Top 50 Sepp-Alta Dogs
by Doug Willett
Recently C-Span TV highlighted what their panel of experts determined to be the 50 Greatest American Human Athletes of the 20th century. This gave me the idea that something similar should be done for Seppalas. The idea was reinforced at the recent 2000 Clearwater Revival when one of the younger racer/breeders asked for more information o the older dos. They said that they could see and experience directly contemporary dogs but what about the dogs three of four generations back in their pedigrees. Who was big, fast, tough, small, etc? Most of these dogs carry the Sepp-Alta kennel name and so I guess that I am in the unique, unenviable position of being a one-person panel of experts. So with your permission I propose to highlight the 50 best Sepp-Alta performers and producers for the period 1975 - 1997 in the next few issues.
Following ESPN's example I'm going to order the dogs from 1 to 50. This relative ordering has about as much accuracy and truth as ESPN's ordering of human athletes, namely none.
With the exception of the top three dogs, moving dogs around in the ordering, perhaps as much as 10 positions will not change the accuracy. What the reader should realize is that this list of 50 dogs constitutes approximately the upper 10% of all the Sepp-Alta dogs and as such are the cream of the crop, but the exact position occupied by an individual should not be interpreted seriously relative to the dogs immediately below and above him.
What criteria were used to determine merit? Primarily tow things were considered. The first was performance - speed, endurance, power, toughness, mental attitude, smoothness of movement, etc., - and of course, leaders were given special merit. Thirty-four of these dogs were leaders of merit and most of the others would do a credible job up front. The first 16 dogs with the possible exception of "Sky" and "Baron" were first String, top-notch Sepp-Alta leaders for multiple years. The second criteria was merit as a reproducer - did the animal pass his abilities to his offspring? There is considerable difficulty comparing dogs with different types of ability. How is a very fast dog to be measured against one that isn't so fast but is more enduring? There is a large number of dogs within the Seppala strain which may be a little to blocky, or a little bit short in the leg, but have the drive, intensity and honesty to go on seemingly forever. All the dogs on my list were at least moderately fast, and the ones that were slower are there because their work ethic, intensity and toughness deserved recognition. The characteristics of toughness and perseverance and honesty are unique to the Seppala strain among Siberian Husky racing strains and should always be given a high priority in breeding. My ratings are probably a little biased in favor of the kind of dog that I'd want if I was stranded somewhere in the Arctic and had to totally really on my team to quickly get me home, and home was at least a hundred miles away.
There may be some bias in my ratings for contemporary animals because these animals are fresh in my mind. On the other hand, their careers have not yet ended and so I tried to assign a potential factor to their evaluation.
Those of you who have had or know of Seppalas, not necessarily of Sepp-Alta origination, who have in your mind been outstanding performers and/or reproducers, please send me a profile of these animals and their accomplishments and we will report in future issues on them as well. It is my hope that the first priority for our little publication will be the dogs, and dog owners will be a second priority.
SEPP-ALTA TOP 50
(Retirement dates are only approximates) Call name Ran Name Can be found
#1 BEOWOLF 1978 - 1984 Ulene's Beowolf of Sepp-Alta deceased
#2 NESTLY 1985 - 1991 Nestly of Sepp-Alta deceased
#3 RACE 1995 - Race of Sepp-Alta Doug Willett - Sepp-alta
#4 ALI 1977 - 1981 Ulene's Ali of Sepp-Alta deceased
#5 IZZIE 1992 - Izzie of Sepp-Alta Robert Frazier - Rushin' Sepp
#6 URA 1996 - Ura of Sepp-Alta Doug Willett - Sepp-alta
#7 REVA 1995 - Reva of Sepp-Alta Doug Willett - Sepp-alta
#8 TCHITCHIKOV 1977 - 1985 Tchitchikov of Sepp-Alta deceased
#9 CAT 1990 - 1999 Cat of Sepp-Alta Kim&Kirk - Near Doug in MT
#10 ELVIRA 1986 - 1991 Sno-Sepp's Elvira of Sepp-Alta deceased
#11 BARON 1978 - 1984 Ulene's Baron of Sepp-Alta deceased
#12 EBONY 1981 - 1987 Ulene's Ebony of Sepp-Alta deceased
#13 LESTER 1985 - 1990 Lester of Sepp-Alta deceased
#14 SKY 1988 - 1991 Sky of Sepp-Alta deceased
#15 CEEYELLOW 1990 - 2000 CeeYellow of Sepp-Alta Jay Tindle Jr - deceased?
#16 ROCKY 1987 - 1994 Rocky of Sepp-Alta deceased
#17 PISTOL 1995 - Pistol of Sepp-Alta Kim&Kirk - Near Doug in MT
#18 REGA 1995 - Rega of Sepp-Alta Kim&Kirk - Near Doug in MT
#19 NARLEY 1986 - 1991 Narley of Sepp-Alta deceased
#20 JUNEAU 1993 - Juneau of Seppalta Jay Tindle Jr.
#21 BRONCO 1994 - Bonco of Sepp-Alta Robert Frazier - Rushin' Sepp
#22 HERCULES ("HANK") 1984 - 1992 Hercules of Sepp-Alta deceased
#23 QUEWOLF 1988 - 1995 Quewolf of Sepp-Alta deceased
#24 MOBI DICK 1994 - Mobi Dick of Sepp-Alta Lori Pulson? in CO
#25 JUPITER 1993 - Jupiter of Seppalta Deron & Marna Kazmaier - DogStar
#26 ASH 1981 - 1987 Ash of Markovo deceased
#27 PETER 1987 - 1994 Peter of Sepp-Alta deceased
#28 C-BLUE 1990 - C-Blue of Sepp-Alta Jay Tindle Jr.
#29 NUGGET 1986 - 1991 Nugget of Sepp-Alta deceased
#30 ISHMAEL 1992 - Ishmael of Sepp-Alta deceased
#31 BRUCE 1978 - 1982 Bruce of Sepp-Alta deceased
#32 DALLAS 1992 - 1999 Dallas of Sepp-Alta Bob Borget - deceased?
#33 ERNIE 1986 - 1989 Ernie of Sepp-Alta deceased
#34 AKKOO 1989 - 1994 Sepp-Alta's Akkoo deceased
#35 CRICKET 1990 - 1998 Cricket of Sepp-Alta Mark Lavitski
#36 GOLDA 1992 - 1997 Golda of Sepp-Alta Deron & Marna Kazmaier - DogStar
#37 AKKU 1977 - 1981 Akku of Sepp-Alta deceased
#38 JILL 1993 - Jill of Seppalta Deron & Marna Kazmaier - DogStar
#39 ELY 1986 - 1992 Ely of Sepp-Alta deceased?
#40 FLAME 1992 - 1998 Flame of Sepp-Alta Deron & Marna Kazmaier - DogStar
#41 DUFFY 1980 - 1986 Duffy of Sepp-Alta deceased
#42 DUSKA 1984 - 1989 Duska of Sepp-Alta deceased
#43 ROBIN 1995 - Robin of Sepp-Alta Deron & Marna Kazmaier - DogStar
#44 DEMON 1985 - 1989 Demon of Sepp-Alta deceased
#45 UBEE 1996 - Ubee of Sepp-Alta Bob Davis -
#46 MAX 1994 - Max of Sepp-Alta Bob Davis-
#47 RUSTY 1995 - Rusty of Sepp-Alta Jay Tindle Jr.
#48 TAKIMA 1977 - 1985 Takima of Sepp-Alta deceased
#49 XPIKE 1990 - 1996 Xpike of Sepp-Alta deceased
#50 FLAIR 1992 - 1997 Flair of Sepp-Alta deceased?
HONORABLE MENTION: Rachael, Ruth, Russia, Quezar, Xpace, Zodiac, Fang, Happy Kopycat, Kree, Zaire, Alyseus, Dingo, Ezra, Eclipse, Nutuk, Oreo, Cosmos, Xcat, Ute, Ruffo, Alma, Moizie, Spook, Skunk.