TORONTO, Canada – On the same weekend the world witnessed the prowess of Jamaican skier Errol Kerr at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in Canada, another Jamaican who was also competing in a winter sport on the other side of Canada.
Twenty-three-year-old Damion Robb was showing Canadians that, although Jamaica does not have snow, he can race dogs in the snow and win.
Damion was competing in the 6th Annual Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival, February 20-21, at MacLeod Park in Cannington, Ontario, Canada. It was his third straight weekend competing in dog sled races across Ontario.
Speaking to JIS News, Damion gave an update on how he had placed in the first two competitions.
“My first weekend, I was in Kearney and I finished third in the six-dog class. My second weekend was in Haliburton and I finished second in the four-dog class and third in the six-dog class,” he explained.
After two days of racing at the Cannington Races, he eventually placed first in the four-dog race and second in the three-dog race.
This Jamaican musher no longer considers himself a novice at mushing, because he has been doing this for the past three years.
His boss, Danny Melville, Chairman of Chukka Caribbean Adventures, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where Damion works all year round except for the few weeks he is in Canada mushing, rates him as a “professional musher.”
“People laugh when you say Robb is a professional dog musher and they say, what do you mean? Well, he is a professional, because Robb is a tour guide of dog sled tours in Jamaica, just like if you went to Haliburton and you take a dog sled tour. You can come to Chukka Cove and you can take a dog sled tour and Robb will be your guide,” said Mr. Melville.
“Everyone is accepting now and loving it. It’s not so much of a shocker this time around,” he explained how North Americans have reacted to the Jamaica Dog Sled Team.
Some of the spectators at the Cannington Dog Sled Race expressed their love for the Jamaican, and say they have been following the activities of the Jamaican Dog Sled Team.
Andrew Graydon, who is originally from Ireland, said he had been a supporter from the beginning.
“I have to admit that my initial reaction was probably the same as everyone else’s. I had seen the movie about the bobsled team. I’m Irish, and we have our own Winter Olympic team, which is interesting because we don’t have any snow either. So when Danny first told me, it wasn’t a case of skepticism it was more a case of, ‘oh my God that’s a brilliant idea’,” he said.
Wilhelm Perre said it has been a lot of fun for him watching the Team.
“Everyday has been spectacular; the outing has been full of camaraderie and it seems the Jamaican team attracts a lot more attention than any other team. We watch the people flock over, because when they see the word Jamaica the last thing they think is dog sledding. The crowd really seems to love them,” he said.
Damion said he likes the idea that he is representing his country and highlighting positive things about Jamaica. Mr. Melville agrees and says every aspect of the Jamaica Dog Sled Team has been good.
“It’s good for Jamaica, as a promotional tool. It’s good for young Jamaicans like Robb, who get an opportunity to travel and see the world. It’s good for the fact that we take dogs off the street in Jamaica and support the JSPCA. We perpetrate kindness to animals and love of animals, especially dogs,” he stated
Jamaican musher, Damion Robb, now returns to warm Jamaica with some cold hard cash in his pockets.