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A Maine Mushing Legend Passes: Darlene Farr

Maine has lost a legend.

Mushing has lost an advocate.

Seppala Siberians have lost a supporter.

We have lost our dear friend.

Darlene with Poland Spring's Hazel

Darlene Farr, and her husband, David, have had a passion for mushing for many decades. In the past several years, Darlene has served as a great advocate for mushing, not only in her support of the Maine Highland Sled Dog Club, but also in her tireless advocacy in our state capital with legislators. About 15 years ago Dalene's Church Hill Kennel became the retirement home of the great leader, Poland Spring's Pirate. Pirate convinced the Farrs that Seppalas were special, and distinct from the rest of the Siberian stock. Since then they have owned four Seppalas, often offering to serve as a plush retirement home for some of our Poland Spring legends.

Darlene with Poland Spring's Pirate in Lead

But more than all of this, Darlene was our dear and trusted friend. I know others have great stories to tell about her beautiful spirit- but here is ours.

Darlene and Poland Spring's Frost, at the Maine Outdoor trade Show

Over the past decade and a half, I have learned to trust and seek her counsel over a great many things in and out of the mushing world. When we decided to take the next step and incorporate PSk as a non-profit organization, she and Cynthia Robbins (owner of Poland Spring Resort) were the first two people we asked to serve on the board. Just this past season, I received an unexpected package in the mail. It was two critter wood snow hooks (some of the best snow hooks in the business). She'd noticed I was using outdated snow hooks and wanted my sons to have the best in their races this season.

Darlene Farr with Christian and Caleb Hayes

When Dalene's son, Jon, called me to tell me the news that Darlene was in ICU in Portland, and that she'd been given weeks to live, Jon and I cried and prayed together. The next morning Tammie and I drove the 14 hour round trip just to have some time with her in the hospital.

Thankfully she was tougher than the doctors expected and we were blessed to travel down again and visit with her just a couple weeks ago. I woke up yesterday morning (the Fourth of July) to two messages, one from Dalene's husband and one from her son, telling me that she had passed in her sleep.

Darlene and David Farr, with the Hayes boys

So we ask you to pray for her family, and to celebrate her life with us. Darlene was a tireless supporter of mushing, the Seppala Siberian Sleddog, and a dear friend. Her deep and tender soul will remain on the trails with us all, until we mush with her again on the other side.

Darlene and Poland Spring's Frost at the Century Theatre in Belfast

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