Saskatchewan flyball tournament more than just races for the dogs

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Saskatchewan flyball tournament more than just races for the dogs
WATCH: Roughly 30 dogs and their owners took part in the annual Diamond in the Ruff Flyball Tournament – Sep 9, 2019

Roughly 30 teams participated in the 16th annual Diamonds in the Ruff Flyball Tournament in Dalmeny, just north of Saskatoon.

Teams consisted of four handlers and dogs from across the Prairies. Speed, agility and communication were put to the test in a relay-style race. It’s been around since the 1970s.

“They compete against other teams doing exactly the same thing and the fastest wins,” said Karen Machin, president and interim director of Diamonds in the Ruff.

“They go over the jumps, catch the ball, out of the box, then back over the jumps and then the next dog goes.”

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The tournament is the biggest event the Flyball club hosts in the province.

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All types of dogs are allowed in the event. Some compete in up to roughly 10 tournaments per year, depending on talent level. Up to 25 points are up for grabs at the conclusion of each round-robin race.

“They also accumulate points; these points go towards titles,” Machin added. “They can get ribbons for (advancing to) those levels.”

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Bridge City native and dog handler Jeremy Caissie grew fond of the sport a decade age. He feels it’s a great way to spend time with a dog. His Jack Russell Terrier, Tov, reached the 60,000 point plateau at the end of the tournament.

“Every time you do a heat clean, meaning the (dogs) have gone, got their balls and have come back, all the dogs have done that,” Caissie said.

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