ONLY going back six years in the archives today but I cannot take my eyes off how powerful and beautiful these Huskies look at Aviemore in January 2011, as they wait their turn to pull a sled at high speed.

It was the 28th Aviemore Sled Dog Rally when about 1,000 well-trained dogs were competing.

The event began in the late 1980s with just 12 entries. The snowfall was heavy then, and the sleds ran on proper runners. Now, with snow no longer guaranteed in January, the mushers use special sleds that run on wheels, almost like a tricycle.

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There are teams of between two and eight dogs on trails ranging from four to seven miles. Apart from Siberian Huskies, race dogs also include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs.

There are as many spectators as there are dogs, and the annual event now generates a sizeable income for Aviemore hotels and restaurants.

The Huskies themselves race until they are about 10 years old, but the training is long as the dogs have different roles in the pack pulling the sled.

They really are stunning-looking dogs, but they like the sound of their own voices, and can often howl. They have thick double coats, which is why they can withstand the cold, but need plenty of exercise and stimulation, so can be destructive if left alone for too long.

Pulling a sled in Aviemore though seems perfect.