EAGLE RIVER -
Ellyn Reese is a Northland Pines student by day and a Junior Dog Musher by night.
"Being out on the trail with the dogs is an amazing feeling, it's the best the dogs are so excited their energy transfer right over to the musher," said Ellyn Reese.
Ellyn said her parents are one of her biggest supporters who helped her with her start.
"My parents were super supportive about Dog Mushing, they thought it was super cool," said Reese.
After sitting down with Josh and Wendy Reese, they gave us their thoughts on when their daughter first brought mushing to their attention.
"When she wanted to Dog Mush, we were excited we think it fits her, I think she's dog lover, we wanted to give her a chance to do what she wanted to do when she was little kid," said Josh & Wendy Reese.
Josh and Wendy Reese said they wanted to make their daughters dream come true, which didn't happen until they ran into Diane Gagliano.
"We had gone to a few races and met some mushers but didn't have the opportunity to connect to a kennel, until I met Diane Gagliano," said Josh and Wendy Reese. "I was actually at the dentist and she said we have a kennel and we would love to welcome your daughter, to see if it would be a good fit as a junior musher."
Ellyn said after the initial connection, it turned into the experience of a lifetime.
"I connected with Diane and Amelia Gagliano at Top of the Hill Huskies, I got to try 2 dogs with a sled and I thought that was amazing, so I have been there ever since for 7 years now as a junior musher and yeah it's been great," said Reese.
Seven years that Josh and Wendy got to see their little girl progress.
"When she was little she would head out on this sled with 2 dogs like out 4 miles and back. It's been awesome to see her progress from 2 dogs, to 4 dogs, to 6 dogs and to watch her on a sled getting pulled Mach 3 by these dogs when she was little, was awesome and unnerving because they go really fast," said Josh and Wendy Reese
Little did the Reese family know that Ellyn's progress would soon land her on a competition television show to teach others about Dog Mushing, which required her to film in Canada for 3 months.
"I was first introduced to All-Around Champion when they reached out to my club the Wisconsin Trailblazers and they reached out to me and all the junior mushers in my club, so I ended up applying and I ended up getting in and that was so exciting, said Ellyn Reese.
Ellyn's parents were split on the decision on whether to send their daughter to Canada, but ultimately feel they made the right decision.
"I thought what a chance in a lifetime, let's look into this and see what can happen, and I thought no way there's no way we're doing this, this is a bad idea, in hindsight I am super glad she went, and super glad this all worked out," said Josh Reese & Wendy Reese.
A representative from Top of the Hill Huskies, Amelia Gagliano said they were excited for Ellyn and the exposure it gave the mushing sport.
"We knew it that it would be a possibility since we connected her to the application process. But we were so excited but then also Ellyn is a huge helper for us but so we were a little sad because she would be gone for the winter, but more excited than we could possibly explain not only for Ellyn, but the mushing sport," said Gagliano.
Ellyn said she enjoyed her experience on the show, but ultimately thanks the people who supported her journey, her parents agree.
"We too are really grateful because don't have ability to have and house 30 dogs but that team of women at top the hill huskies make an amazing team and an amazing team, so we are really grateful for them," said Josh and Wendy Reese.
Season 2 of All Around Champion, featuring Ellyn Reese is set to drop on Tuesday.
To watch you can visit the BYUtv website or download the BYUtv app onto your cellphones.
Future events from Top of the Hill Huskies visit their website.
- Sept 26th at the Backyard Feed Store in Eagle River there is an open house and fundraiser for the Vilas County Animal Shelter.
- Jump River in Catawba, WI on Oct. 10th and 11th
- Doty Dusty Dog in Mountain, WI Oct. 17th and 18th