Team Ineka

Iditarod Musher: Hugh Neff

Iditarod Musher Hugh Neff

By Robert Forto, PhD

On my recent trip to Anchorage I had the pleasure of spending time with 6-time Iditarod musher, Hugh Neff. Hugh and I have developed a friendship over the past year since I invited him to come to Denver and speak to my daughter’s school about the Iditarod, mushing and living in the North.

Hugh and I spoke at length about my desire to run the Iditarod in 21013 and what it will take to get to that goal. I had the pleasure of handling for him at the ceremonial start in Anchorage and helped send him and his team off to Nome. What a great honor.

Hugh Neff is not your ordinary musher. He spends a lot of his time speaking to kids all over North America and stresses the importance of education and family values. In this year’s Iditarod, Hugh is doing something special: he is taking part in the National Education Association-Alaska’s first statewide Read Across Alaska celebration. Hugh is helping promote and celebrate the fun of reading. Hugh is carrying the Cat in the Hat book across Alaska in his sled bag. Once Hugh has crossed the finish line in Nome, he will deliver the book to the children of this small village at the edge of the Earth.

Hugh Neff, 42 was born in Tennessee. He gr up in Illinois and attended Loyola Academy and the University of Illinois. He says he moved to Alaska in 1995 to “run down a dream”. Hugh says, “racing is an excuse to play with our beloved beasts all over the North.

Hugh lists his occupation as dog musher and public speaker. He is a member of Mush with P.R.I.D.E and is an Eagle Scout and says he enjoys “making other people smile.”

If you would like to find our more about Iditarod musher Hugh Neff please visit his website Laughing Eyes Kennel at and follow his race across alaska this year on Hugh is wearing bib number 56.

Citation: The Official Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Guide

Tags: Hugh Neff | Iditarod | Team Ineka | Dog Training Denver | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a professional musher training for his first Iditarod in 2013 racing under the Team Ineka banner. Dr. Robert Forto can be reached through his website at

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