Defending champion Brent Sass leads group of 21 mushers signing up for 2023 Iditarod on first day

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow

Eureka’s Brent Sass, the 2022 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion, was among the 21 mushers who signed up on the first day of registration to run the 2023 race.

Nineteen Alaskans registered Saturday for next year’s Iditarod, which is scheduled to start March 5 in Willow. The ceremonial start in Anchorage is set for March 4.

The list of 2023 registrants includes Jessie Holmes, Dan Kaduce, Richie Diehl and Ryan Redington, who all finished in the top 10 this year. Forty-nine total mushers started the race in 2022.

New Hampshire musher Jaye Foucher and Denmark’s Mille Porsild were the only two non-Alaska mushers to register on the first day.

Absent from the opening-day registration list were 2022 runner-up Dallas Seavey and his father, Mitch Seavey. They have a combined eight Iditarod wins between them.

In 2022, 48 mushers signed up on the opening day for registration including six former champions.

Mushers have until Nov. 30 to register for the 51st running of the race.

The mushers who registered Saturday are: Ryan Redington, Knik; Matt Hall, Two Rivers; Brent Sass, Eureka; Grayson Bruton, Sterling; Richie Diehl, Aniak; Jaye Foucher, Wentworth, New Hampshire; Mille Porsild, Denmark; Jason Mackey, Wasilla; Eric Kelly, Knik; Eddie Burke Jr., Anchorage; KattiJo Deeter, Fairbanks; Matthew Failor, Willow; Dan Kaduce, Chatanika; Bridgett Watkins, Fairbanks; Jessie Holmes, Brushkana; Travis Beals, Seward; Nicolas Petit, Big Lake; Hunter Keefe, Willow; Anna Berington, Knik; Kristy Berington, Knik; and Riley Dyche, Fairbanks.