Mush Larose is an association of dog-sledders and skijorers based in the Larose Forest, Limoges, Ontario. The Larose Forest is a multi-use community forest on the outskirts of Limoges approximately a 20 minute drive east of the city of Ottawa. With the cooperation of the county of Prescott-Russell Mush Larose members have enjoyed exclusive use of part of the Larose trail network over many winters.
History of Dog sports in Larose Forest
The currently prevailing belief is that Ralph Pequenat was responsible for organizing the first dog sled race in Larose Forest, but the exact date is debatable. That race may have taken place anywhere between the late 1960s and early ‘80s, depending who you ask. The race is said to have started in Bouget and followed the trails in Larose Forest. Ralph is said to have organized 5 annual races that were routed through the forest. Members of the Ottawa Valley Dog Sledding Club were represented at the races and followed a circuit of races, often sponsored by and starting from hotels. Ralph was a consumate musher, racing at Laconia, various places in Ontario and Quebec and the big name ‘sprint’ races in Alaska, which could run as long as 20 miles.
Later, Denis Fitzgerald and Dave Scott of the Arctic Sled Dog Club of Ontario organized races in the Larose Forest. There was an attempt to host a race as late as 1998 or 1999, but it was thwarted by freezing rain.
The Mush Larose club was organized in the 2005–2006 season and a club race was held in the forest once again. The weather was threatening to not cooperate, but rain turned to snow and dropped a thick blanket the night before the race.
In 2007, Mush Larose combined efforts with the Ottawa Fun Race which was seeking a new venue for their annual event in support of the Alaskan Malamute Help League. The result was a resounding success and day of great fun this past Sunday, Feb. 11th.
Material for this page was supplied by Sunday Driver Larry Brown. Larry’s original communications quoted Marc Lacelle, Dave Scott, and Dorothy Pequenat as sources for this information.