Huskies and sledders from across the UK have gathered in the Scottish Highlands to prepare for the 34th Aviemore Sled Dog Rally, which takes place at Loch Morlich, near Aviemore this weekend (28-29 January).

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Huskies wait for practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Organised by the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain, in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland, the race is now the largest event of its kind in the UK. There are over 1,000 sled dogs and 250 mushers – a big jump from the original number back in 1984 which consisted of only 12 teams.

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Mushers and their huskies practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Huskies wait for practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The Siberian Huskies are not the only race dogs to be included in the rallies, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs are among the common breeds used to take part in the race. These were the first breeds of dogs trained to pull sleds in Arctic conditions hundreds of years ago. IBTimesUK presents some of the best photos leading up to the race:

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Cameron Elder hugs his Samoyed during practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Samoyeds sit in a van during practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Mushers and their huskies practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Mushers and their huskies practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Kirsty Munday hugs her husky during practice at a forest course ahead of the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
A husky dog pulls a rig during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandRussell Cheyne/Reuters
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
A husky dog waits to run during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, ScotlandRussell Cheyne/Reuters