Musher Hugh Neff's Iditarod application denied; will not compete in 2019 race

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - News from our state sport today, a fan-favorite Dog Musher will not be competing in the 2019 Iditarod.
Longtime musher Hugh Neff will not be competing in the 2019 Iditarod.
The Race's Qualifying review board has denied Neff's application to compete in the upcoming edition of the race.
Neff was also banned earlier this year from competing in the 2019 Yukon Quest.
The ban stemmed from an incident in last year's Quest where one of Neff's Dogs, Boppie, died during the thousand mile race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse.
The Necropsy results of the Dog revealed severe fat and muscle loss, as well as a parasitic infestation.
Quest officials banned Neff from competing in the 2019 race, and said that he would have to run the YQ300 before competing in the thousand mile event again.
After his application was denied to compete in the Iditarod, officials released this statement saying, "Neff's entry application to compete in the 2019 race has been denied by the QRB due to concerns over his lack of dog care during the 2018 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. The Iditarod Trail Committee believes that the highest level of dog care must be achieved."
Neff posted on his Facebook page earlier today that he and his wife Olivia, who will be competing in the Yukon Quest for the first time, are both officially out of the Iditarod.
We were able to reach Neff through Social Media and he said he would be taking this time to regroup and care for his family and dogs.
When asked if he had a statement, he simply said "We love our dogs."