I still remember the day I picked Kyla up at the airport. She was silent, I had to pull words out of her mouth, the first few days were interesting. I was getting ready to go up north to mining camp for over a month, to make the chunk of money I needed to be able to run my second Quest. Kyla was 19, she had just moved to Alaska from Northern California and I was leaving her in my dry cabin with 35 sled dogs she had just met. My Dad would be around to help with anything she needed help with, Like hauling water and dog food, but for the most part Kyla was on her own! I left and came back to happy dogs I new then I had a special person! Kyla was able to create a bound with the dogs during that month that would continue to grow for years and years! The best part was Kyla would talk about the dogs! So I found a way to get her to comminicate just a llittle and with that our adventure began. To date kyla has been my handler for 4 years, and she has completely devotes her life to To Wild and Free for all four of those years! She was my handler for all my races for two seasons, including the 1000 Mile yukon Quest, before Enterying and finishing her first Yukon Quest in 2011. After 2 seasons of being my shadow, she was able to learn what she needed to gain my trust and confidence to sign her up to Run the Quest with my yearlings. During the 2010-11 season Kyla was completlely in charge of training my yearlings and running them in both the Gin Gin 200 and the Copper Basin 300, so that she could qualify for the 1000 Mile Yukon Quest. She battled through some tough Qualifiers and finished both races which sent her to the Quest. Then in one of the the tougest Yukon Quests in History Kyla guided her team of pups down the trail lead by veterans of my past Quests, Madaonna and Molly, to a 11th place finish. In a race that over half the mushers scratched. Throughout all the obsticales thrown at her She kept a positive attitude and gave the yearlings and amazing experience. Kyla did it again in her second Quest with a brand new set of youngsters! All mushers know that a good handler makes or brakes your Kennel. I have been extremely fortunate to have Kyla be a part of my team for the past five years! She has been a huge part of the success of Wild and Free Mushing. although off pursueing some of her own dreams now Kyla will always have a place at Wild and Free Mushing!!
Mandy has been a part of Wild and Free in one way or anther since the begnining. This year she is taking it to another level and will be training a set of Wild and Free Veterans and young dogs for the Yukon Quest!! We are very excited to to helping Mandy achieve her goals!
Matt has helped out WIld and Free in many ways over the years this year he will be supporting and handling for Mandy on here trail to the Yukon Quest.
Josh came to Alaska in 1997 to attend the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. After five years of school and wilderness adventures in Southeast, he moved north to Fairbanks where he has been at home ever since. In 2007 Josh founded Horst Expediting & Remote Operations which provides support services for field projects throughout the northern reaches of Alaska. His company provides logistics, expediting, camp equipment rental, and temporary crew support services for a wide range of projects. The seasonal nature of his business allowed his recreational and volunteer participation in dog mushing to evolve in to him working as a guide on Wild & Free Expeditions as well as taking on many roles associated with the Yukon Quest. Josh has been an at-large volunteer, checkpoint manager, media crew guide, a W&F handler, and this year has taken the reigns as Race Manger for the Quest. As an expedition guide, Josh’s level head, problem solving, and easy-going sense of humor make him an invaluable member of the team.
Bio coming soon.