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King's dead Iditarod dog was part of championship bloodline

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published March 12, 2016

The Iditarod dog killed by a snowmachiner early Saturday morning was the grandson of a Golden Harness winner, the son of a dog still running in Jeff King's team and the brother of a dog whose leg was broken in the accident.

Nash was a 3-year-old male born Sept. 24, 2012, part of a four-puppy litter named after the rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Crosby suffered a broken leg in the accident, said Carrie Skinner, office manager of King's Husky Homestead kennel in Denali Park. Crosby -- described by Skinner as Nash's "best friend and play buddy" -- is one of at least two dogs injured when King's team was struck by the snowmachine about 10 miles away from the Nulato checkpoint.

The other, 2-year-old Banjo, "was knocked unconscious in the accident and from what we've gathered did not regain consciousness until after Jeff arrived in the checkpoint," Skinner said.

"He wasn't sure Banjo was going to make it," she added.

The injured dogs were treated in Nulato and will be taken to either McGrath or Unalakleet, where they'll be put on a plane to Anchorage, Skinner said.

"We're anxious to get Crosby and Banjo back home and hopefully on the road to recovery," she said. "Both could have sustained career-ending injuries."

King dropped another dog at Nulato, Skinner said, but she didn't know which dog it was or if the dog was dropped because of injuries from the accident or for other reasons.

Still on the team is Skeeter, Nash and Crosby's mom.

Nash, Crosby and their two brothers "were all four pretty fat and happy" as puppies, Skinner said. "Skeeter's a really good mom," she said.

The grandfather of the litter is Salem, the Iditarod's 2006 Golden Harness winner, who was the leader of King's championship team that year.

Nash, Crosby and Banjo all started the 2015 Iditarod with King. Crosby and Banjo made it all the way to Nome, Skinner said.

As news of Nash's death spread on Saturday, fellow mushers and fans posted condolences and tributes on the Husky Homestead Facebook page.

"The support and condolences from around the world — I mean, they have been overwhelming," Skinner said. "It's amazing. The emails we're receiving, the Facebook messages, the posts on our tour page — we are so very thankful and appreciative of the support we're receiving."