On the first Saturday of May for the past 15 years, Young’s Pond Park has been the site of the annual “Skyhoundz Dog Frisbee Contest,” organized by Victor Amatori, program supervisor of the Branford Recreation Department.
This past Saturday, 23 canines were registered by their owners for this year’s competition. “That’s the most we ever had. It’s getting bigger and more competitive each year,” Amatori said. Here Jack, an 11-year-old Aussie, makes a great catch of his Frisbee.
He added, “The Skyhoundz Dog Frisbee contest is an event we look forward to each year. It is a friendly event that draws people and their dogs, from our community, surrounding towns, and some from other states to compete, socialize and enjoy our wonderful parks, especially Young’s Pond.”
Most of this year’s competitors came from Connecticut, including Salem, Bozrah, East Hartford, Colchester, Collinsville, and Clinton. In addition, there were three entries from Branford – Robi Tarkin and her dog Namaste, Mike Serca and his dog Cooper, and Tom Horrigan who entered two dogs, Misty and Little Girl.
The winner of this year’s event was James Tang and his dog Morgan, who came from Schenectady, New York.
Here is runner up Stella with owner Ed Jakubowski.
The judges Dillon and Victor keep an eye on Stella’s catch
Here Sampson floats through the air after grabbing the Frisbee.
In fact, third place went to Sampson, here with his owner Abi Christina.
The rules of the competition, established by Skyhoundz, based in Rosewell, Georgia, require two rounds of throws in 60 seconds. The thrower stands in the end zone of a lined diamond shaped area that is 50 yards long. Points are given for a catch inside one of five zones with the most points given if the dog catches the Frisbee in the furthest zone while in the air and fewer points if they catch it while their paws are touching the ground.
Every once and awhile, a conversation takes place. Robi Tarkin of Branford has a strategy talk with her dog, Namaste.
Every so often a dog does his own thing. Here Travis, a 10-year-old mixed breed, comes over to show the judges his Frisbee.
Here Ortiz, a 12-year-old Papillion, had the folks laughing after trying to catch the Frisbee.
Morgan, a 2-year-old purebred female German Coolie (also known as Australian Koolie) scored 28 points, edging out Stella, a 6-year-old female purebred Border Collie that had 27.5 points. Stella is owned by Ed Jakubowski of Salem. Third place was won by Sampson, a 2-year-old purebred male Aussie who received 24 points. His owner is Abi Christina of Bozrah.
“We are grateful to the Young’s Pond Commission, especially Ken Graham and Dale Welch for their assistance in allowing us to us the field each year for our event,” Amatori said.
Let’s think of next year! Here is Eva, a 5-year-old German shepherd. She makes it look easy.