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).
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.
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: