Garland of Roses with Ryan Redington - 2023 Nome

Iditarod champion Ryan Redington with his lead dogs Sven and Ghost. Redington, a third-generation musher whose grandfather helped create the race, rebounded to win the race after his dog team was run down near Iron River while training in early 2022. 

Ryan Redington described it as just a brief trip with 14 of his closest friends.


Redington, in his signature lime green coat, on the first day of the race. He would cross the finish line in first place eight days, 21 hours, 12 minutes and 58 seconds later.


Wildfire rests in a kennel awaiting surgery to repair a leg that was broken in three places when he was run down by a snowmobiler near Iron River.


Board-certified veterinary surgeon Heather Hadley rebuilt Wildfire’s leg after the snowmobile crash, took him into her home for months of rehab, and then traveled to care for him during his first race. 


Hadley and her clinic made the plates she removed from Wildfire’s leg into good luck charms for Redington and Keefer. Both were aboard Redington’s sled when he crossed the finish line.

Iditarod Champion Ryan Redington with his Lead Dogs - 2023 Nome

 Redington with lead dogs Sven and Ghost. Lead dogs are as important as the musher, guiding the team and alerting the musher to dangers on the trail ahead.

Ryan Redington Arriving at The Finish Line 3 - 2023 Nome

Redington started the race with 14 dogs and finished with six. Eight dogs were left at checkpoints as they grew fatigued or, in Wildfire’s case, twisted an ankle by placing a foot wrong. 


Veterinary surgeon Heather Hadley, who operated on Wildfire when his leg was shattered, gets a smooch from her patient after the Iditarod finish.

(Copyright © 2023 APG Media)

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