Ararad Khatchikian short biography

Ararad Khatchikian is born in the Sahara Desert in Khartoum ( Sudan ) from Armenian Father and Italian Mother. In the Armenian Language his name " Araràd " means " where the sun rises up - the sunrise " from the ancient Armenian language " ùr ardù " meaning " where the morning comes from ". He moves with his Family to Italy in Gorizia in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and after a trip in Alaska with his brother Armen develops an interest for those Territories and its People. He alternates his job as a Sleddog / Mushing Sport Instructor at the International Mushing School of Fusine - Tarvisio ( Udine - Italy ) with his job as a Organic Farmer and Organic Restaurant owner. He participates with his Dogs to almost all the most important Sleddog - Mushing Races and challenges in the World. Guitarist and song writer with several recordings, he narrates in music his…" white " adventures too in live touring shows as soloist or with his Band " Ararad


Born in Africa, Khartoum, Sudan on the river Nile, from Italian mother and Armenian father. Since the age of nine lives in Italy in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, north east of Venice on the Austrian and Slovenian borderline.

Obtains Classical Degrees in Gorizia and starts Medical Studies in Trieste's University. Skilled cross country skier participates successfully in important National and International ski races. Self instructed musician, records some promo tapes, a Long Playing in Copenhagen with the band " Fairfield ", a single, a CD, a DVD and some demos as singer and guitarist performing regularly as a busker ( street musician ) and in live shows with his Band " Ararad ".

In the winter of 1984 visits the State of ALASKA ( USA ) following his brother Armen who is racing the mythical IDITAROD Sleddog Race ( 1860 Km - 1165 miles - on sleds pulled by dogs from Anchorage to Nome ). Shoots a 16 mm. film and writes a diary which will be published in Italy by some well known magazine.

The young traveller comes back to Alaska in the next winters of 1985 and 1986 both to cover again his brother's IDITAROD Race as organizer for some Italian TV networks and to participate in the most incredible cross country ski competition on Earth ( without dogs ! ): the IDITASKI, a sister race to the Iditarod which covers 350 Km. ( 225 miles ) of the historical Iditarod sleddog trail. The second year he finishes the race in 12th position after 62 hours of almost non stop and sleepless skiing.

It is just than that the strong call of the wilderness and the extraordinaire Native Indian and Eskimo Culture, exercise a strong influence in his personality. Returned in Italy decides to leave his medical studies and to devote his life to the Sleddog Sports and any activity related with Nature's and Minor Culture's preservation connected with the Arctic specially.

With his brother Armèn, his sister Arminè and the supervision of the Alaskan Champion Rick Swenson, founds the first Italian Sleddog School in december 1985 at Ponte di Legno - Tonale Pass ( Brescia ) with the intent of promoting the Sleddog / Mushing Sport and pass on the students love and care of Animals and Nature. In 1992 he moves to TARVISIO ( North East of Italy on the border with Austria and Slovenia ) with his wife Monica D'Eliso ( first Italian woman musher to complete the Alpirod and Transitalian Races ) and their 40 huskies to found the International Mushing School and their Agritouristic Farm specialized in the organic production of wild berries and vegetables. Ararad is also father of two children : Alicja and Azad ( " free man " in Armenian Language ).

He alternates his job as a farmer and sport instructor with organizing winter and summer tours in Alaska. Cooperates in the starting of the Alpirod Sleddog Race (1000 Km. in the Alps), participates in the most important National and International competitions and sleddog adventure challenges which he documents with spectacular videos and tales :

• Italian Sprint Champ. with 8 dogs -1987 / 1989
• Italian Long Trail Champ. with 8 dogs - 1988 /1991
• First It. team in the " Alpirod " 600 miles Race 1989, and 15th overall in 1990 / 1991
• First It. Team in the " Transitalian " 300 miles Race in 1992 / 93
• Only Team from Italy in the " Iditarod " 1165 miles Race in 1996 in Alaska
• 3rd overall in the " Two Rivers 200 miles " Race , in 1995 in Alaska
• 7th overall in the " Klondike 300 miles " Race , in 1996 in Alaska
• Only Italian Team in the " Yukon Quest 1000 miles " Race in 2000 in Alaska
• Only Italian Team in the 780 miles ( 1200 km ) Serum Run from Nenana to Nome, " In Balto's Footprints " in 2003, in Alaska
• Has participated in the " Iditarod " 1165 miles Race in 2004 in Alaska
. Covers the 2008 Yukon Quest Race with 2 sleds and 16 dogs with a Italian Rai Due Tv crew

Has written the manual " Sleddog in 20 lessons" for the Mediolanum Associated Editors, the Book “Sulle orme di Balto” ( In Balto’ s footprints ) for RAI Eri - Mondadori and several articles on daily, weekly and monthly magazines. As special consultant for Rai Tv, Mediaset Tv, Sky Tv and others, participates in many National and International TV and Radio shows about the Sleddog / Mushing Sport and his adventure trips, performing very often with his guitar and his Dogs.    

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