Meet the world champion husky team from Sussex about to hit the snow

  • ITV Meridan's Andy Dickenson meets the Sussex-based husky dog racing team who went on to become world championship winners

A Sussex-based husky dog racer has become a world champion.

Matt Hodgson has triumphed, winning gold in an international competition on dry land in Belgium.

He's now off to Italy to compete, not on wheels, but in the snow.

He's been racing sled dogs now for almost 20 years and owns seven, mainly Greenland Huskies.

  • Matt tells us how he got started and how he dreams of winning in Italy next month

Matt trains the dogs in Friston Forest near Eastbourne and together they can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour.

But in two weeks' time, the challenge will be doing that on the snow and ice in more Alpine conditions.

"The temperatures are fine, and in fact the colder it is, the more they like it," Matt said.

"I've been taking them to Sweden before and it dropped down to -25, -30, and they absolutely loved it. I find it really, really difficult.

"As soon as you get onto a sled, you're sliding. You've got to break with your feet. There's no steering.

  • Watch Matt's line snap as he settles for silver in Sweden last year

"You've got to rely on the dogs taking the turns in order to pull you around the bends. There's quite a lot of difference.

"And without being able to get much practice as we don't get a lot of snow here, it is very difficult, but I'm very hopeful."

Last year at the World Snow Championships in Sweden, Matt was thwarted by a snapped line on the second run, losing 20 seconds, but still winning silver.

That was the highest-ever finish for a British competitor.

This year, he hopes to go to that one place better.