Tricky dogs return to Vail Friday, Saturday

Matt Zalaznick
Bo launches off the back of Marie Earle Friday in a qualifying round of freestyle frisbee at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge at the Vail Golf Course. The event continues today at 11 a.m.

The Purina Dog Chow Incredible Dog Challenge returns to town with Frisbee-catching contests, skijoring and sled racing, among other competitions.

The competing pooches, which come from around Colorado, are coming, of course, to a place where dogs are sacred, those who attended last year’s challenge say.

“I feel guilty when I go skiing. I wish I could take her with me,” says valley resident Jeff Sharpe. “One of the best testaments to how people feel about their dogs up here is when you see people kayaking down at Shoshone and their dogs are running down the bike path.”

In Vail, the dog challenge is a two-day event, starting at 3 p.m., with an hour of dogs catching flying discs in a demonstration at the Children’s Fountain, on Gore Creek drive in Vail Village.

Saturday’s competitions, start at 10 a.m. at the Vail Nordic Center, include:

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– 11 a.m. – Ski joring with dogs, not horses.

– 11:45 a.m. – Four-dog sled competition. Four four-dog teams race a short course.

– 12:30 a.m. – Mini Musher competition, in which eight local elementary school students race single-dog sleds over a short course.

– 1 p.m. – Flying Disc demonstration.

– 1:15 p.m. – Eight-dog sled competition.

– 1:30 – Dog Sled Dash

Admission to the dog challenge is free. For more information, visit —

“Dogs here are like cows in India,” said Matt Newman of Bond at least year’s challenge. “This is the biggest dog-in-the office area I’ve ever been to.”

Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at

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