FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012 (Ocho Rios, Jamaica) – Today Chukka announced that it would close the Dogsled Tour it has run at its Chukka Farm location since 2008. The tour allowed guests to ride in a buggy pulled by a team of rescue dogs and experience dogsledding in Jamaica.
“We will continue to support the Jamaica Dogsled Team and their work with literacy and dog rescue,” said Co Managing Director John Byles. “The tour itself was more of a promotional tool for the team than a business decision as demand for the tour has been limited. With Newton heading back to Alaska to attempt the Iditarod independently and our other mushers working as guides on our tours and away racing seasonally it is not viable.”
Newton Marshall is away from Chukka on a leave of absence in Alaska with friends he made while training and competing there. Marshall has expressed an interest in independently making another attempt at the Iditarod and is working with Alaskan musher Kelly Griffin. Both other mushers, Damion Robb and Jermain Burford, continue to work with Chukka as guides.
“We will continue to do sprint races in Ontario and Eastern US with the support of Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville. We wish Newton luck with his future attempts at the Iditarod and are proud to have been the launching pad for his mushing career,” said team founder and Chairman of Chukka Danny Melville. “We also will place all of the team dogs in homes and continue to fund the Chukka literacy program, as well as support the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA). That works continues.”
The Jamaica Dogsled Team was founded in 2005 and its mushers have competed in the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, International Pedigree Stage Stop and International Sleddog Federation Sprint Championships.
Founded in 1983, Green Globe Certified Chukka offers 59 tours in Jamaica, Belize and Turks & Caicos. Collectively, the operations delivered over 400,000 adventure tours to cruise and hotel guests in 2011. With a commitment to offer only the highest quality tours with well-trained guides and stringent safety standards, Chukka takes pride in showcasing the natural beauty of the Caribbean through unique and sensational experiences, while providing opportunities for local residents and businesses. The company has received numerous awards including the Porthole Cruise Magazine Best Caribbean Tour Operator 2011 and 2012, as well as the World Travel Award as the “Caribbean’s Leading Tour Company” for the fifth consecutive year. Chukka was also named National Champion at the 2011 Jamaica Tourism Service Excellence Awards. Chukka – Active Adventures, Culture & Leisure and Team Building – It’s Time to Play.
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