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Football isn’t the only sport to watch Sunday February 2, 2014-Talented canine athletes from around the world compete in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge

Football isn’t the only sport to watch Sunday February 2, 2014! Talented canine athletes from around the world compete in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge, which showcases dogs and their handlers competing in Small Dog Agility, Large Dog Agility, Jack Russell Hurdle Racing, Diving Dog, Fetch It, 30 Weave Up and Back and Freestyle Flying Disc competitions.

Back in October Delia and I were invited to the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis. I’ve been to the Incredible Dog Challenge before, but this time I was able to go “behind the scenes” as a guest of Purina and it was a thrill. Delia was just excited to go to Purina Farms again as it is one of her favorite places to visit.


The first event of the day was Small Dog Agility. Delia was fascinated. She actually sat and watched the competition.



Next was Large Dog Agility, but by that time she was more interested in meeting new friends and mingling with the athletes and guests.

She met St. Louis Rams mascot Rampage along with a  few of the Rams cheerleaders. She actually posed with them for pictures, which, if you know Delia, was a shock. She HATES costumed characters. She gave him the “stink eye,” but didn’t fuss. I was so proud of my girl.

Delia Rampage and Rams Cheerleaders
She was not thrilled with this Rampage guy being so close, but she minded her manners and tolerated him.
Handling a camera in one hand, and a bouncy Bichon’s leash in the other gets tricky, so my mom went along as my “Delia wrangler,” so she watched after her while I photographed the rest of the day’s events.
Delia making a friend and watching the competition from her Nannie’s lap.


This event was my first time seeing Jack Russell Hurdle Racing. Wow, those little guys are fast. And FOCUSED. The races were intense.


Next up were the Diving Dogs and Fetch It events. A brief rain shower didn’t stop the action. The dogs amazed the crowds with their talents and didn’t seem at all bothered by the rain.


St. Louis’s own Baxter and his handler Tony Lampert took 2nd place in the Diving Dog competition.

Third Place Fetch It Winner, Nash
Nathan Jr. was my favorite Diving Dog of the day. His expressions were priceless.
The final events were the 30 Weave Up and Back and Freestyle Flying Disc. The energy from the music and the amazing choreography during the Freestyle Flying Disc competition was exciting.The bond between the handlers and the talented dogs is incredible. (pun intended)
Andrew Han and Solar
Chuck Middlteon and Bam Bam
Chuck Middlteon and Bam Bam
Jason Rigler and Kai
Kirby McIlveen and Torch
Kirby McIlveen and Torch

Gary Duke and Baye

Photographing the event was exciting. Catching the action is a challenge, but so much fun to try to capture these amazing animals in action.
Watch all of the action when the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge airs on NBC at 5 PM EST Sunday February 2, 2014.


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