Norwegian musher takes lead in Iditarod as finish nears

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) Deep snow is slowing down mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but the leader has a secret for dealing with the difficult conditions.

“I’ve been training with 120 pounds of concrete and all the gear in the sled,” Thomas Waerner, 46, told a camera crew from the Iditarod Insider as he was preparing his sled to leave a checkpoint outside the Alaska community of Kaltag late Saturday.

“That’s perfect for these kind of conditions,” he said.

Waerner, a native of England living in Norway, was first to arrive at the next checkpoint – Unalakleet – on Sunday.

He said he’s not worried about other mushers or making a mistake in the world’s most famous sled dog race.

“I feel I just will continue what I’m doing, and that’s driving the team, looking at them and keeping my eye on the mental part of it,” Waerner said, adding that his dogs have been upbeat since the race started a week ago.

“The physical, I don’t have to worry about it, but when I see them going down mentally, that’s when you have to rest,” he said. “But they haven’t been down yet, so I’ve been lucky.”

The checkpoint in Kaltag is normally at a community hall, but this year it was set up outside the village of about 235 people, 629 miles (1,012 kilometers) miles into the nearly 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race across Alaska.

The Iditarod, in consultation with community leaders, decided to bypass Kaltag over fears of the coronavirus. Similar precautions were made in the village of Nulato, where the checkpoint was moved from the village to the Yukon River.

The race is continuing, but officials have urged fans not to fly to watch the finish, especially those from outside Alaska. The winner is expected in the Bering Sea community of Nome sometime this week. Most public buildings in Nome have been closed to try to protect against the virus, and post-race activities like the musher’s banquet have been postponed.

The race started March 8 in Willow for 57 mushers, but six have since withdrawn. The latest to leave the race were Canadian rookie Martin Massicotte and veteran Alaska musher Linwood Fiedler.

French Bulldog wins Best in Show at 2022 National Dog Show

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The French Bulldog has won Best in Show at the 2022 National Dog Show.

Winston the French Bulldog beat out around 1,500 of dogs representing 212 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club. First, he claimed victory in the Non-Sporting Group in a field of 20 breeds. He then took on the other six group winners before taking home the top honor. The English Toy Spaniel, winner of the Toy Group, was named Reserve Best in Show.

Hear from Claire’s handler Perry Payson about the victory:

The German Shepherd Dog won the Herding Group; the Irish Water Dog won the Sporting Group; the American Staffordshire Terrier won the Terrier Group; the Tree Walking Coonhound won the Hound Group; and the Alaskan Malamute won the Working Group.

This year, three breeds made their National Dog Show debut. The Russian Toy joined the Toy Group. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Mudi, which falls under the Herding Group, was originally a Hungarian farm dog. The breed is agile, intelligent and courageous, making it perfect to work with livestock. The Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog, joined the Sporting Group. The breed is known for its adaptability in hunting and its intelligence.

Related: Full list of breeds at 2022 National Dog Show

NBC televised the 2022 National Dog Show directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the 21st straight year. Every year, more than 20 million people tune in for the event, which was commentated by longtime hosts John O’Hurley and David Frei. Mary Carillo also returned for more commentary, analysis and behind-the-scenes looks at one of the oldest dog shows in the world.

How to watch National Dog Show 2022 on Thanksgiving: Start time, TV channel, live stream, date

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The National Dog Show is one of the most well-known dog shows in the world. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the show was founded in 1879 and has been held annually since 1933. The NDS is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, and only purebred dogs registered with the AKC can compete. The AKC recognizes 212 dog breeds and varieties, split into seven different groups. Click here to see who won the 2021 National Dog Show, watch video, highlights and more.

Related: What to know about the 2022 National Dog Show

NBC has televised the event after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2002. John O’Hurley and David Frei will reprise their roles as hosts, having co-hosted together since the National Dog Show first aired. Mary Carillo will also be back for more commentary, analysis and behind-the-scenes looks at one of the oldest dog shows in the world.

This year, three breeds are making their National Dog Show debut.

Related: Full list of National Dog Show breeds

How can I watch the dog show on Thanksgiving Day?

Watch the 2022 National Dog Show on NBC directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Coverage of the National Dog Show begins on Thursday, November 24 at 12 p.m. local time and runs until 2 p.m., covering group and Best in Show judging.

The National Dog Show can also be streamed here on Peacock, NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app at 12 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving. The NBC Sports app is available on mobile and connected devices, including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

Can I re-watch the National Dog Show from past years?

Select previous Dog Shows are available to watch On Demand on Peacock, and if you miss Thursday’s airing of the 2022 Dog Show, it will also be available after Thanksgiving on the streaming platform. Highlights from previous National Dog Shows, including Best in Show judging from 2021 and more, is also available on the NBC Sports YouTube channel.

Watch NBC’s coverage of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving day, November 24, directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 12-2 p.m. local time on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Thanksgiving Day schedule on NBC and Peacock

The 2022 National Dog Show comes in the middle of a fun-filled Thanksgiving Thursday, and is just part of the Big Event weekend across NBC and Peacock. See below for the full schedule of some traditional favorites, as well as new and exciting highlights to keep you entertained the whole holiday weekend:

Thursday at 9am ET: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and Peacock

Thursday at 12pm ET: The National Dog Show on NBC and Peacock

Thursday at 8pm ET: Sunday Night Football NFL Thanksgiving Special – Patriots vs Vikings

Friday at 1:30pm ET: Copa Mundial – England vs USA en Español on Telemundo and Peacock

Saturday at 7pm ET: WWE Survivor Series War Games on Peacock

Sunday at 7pm ET: Sunday Night Football – Packers vs Eagles on NBC and Peacock