A small introduction of our speakers during this Seminar
Vargevass is a Scandinavian kennel of FCI Siberian Huskies. Established by Karsten Grønås in 1965 when he acquired his first dog from Europe’s oldest Siberian Husky kennel owned by explorer Helge Ingstad /kennel Brattalid. With the intention to have a companion to join him on ski trips in the mountains of west Norway, Karsten soon found himself racing with a team. At first in Nordic-style, but shortly after in Nome style. Throughout the years he competed in sprint racing, mid-distance stage races like Alpirod and Pirena, topping it off with long distance racing when he retired from work. Few of his merits are: winner Pirena 1998, 3rd place in Femundløpet of 2001, 10.pl in Femundløpet 2007 and finishing Europe’s longest sled dog race the 1000 km. Finnmarksløpet in 2006 as the oldest competitor at age 67 and setting the fastest time for a Siberian Husky team until this date.
In November 2001, Eveline Koch from the Netherlands joined forces with Karsten. Having had an interest in the breed since age 11 and acquiring her first dog when she was 16 years old, she spent six months as handler at the famous Alaskan/Anadyr kennel of Earl and Natalie Norris winter 1997/1998 to experience the breed in its true element as sled dog. Upon return from Alaska, she was determined that when continuing with Siberians, it should be there where they thrive and able to do the work they were bred for; in the snow!
For more than ten years, Eveline trained the youngsters of the Vargevass kennel in their first season of working, but also participated in few mid distance races winning a.o. Polar Distance 160 km. in 2005, 2008 and 2010. After 2013, when she finished her first 300 km race, she took up the challenge to train a team for the Finnmarksløpet 500, host of IFSS long distance world championships of 2015. The team became world champion in the Nordic Breed class and placed as nr. 15 of 76 teams overall and was awarded the Best Dog Care Award. In 2017, they started in the Femundløpet400, this time placing 6th. of 76 teams starting and were nominated for the Best Dog Care Award.
a “canine” bio Born in 1939 I grew up near the small town of Lillehammer in Norway. At home we had Norwegian Elkhounds (grey) which my father hunted with every autumn, and when I came of age I participated. My second breed was Siberian husky. I was licensed to judge the breed in 1963 but it was not till 1975 I got the opportunity to see them in their right element when I was invited by NSHK, the Norwegian breed club to be an “observer” at their annual winter rendezvous. I got the opportunity to race with a team and was “hooked”. The following year I bought one.
Ralf owned and worked a lot with Nrwegian elkhound as well as Siberian Huskys
Norwegian Elkhound was his first breed. At present just one dog, following the tradition of one dog at the time for hunting purposes. He had been on several shows and won World Winner Amsterdam in 2002 . whikle working he established Winner of National Championship Hunting Dog Trial 2002.
Rafl bred the Norwegian elkhound with Prefix “av Tallo”, breeding on a small scale, but lucky was with puppy buyers. He became breeder of the year in 2008, 2009 and 201lf
Ralf owned, showed and raced Siberian Huskies 1976- 1996, mostly dogs from Karsten Grønås (prefix Vargevass) in different styles: Nordic style, medium and long distance races in Norway, Sweden and Finland, the longest being Finnmarksløpet (1986). And sprint races: European championship for pure bred polar dogs in Germany (1985 3. place) and Switzerland (1994).
He won prices at Nome style: Open class: Bronze in the Norwegian championship medium distance race 1988 with a borrowed 12 dog team.
Two other breeds he worked and bred with were : Norwegian Elkhound black in which he participated in hunting and hunting trials 1982 – 1996. And the Pomeranian in which Ralf had a small scale breeding 1999 – 2011. World Winner Stockholm 2008.
Ralf was also interested in the organisations around several breeds and had functions in many boardings and show comittees
(1970-) : For shorter or longer periods secretary and chairman of
local Elkhound clubs, President of the Association of Norwegian Elkhound Clubs.
(1972 – 80). Founding member of the Norwegian Welsh Corgi Club in 1972,
secretary and chairman of the Show Committee, Vice chairman.
Member of the Board of Breeding in the 1980s
The Norwegian Kennel Club
(1972 – ) On the board of editors of the club gazette in
the 1970’s, member of the Judges Education Committee (1970s – 1990), on the Board of
Directors (1980-86), Vice president of the Board of Representatives 1990-2004), member of the Standard committee (2019 – )
Besides all the functions Ralf found the time tob e a judge. He first was licensed to judge Siberian husky in 1963, later all breeds in FCI groups 1, 2, 4, 5 and miscellaneous breeds in group 9. Judging assignments in most countries in Europe in addition to USA, Canada, South Africa, Israel, India and Australia. Hunting trials for all nine Elkhound breeds from1969
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