STRATFORD Dog Agility’s recent dog trials drew a huge crowd to The Pines Lodge Reserve.
The trials saw 115 dogs navigating 870 runs over the course of the weekend – making it the biggest country trial in Victoria.
While the club was only formed about three years ago, it has quickly built up a strong following of dog owners with a passion for agility and all the fun and fitness the sport entails.
Dog agility involves dog and handler attempting to obtain a clear round on a course neither have seen prior to the day.
It can be slightly messy, with about 75 per cent of entrants on a trial day being disqualified for a course misdemeanour, but it’s always fun.
The courses involve a variety of jumps, tunnels and contact equipment such as dog walk, A-frame, see-saw and weaves and a typical Masters course will see up to 24 obstacles navigated.
Treasurer and trial secretary Janet Leeman said it was a bit like horse showjumping, where a team of animal and handler must obtain a clear round around a designated course, with the fastest time declared the winner.
Ms Leemon said Stratford Dog Agility was only a small club of 19 members, but was big on fun and inclusion – and, of course, all members have a profound love of dogs.
She said the trial events made a large contribution to the town, with competitors spending the weekend in the area after coming from as far as Melbourne, NSW and Canberra.
Owners and their dogs meet every Sunday morning at 8.30am at Stratford’s Pine Lodge Recreation reserve in Llowalong Rd.
For details on how to join, visit www.stratforddogagility.com.