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Brainerd-area family revels in dog-sledding

By Jodie Tweed

Brainerd Daily Dispatch

BRAINERD, Minn. -- When it comes to dog sledding, the Duval sisters -- Alexa, 14, Miriah, 11, and Jenaya, 10 -- are a triple threat.

But there are three more Duval children back at home ready to take the lead away from their big sisters. The children's mother and father, Maury and Lezlie Duval, who live in Maple Grove Township, began dog sledding eight years ago. Maury had learned a little about dog sledding while growing up in Fargo, N.D., when as a boy he would sled behind his Alaskan husky dog. He wanted to introduce the sport to his young family since he was interested in competing as well.

The Duvals started with five dogs about five years ago. As their family grew, so did their passion for the sport of dog sledding. The rural Brainerd family now has 24 dogs they use to compete in dog sledding events throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and some competitions in Michigan and Canada.

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The girls enjoy the sport and do very well. Alexa turned professional this year and now competes with mushers age 14 to adult in the four-dog pro divisions.

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