reject any entry for just cause.


  1. There will be only one musher per team and the person starting the team at the beginning of the race will drive the team throughout the race.
  2. A musher must be 18 years of age or older. An experienced younger musher wishing to enter must apply in writing for a waiver of this minimum age rule. This application must include: the number of years of experience, race history, and references from at least 2 veteran musher's A written consent form from a parent or guardian is required for all entrants under the age of 18 years.


  1. All registered musher's will attend the mandatory musher's meeting unless prior arrangements have been made.
  2. Only musher's and officials are allowed to participate in the rules discussion.


  1. Starting position for Friday will be determined by the date of receipt of paid musher's entrance fee. Entries received on the same date shall be treated alphabetically. For those not in attendance of pre race meeting they will be put in order as registered and meet with Race Marshall as prescheduled for rule overview.. The restart Saturday morning will be based on slowest time first, from Friday's run.


  1. In the class race, (40, or 20 mile races), Teams entered in the 40 and 20 mile race must start with 4-8 dogs and finish with no less that 3 dogs.
  2. All dogs entered in the race must have a current official rabies vaccination administered by a licensed veterinarian and accompanied by a signed official rabies certificate. Owners must also provide proof of current Parvo, Distemper and Adeno 2 and para influenza vaccinations. Bordetella has been diagnosed in this area, and is highly contagious. For the protection of your dogs we highly recommend you vaccinate for Borderella. Either intranasal or injection.
  3. No dogs may be added to a team after the start of the race.
  4. 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.
  5. It is the musher’s responsibility to ensure that all dogs in his team are healthy and conditioned adequately to complete the race. However due to unforeseen circumstances, sick or injured dogs may be dropped at two check points. One at the first road crossing going out (about 1 mile) and also at the Robinson Creek Road crossing (40 mile turn around). Dog must be checked out of the race with the checkpoint official and/or a Race Veterinarian. The team handler will be notified and is responsible for transporting dog back to the staging area. A five (5) minute penalty will be added to the musher's running time for that day for each dropped dog.

    *amended February 2018


  1. No dog, equipment or clothing shall be brought from a kennel where rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, or other contagious diseases exist.
  2. If a Race Veterinarian diagnoses any dog present in the race area to have a contagious disease, that team shall be disqualified and shall immediately leave the race area. The race veterinary team can collect blood or urine at anytime prior to, during or after the race at the mushers expense.


  1. Any veterinary expense incurred by musher is their responsibility.
  2. Prohibited Drugs-All U.S. Federal Drug Administration controlled stimulants or depressants, analgesics, prescriptive and non-prescriptive anti-inflammatory drugs, including but not limited to corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-prostaglandins and aspirin or any of its salts or derivatives (e.g. salicylates), anti-anxiety drugs, anabolic steroids, or antihistamines shall be prohibited. Any state or federally restricted substance that would artificially enhance the performance of the dog is strictly prohibited.
  3. Exceptions- Estrual suppressant drugs such as Cheque, which may be used in appropriate doses to suppress heat cycles in female dogs. Anti-inflammatory drugs used topically in foot ointments.
  4. If, during the race, it is deemed necessary by a Race Veterinarian to use a prohibited substance to protect the dog's health and well being, that dog will be dropped from the race.
  5. If during the race, any musher and/or his/her crew is guilty of violating the rules governing the use and /or administration of banned substances to any team dog still in the competition, that musher and team will be immediately disqualified and will forfeit their right to all merchandise, prizes, entry fees, or any other recognition awarded them.
  6. Allowable drugs that can be administered by the musher;
    1. Topical drugs- Preparations containing antibiotics and/or anti- inflammatory drugs (i.e. Corticosteroids) may be used externally on the footpads and/or in the web of the foot only. Their use during the race should be judicious and in combination with boots where appropriate, so that excess amounts may not be licked off, swallowed and them absorbed in the general body circulation. DMSO in any form or combination is prohibited.
    2. Anti-diarrheals-Drugs which are not absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract such as kaolin, bismuth compounds, Imodium AD (or it's generics) and pectin (Kaopectate) may be used to control diarrhea and vomiting. These may be combined with systemic absorbable drugs, if prescribed by an Official Race Veterinarian. Pepto-Bismol is strictly prohibited since it contains Aspirin.
  7. Allowable drugs, if prescribed and administered by a Race Veterinarian:
    1. Antibiotics- The use of oral or injectable antibiotics is allowed if prescribed by a race veterinarian. This is for the benefit of the dog, to allow continuance in the race where it will not mask a condition that could cause harm to the dog.
    2. Anti-diarrheals-Systemic absorbable drugs may be used if prescribed by a race veterinarian.
  8. Other - vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, pro-biotics, and dietary supplements are considered food items and are allowed only when administered orally and are not medicated.


  1. Harnesses and Lines-
  2. All dogs shall be harnessed in single or double file.
  3. All harnesses shall be padded around neck and chest.
  4. All dogs shall be fastened to the tug line and a tail line with the exception of the lead dog(s) who may be run without a neckline.
  5. 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. Sled
  7. Some type of sled shall be drawn and must be capable of carrying the musher and have a basket and sled/dog bag capable of carrying a dog (enclosed, hidden from view) and all mandatory gear.
  8. A sled shall be equipped with an adequate brake, brush bow, snow hook, and snub line.
  9. Gear List
    Mandatory Gear (Must be on the sled at the start and finish of both day’s races)
    1. Knife
    2. Set of booties for each dog (on sled or dogs)
    3. First Aid kit (consisting of at least an ace bandage, pressure dressing and tape)
    4. Matches
    5. Race Bib
    6. Official race trail map
    7. Snow hook
    8. Dog Bag
    9. Two extra necklines and chains


  1. The Race Marshal has the final word over all safety considerations for both dogs and musher's He/she has authority to interpret rules at the musher's meeting, alter the time and location of the start or finish, alter the race route, alter a participant's official running time, levy monetary penalties, disqualify dogs, teams and musher's, refer questions to the Rules Interpretation Committee, stop the race, order drug testing, and determine winners and subsequent placing. The Race Officials 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. The rules interpretation committee is a 3-person committee available for consultation with the Race Marshal prior to, during and following the race. Once called together by the Race Marshal on a specific issue, its decision becomes the final word on that issue. The Rules Interpretation Committee will consist of the Race Marshal, Assistant Race Marshal, and Head Race Veterinarian.
  3. The Race Veterinarians are consulting specialists for the race. In addition to the pre-race veterinarian check, they will be available throughout the race for consultations, first aid and major medical situations. Their recommendations to disallow an entry or remove a dog or team from the race will go directly to the Race Marshal, who will make the final decision.
  4. The Trail Coordinator is responsible for laying out the trail, and will be responsible for scheduling maintenance of the trail and road crossings and making trail-breaking decisions for the trail.
  5. The Race Officials will have immediate authority in their area and will act as consultants to the Race Marshall, who ultimately has the final word.


  1. Musher's shall be responsible for the conduct of their dogs and crew whether in the race area, or on the trail.
  2. Common sense, good sportsmanship, and courtesy shall prevail. If the Race Marshal determines that the musher or crew's conduct is detrimental to the race, that team may be disqualified.
  3. Willful failure to adhere to the published rules may result in disqualification. This will be the responsibility of the Race Marshal. A disqualified musher will forfeit all entry fees, placements, and prizes both merchandise and money.
  4. The Rules Interpretation Committee and the Race Marshal may assess penalties other than disqualification if in their judgment an infraction resulted without willful intent. These penalties shall take the form of time penalties and/or monetary penalties. Time penalties will be added to the finish time as appropriate and may effect the final placement of the team.
  5. The use of illegal drugs and/or substances as defined by the State of Idaho, or excess use of alcohol by musher's during the race is prohibited.


  1. Any musher wishing to register a verbal protest must do so no later than one hour following the protester's finish on the day the protested act occurred. A $25.00 deposit must accompany any verbal protest.
  2. All written protests having to do with the first day's heat must be put into writing within 2 hours of the protestors finish that day. On the second day of the race the protest must be put into writing, along with names of any witnesses, and submitted to a Race Official no later than one hour following the protester’s finish.
  3. Protest fee refunds may be obtained Committee Chairmen providing written protest have been filled out as prescribed and upon presentation of receipt.
  4. Protests must be submitted directly to a Race Official (Committee Chairman, Race Marshal, Timer, Veterinarian) AND SHALL NOT BE DISCUSSED WITH SPECTATORS, MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES OR THE GENERAL PUBLIC PRIOR TO A DECISION BEING HANDED DOWN.
  5. An official decision will be made by the Rules Interpretation Committee following a hearing attended by all parties involved.


  1. All musher's, handlers, and team trucks must be in the official parking area at a specified time to be announced at the Musher's Meeting. At this time, each participant's sled and mandatory equipment must be ready and available for inspection.
  2. Teams will start at 2-minute intervals. Each musher's elapsed time will be calculated from the specified starting time. A team unable to leave at its specified time will depart after the last team leaves and will observe the specified interval between teams. Any musher who cannot leave the starting line within 6 minutes of the last team’s departure will be disqualified unless extenuating circumstances prevail.


  1. The Ambassadors Cup Sports Foundation/The American Dog Derby is a guest on lands of the U. S. Forest Service, the State of Idaho, Fremont County, and private landowners. In light of this fact, musher's will conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and will at no time demand "rights" to the trail.
  2. Passing
    1. When overtaking another team, the musher shall call "TRAIL". The overtaken team must relinquish the trail and assist the passing team when necessary, except in “no-man's zone”, which is from last road crossing to the finish line.
    2. When neither team is able to pull away from the other, the musher's shall mutually decide on the appropriate team to lead out. No other passing rules apply including time period prior to repassing or any other sanctioned or non-sanctioned passing rule. Good sportsmanship and common courtesy should be observed.
  3. Lost Team
    1. 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 course and comply with the rules.
    2. 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.
    3. Musher's may receive assistance from another musher in recovering their team.
    4. Teams inadvertently leaving the course must regain the course at the point at which it was left.
  4. Safety
    1. It is the musher’s responsibility to check for traffic at road crossings.
    2. Wintering moose may be encountered on the trail. Let them leave the race trail before approaching them, then proceeds with caution.
  5. 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 keep the trail clean of food or debris. Penalties may be imposed by the Race Marshal for not complying with this rule.
  6. Pack out all garbage, littering is prohibited.
  7. Numbered bibs must be visible at the start of the race, at all check points, and road crossings, and at the finish. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in a time penalty.


  1. Absolutely no planned outside assistance is allowed on the race course.
  2. Musher's may assist each other in appropriate ways in an emergency. Good sportsmanship is encouraged.
  3. Replacement of broken or lost equipment must be arranged through and directed by a Race Official. (In the event of a broken sled, the musher must send word to a Race Official who will then direct a handler to transport a replacement to the stranded musher).
  4. Race participants may not accept rides on any motorized vehicle 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. This will constitute being withdrawn from the race and notification of Race Officials is mandatory.
  5. Musher's may not arrange for any person or persons to instruct them between check points. Request for directions along the way is acceptable but should be limited to Race Officials.
  6. Pacing of any kind is strictly prohibited.
  7. The use of two-way radios or cell-phones by musher's will not be permitted.


  1. Cruel or inhumane treatment of dogs by any musher and/or handlers is strictly prohibited.
  2. No whips will be allowed.
  3. Expired dogs must be completely covered when carried on the sled. A Veterinarian agreeable to the musher and the Race Marshal will perform an autopsy on all expired dogs. Findings will be filed with the American Dog Derby Committee.
  4. A musher may not allow any of his/her dogs to be hauled by another team.
  5. A musher's dogs hauled in his/her own sled must be hauled in a humane fashion.
  6. All dogs will be in the team, on the sled or appropriately restrained.
  7. In the event that a dog becomes loose from its team, the musher must recover the loose dog before completing that leg of the race.
  8. Good sportsmanship is encouraged between musher's in recovering a loose dog. If the dog cannot be recovered or if the sled returns to the start/finish area without all the dogs either attached to the gang line or in the sled bag the team will be disqualified.


  1. The timeing chip on the sled crossing the finish line signals an 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.
  2. Only teams crossing the official finish will be awarded official finisher status and prize money
  3. Musher's must make a sincere effort to continue in the race in a timely manner or they will be disqualified.
  4. There will be no calling of “trail” in the section called "no-man's zone." This section of trail will usually be from the start to the first road crossing and will be clarified and announced at the musher's meeting.
  5. The race will officially end at 5:00 p.m. Saturday night. Teams still on the racecourse will be allowed to continue on a case-by-case basis, decided with safety in mind, but the race officials may abandon the race course. Late finishing teams may have the official finish line moved to the edge of town so that main street may be reopened to vehicle traffic.
  6. Our racecourse is manned and patrolled by the local Search and Rescue Team and may be called off of the trail at any time to conduct Search and Rescue. In this event, all efforts will be made by Race Officials to assure race participants safety but the ultimate responsibility will remain with the individual participants.


  1. The Race will continue under all but the most severe trail and weather conditions.
  2. Postponement or cancellation of the race will be made no less than 10 days prior to the start of the race.
  3. In the event of questionable trail conditions, or high temperatures, the Race Marshal will decide which portions of trail will be altered.
  4. The Race Marshal is responsible for alteration of starting and or finishing location.


  1. All musher's finishing the race within one hour prior to the announced time of the awards ceremony must be present at the ceremony. Absence will result in disqualification and/or forfeiture of winnings.
  2. Purse moneys will be awarded only to participants who are designated official finishers.
  3. All musher's are encouraged to complete the Musher’s Critique, and either give it to a committee member or return by mail to Registration Chairman.


  1. Each musher is responsible for his/her own actions and the actions of his/her dogs and crew. Care should be taken to clean up your parking areas in the staging/start area. The musher also agrees to release the sponsors, The American Dog Derby Committee, The Ambassador's Cup Sports Foundation, and their agent, from any claim or demand resulting from injury to the musher, his/her dogs, crew, property or the property of his/her crew.
  2. Each musher shall sign any and all documents as may be requested by the Race Committee to evidence the foregoing. These documents will be executed at the musher's meeting. Any musher who does not sign the documents requested by the Race Committee will not be allowed to participate in the race.