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The Training and Racing Journals
of Roland and Louise Lombard

Author: Nancy Cowan

Book Cover

Nancy Cowan resides in Deering, NH, with a husband, two hunting dogs, and five raptors. She has been avidly interested in sled dog history since acquiring her first Siberian (came with the husband) in the late sixties. A member of New England Sled Dog Club who has raced her own team and served three terms as Publicity Director, eventually she found that she could contribute more meaningfully to her chosen sport by writing than by racing.

Upon retiring her sled team, Nancy took up the sport of falconry and is now a master falconer as well as a rehabilitator of wild Peregrine falcons. She has won national writing honors and is a member of Dog Writers’ Association of America and New England Outdoor Writers’ Association.

The Training and Racing Journals of Roland and Louise Lombard is her fifth book about sled dogs. She has written a book about handling birds of prey, also. She wrote the well-known essay Godspeed which is contained in her first book, On By! and has been published in Team & Trail, Mushing, Dog World, Dog Fancy, Popular Dogs, Downeast, and Yankee Magazine.


"Well, the big race is over and I have lost. I have the fastest dogteam in Alaska, and no dependable leader," wrote Roland Lombard in a letter home. His first season of Alaskan racing had been a learning experience for the championship driverroland_bucky_lee.jpg (28875 bytes) from the East. Still, he had won trophies for the fastest purebred team. In his second year of racing Alaska, he set course records. Now, in 1960, he is facing the frustration of running a superbly fast team that loses time due to a leader bent on taking every possible wrong turn until finally breaking clear of the city limits of Anchorage.

How Lombard deals with this dilemma, and what happens next, will introduce those who have come into the sport of sled dog racing since Lombard’s demise to a champion of champions, as beloved for his humor and sportsmanship as he was lauded for his stellar record of wins.

The stories, the training data, and historic photos of the famous couple are contained in the newly released book by Nancy Cowan, sled dog historian and writer. For those readers who were fortunate enough to have known the Lombards, the book is like a reunion at Igloo Pak Kennels where hospitality was a watchword and where newcomers were as welcomed as the champions of the racing and show dog communities. Moreover, nearly all of the book is in the Lombards’ own words, produced from training journals dating from 1945 to 1989, and upon seven years of letters from Roland, in Alaska to race, as he wrote to his wife and son at home.

The book is an introduction to the world of sled dog sprint racing, a biography, and a manual of insider’s tips all rolled into one. It is also the first definitive work done on Dr. Roland Lombard, a three time dual champion of Alaskan racing, a founder of ISDRA and SEPP, and one of the most talented and influential sled dog drivers of all time.


This book is currently out of stock on Sled Dog Central.

Email Nancy Cowan at falconers@comcast.net to order the book.


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