Dogs take to Mt Hutt for annual dog derby

It was a dog of a day at Mt Hutt on Saturday, but we're not talking about the weather.

The skifield held its annual dog derby and the race was on to see which dog had the best legs for running in the snow.

We've heard of ski bunnies, but on Saturday, we had snow dogs. Lots of them.

Up the mountain came labradors, huntaways, a shivering chihuahua and a leonberger, a ginormous German mountain dog.

"He's used to the cold, and he's rearing to go in the snow, he just wants to go," said the owner.

Different owners had differing ambitions ahead of the big race.

"Well he's got four paw drive, I've only got two," said one person. 

"He won last year so we've got to go back to back," added another.

A cold day up the mountain meant tough running conditions for some of the smaller competitors.

It was a tightly fought contest with dogs breaking free from their owners, some giving it their best, one possibly barking up the wrong tree and other smaller dogs relieved to get it over. 

It was also tough conditions for many of the competitors trailing their canines.

"I lost track of the lead so she just went racing off," said one owner.

"Lots of people being pulled over by their dogs, especially going downhill, because the dogs were letting loose," said Mt Hutt's James Mackenzie.

But there was a clear frontrunner, a German shorthaired pointer labrador cross called Arlo.

"This is his first time in the snow so he's done really well and he's loving it!" said the owner.

After the race, pooches keen for owners to share the tucker.

We've heard it before but today of all days it's advisable not to eat yellow snow.

"I definitely think there's going to be lots more yellow snow at Mt Hutt today."

But not detracting from an ulti-mutt day to end the ski season and the school holidays.