The thrills of dog sled driving come to the Pendle area when the new XLCR Track and Off-Lead opens at Colne. It will give people the chance to sample the type of excitement usually associated with the icy wastes of Alaska…but on a grass track!
The track opens for business on Monday 7 September, but first there will be a grand opening fun day on Saturday 5 September, with bouncy castle, a hog roast, beer tent, burgers, pie tasting, candy floss and lots of fun for adults and children.
The gates will be opened at 10am by sponsor Lee Duerden, chief executive of XLCR, the Colne-based car leasing and car sale specialists – the other sponsor being The Alma Inn – and the day’s fun continues until 5pm.
The track has been transformed from five acres of scrubland off Greenfield Lane, and the aim is to raise money for the charity Sibes And Sled Dogs Husky Welfare (SASD), which takes in and re-homes Siberian huskies and the bigger breed Alaskan Malamutes.
“It’s the only 60-inch wide grass track in the UK, and possibly in Europe,” says John Duxbury, who is head of SASD and the man behind the project. “There’s been a lot of interest in what we’re doing.”
Instead of dog sleds, riders at the track can choose from a variety of ‘rigs’ designed for different skill levels from absolute beginners to experienced drivers. Beginners will start on a one-dog two-wheel scooter and graduate to a two-dog scooter, a one-dog three-wheel rig, a two-dog rig and a four-wheel rig. There are thorough tests at each level.
“It’s a great track,” says John. “There are parts of it where you go under a canopy of trees. It’s a real thrill when you’re heading towards the first corner at 30 miles an hour.”
Safety of the riders and welfare of the dogs is top priority, and all profits will go towards the SASD charity, which hopes to build rescue kennels elsewhere.
Huskies are too frequently given up by owners unable to cope. “They are a pack dog, and need a lot of stimulation,” says John. “Some people get just one, but they need at least another dog so they can bounce off each other.”
To find out more about XLCR Track and Off-Lead, visit their Facebook page or go to the fun day on Saturday 5 September. The entrance is off Barrowford Road, just on the Colne side of the bridge over the canal. Watch for the signs.