Seppala Siberians | Jonathan Hayes Part 1

Robert Forto

Robert Forto

@robertforto | Executive producer and co-host of Dog Works Radio

Join host Robert Forto as he welcomes Jonathan Hayes to Dog Works Radio to talk about the Seppala Siberian line, Togo, Balto, and the serum run. On this episode, we talk to Jonathan about his dogs, their unique story in mushing history, how his dog’s ancestors played a role in saving the people of Nome, Alaska, and more. About Jonathan: I’m a 6th generation Tennessean with military and ministerial heritage.  I served in the US Marines as an infantryman- as my oldest son Asa does now.  I studied theology from Milligan College and received my ordination at age 22.  I studied Wildlife Biology at the University of Maine.  Graduate studies in Conservation Management (*not complete) At Antioch University.  I have served as a Maine State Forest Ranger. I was the frontman for a country-rock band for about 6 years (Tennessee Haze).  I have mushed for 25 years and I have mushed Seppala’s for about 20 years.  I have written four books, including a Children’s book entitled “The True tails of Togo the Sled Dog”. I sit on the board of the International Seppala Siberian Sleddog Club. After a divorce about 10 years ago, Mitch Seavey offered me a job with him, but because my children live here I decided to take the management position a dogsled tour business in the White Mountains for two seasons. (over 150 dogs and 7 mushers).  About 5 years ago Lance Mackey invited me to partner with him to develop his tour business with the prospects of becoming an Iditarod musher. But no matter how I tried to justify it, I could not call myself a good father from a continent away. So I remained in Maine. I am now a high school science teacher. Last winter I committed to a solo self-supported expedition across the remote Northwoods of Maine to raise funds for a Togo monument to be erected at his final resting place here in Poland Spring Maine.  My future Goals: we are building a larger more private kennel this year which will allow us to expand our kennel size with the intent of running the larger eastern mid-distance races. Who knows… After running my qualifiers, I may get the chance to run an Iditarod team someday.  Podchaser - Dog Works Radio What we Talk About on This Episode: 
  • The history of the Seppala line of Siberian Huskies
  • Togo, Balto, the serum run
  • How Jonathan got started in mushing
  • His dogs and the future!
  • Much more…
Host, Robert Forto’s Bio: Robert Forto is the training director for Alaska Dog Works where they train dogs for canine obedience, working dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs for clients all over North America. He is also a dog musher and he and his wife operate a 40-dog mushing kennel in Willow, Alaska, called Team Ineka. They can often be seen at local races and leading expeditions in the Alaska backcountry with outdoor leadership students at the University of Alaska. Robert is the producer of Dog Works Radio that has been on the air since 2009 and is currently simulcast on a local radio station, KVRF in Palmer, Alaska. Host, Kourosh Partow’s Bio: KP as he is known in the sled dog world is a world-class sprint musher that has raced sled dogs all over the world. He lives in Chugiak, Alaska with his wife, Deanna, and their kennel of sled dogs. KP brings an interesting perspective to Dog Works Radio as he can share stories and conduct interviews with those people involved in the sport from all over the world.

Links and Resources Mentioned: 

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Where we are going? (In real life)

  • Podcast Movement 22 in Dallas
  • Live coverage of the Alaska Dog Works Dryland Derby 2021
  • Live coverage of the Eagle River Classic
  • Rock n Roller Coaster Tour 22 #rocknroller22 to live host The Coaster Geeks Podcast
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Robert Forto

Robert Forto

@robertforto | Executive producer and co-host of Dog Works Radio

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