Michelle Phillips is a born-and-raised Yukoner who has been running dogs for 18 years. Her racing history is wide-ranging and accomplished. She’s a six-time Yukon Quest and Iditarod veteran, she’s won the Yukon Quest 300 twice, she’s raced the Percy De Wolfe, the Kobuk 440, the Klondike 300, the Cantwell Classic, the Gin Gin 200 (winning and breaking a record, too), the Denali Doubles, Taiga 300, the Paul Johnson Race, and the Copper Basin 300.
She’s collected awards and personal-bests along the way. In the Iditarod, Michelle Phillips received the Herbie Nayokpuk Award, presented to the musher who best exemplifies the level of sportsmanship and love of dogs that Mr. Nayokpuk demonstrated in his life. She has also earned “Rookie of the Year” in both the Percy De Wolfe and the Copper Basin 300 races. In 2009, she received the Vet’s Choice award for the Yukon Quest.
In 2009, Michelle Phillips set her personal best in the Yukon Quest, finishing fourth. This year she will run the Iditarod, her eighth time in that race.
Michelle strives for excellence in dog care — and works year round to promote the sport of dog mushing. In 2013, Michelle and Ed’s son Keegan Hopkins was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. Although busy with the dogs, Michelle and Ed now also work tireless to raise awareness about this disease, helping to raise funds to find a cure..
Ed Hopkins of Tagish Lake Kennel began mushing in 1986 while handling dogs for Harry Sutherland. After a few years of running his own team, Ed handled dogs for Susan Butcher for two seasons, running her yearlings in the Yukon Quest in 1993 and 1994.
Ed has run the Yukon Quest six times, earning the prestigious Yukon Quest Sportsmanship Award along the way. In 2015, he returned to the Yukon Quest trail wearing bib #20 and finished in third place.
A 12-time competitor in the Percy De Wolfe, Ed won in 1999 and 2007. He has also won the Caledonia Classic 200, placed third in the Canadian Challenge, third place in the Klondike 300, eighth in the Coper Basin, fifth in the Kobuk 440 plus two second-place finishes in the Yukon Quest 300.
In 2015, Ed returned to the Yukon Quest trail wearing bib #20 (his original number) and finished in third place. In 2016 Ed was back on the trail and again finished in the top 5! In the 2017 Yukon Quest he will be reaching for the top!
Ed Hopkins’ passion for sport of mushing and the well-being of his dogs has been reflected in the awards he has collected. He received the humanitarian award at the Kobuk 440, the Sportsmanship Award at the Yukon Quest, plus, over his years racing the Percy De Wolfe, he took home the Sportsmanship Award (three times), the Humane Society Award and the Vet’s Choice Award.