Skip to Content

The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

2024 Pedigree Stage Stop Race draws top-tier mushers from around the world

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The 29th Pedigree Stage Stop Race kicked off in Jackson Hole on Jan. 26 with opening ceremonies, and spectators witnessed 15 mushers and their powerful dog sled teams complete the opening stage of the race.

The Pedigree Stage Stop Race is one of the most prestigious races of its kind, nevertheless one of the hardest due to the length, elevation and weather.

The race takes participants through some of the most picturesque scenery, while showcasing the unique collaboration between a musher and their team of dogs.

This premier “stage” format sled dog race is hosted by local communities, and teams competed for $165,000 in prize money and the elusive title of Stage Stop Champion.

Mushing teams from the U.S., Canada and Europe participated in the nine-day event, covering 30 to 35 miles per day on an out-and-back course, with each stage having its own challenge.

The Pedigree Stage Stop Race consists of seven individual stages, and teams travel through seven mountain ranges of Western Wyoming and Idaho on national forest lands trails.

Mushers traveled to Teton County for the first stage of the race before traveling to Lander to run stage two, then making their way to Pinedale to complete stage three.

Teams from across the world weaved their way through Big Piney and Marbleton, completing stage stop four, later moving to the stage stop five in Kemmerer, regrouping in Alpine to run stage stop six, then on to Driggs, Idaho to compete in the last stage of the race on Feb. 3.

Stage stops

Remy Coste of France, a rookie to the event, won stage one and recorded the fastest time by completing the 29 mile out-and-back course in record time. 

Coste bested defending five-time champion Anny Malo of Quebec, Canada by six minutes and 16 seconds, and third place finisher Michael Tetzner finished 13 minutes 58 seconds behind Coste. Laura Bontrager and Cathy Rivest finished fourth and fifth respectively.

According to the Wyoming Stage Stop website, “Coste ran an eight-dog team, Malo a 10-dog team and Tetzner ran 12 dogs in his team. Mushers can enter 16 dogs in their pool and can run a maximum of 12 dogs on any given day.”

Defending champion Malo won stage two, held Jan. 28 in Lander at the Louis Lake Trailhead in the South Pass area of the Wind River Mountain Range.

Malo shaved four and a half minutes off of the slight six minute lead Coste gained during stage one, and Michael Tetzner, hailing from Burg, Germany, remained in third place overall, with Laura Bontrager from Newberry, Mich. and Cathy Rivest of Quebec, Canada filling out the top five positions. 

The race continues

Coste eked out another small lead over Malo on stage three in Pinedale. 

The victory gave Coste a slim margin of three minutes going into stage four of the race, held in Big Piney and Marbleton at the Upper Green River Trailhead on Jan. 30.

“The dual between Coste and Malo is proving to be true knuckle-biter and is capturing the attention of mushing fans worldwide as the Frenchman and the French-Canadian trade blows in the rugged mountains of Western Wyoming,” Race Commentator Sebastian Schuelle says. “The dual between defending champion Malo and newcomer Coste is a display of two markedly different strategies.” 

While Malo has been running 10 dogs each day, leaving six behind on the bench, Coste has been utilizing a two-team strategy, alternating eight dogs each day with all dogs in his pool having a full day off between runs.

There is a similar battle going on for the third place spot as Rivest, Bontrager, Jess Moore of Wyoming and Tetzner are separated by less than 12 minutes in positions three through six.

After another exciting day of racing at the Upper Green River Trailhead near Big Piney, the story remains the same. Coste and Malo continue to fight for the lead, as the two top teams are essentially neck-and-neck. Bontrager advanced Rivest to take over the third-position. 

All 15 teams converge again at the Ham’s Fork Trailhead at the southern end of the Wyoming Range for Kemmerer’s stage five.

Mushing fans worldwide are anxiously awaiting what transpires on the trails of the final two stage of the race as Malo and Coste go head-to-head, finishing the final leg of the race on Feb. 3 in Driggs, Idaho.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

  • Posted in State and National Events
  • Comments Off on 2024 Pedigree Stage Stop Race draws top-tier mushers from around the world
Back to top