They met Seavey in 2015 at the Iditarod while helping with another dog team. “Guiding has helped push me to want that dream even more of running dogs and doing the Iditarod and being a vet to help them more,” Chloe said.
The Beattys have even started a student Veterinary Club on campus, and their hobby has become part of team culture. The word “onby,” which mushers shout to their dogs as they prepare to pass another team, is used to remind the Blue Devils the importance of the team concept.
“What happens when a sled dog team has one dog that is lying down, another biting the ankles of the one in front of them and one running in the opposite direction? Is that sled dog team as efficient and successful as the other teams that choose to work together? Our team of 18 beautiful people led by Chloe and Carlie are choosing to work together in 2023,” gymnastics Coach Becky Beaulieu said.
Hooked on the sport
Beaulieu recruited the sisters from the Classic Gymnastics Club in Minnesota. They have been in gymnastics since age 3 and also played soccer while growing up. The family has four horses, and Carlie has competed in dressage competitions.
Their interest in sled dogs began in second grade when their teacher gave them the book about the sport, “Born to Pull.” Then came a sled dog ride with a musher up north in Ely, Minn., near where their family has a cabin on a lake.
“We loved the ride. We’ve been doing it ever since,” Carlie said.
Ely, near the vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Gunflint Trail, is a hot spot for mushing in the Upper Midwest. The sisters take their eager teams on training runs through the wilderness into Canada.
This winter, Chloe has done overnight winter camping and mushing trips by herself and with her parents into the BWCA, crossing frozen lakes and following canoe portage and sled dog routes. “You can mush to places you can’t get to on foot, where other people have never been before,” Carlie said.
Their dogs are Alaskan huskies, a working dog mix of Siberian husky, pointer, chow and many other breeds. Because of their fitness and high quality diet, they can live to be 18.
“We may be gymnasts, but they’re the true athletes,” Chloe said.
The sisters have become ambassadors as well, speaking at schools and giving rides to help keep the sport alive. “It used to be a form of transportation, and a lot of people don’t know it’s still around, Being a guide, you get to educate people on these amazing dogs and athletes,” Chloe said.