LIVINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over 60 dogs from across the northeast were in upstate New York this weekend for a nationwide dock diving competition, as part of the Ultimate Air Games, competing with canines in similar events in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina.
“It’s really unique to be a part of an organization that has people across the country with the exact same interest, doing the exact same thing,” said Steven Bimbo, the president of Hudson River Air Dogs, a non-profit dock diving club that hosted this weekend’s competition.
The competition, and the sport itself, bringing tail-wagging fun to more than just those competing.
“The spirit and the love that these dogs have for what they do, and the bond that you share with them, is like no other. It makes me cry,” said Sue Muncy.
Muncy has been hooked to dock diving for years, as she’s continued to feel connected with the community surrounding it.
“When somebody’s dog does great, we’re all cheering, we’re all smiling, we’re all happy, because we love these dogs,” she explains.
Dogs of all sizes and classes competed this weekend, with some, like Dexter from Connecticut, having the ability to jump upwards of 30 feet. In addition to jumping incredible distances, he’s also taken his team across the country for different competitions.
“I feel so honored. It’s like, I never expected for him to be so athletic,” Jackie Tew, Dexter’s owner said.
Hudson River Air Dogs, the organization that hosted this weekend’s event, has seen continued growth, as the sport has become increasingly popular across the northeast, with people traveling from as far as Maine to compete.
“Grow is an understatement. Hudson River Air Dogs has grown four times the size that it started at, to the point where we have actually outgrown our facility here and are moving, next year, to a larger facility,” the club’s president said.
Four different disciplines of dock diving happened throughout the weekend, giving dogs numerous opportunities to get awarded.
The distance dogs travel is measured by the end of the dock they jump from to the back of their body when they hit the water.
Because of the amount of dogs competing, the event ran both days from the morning through the early evening. Nationwide winners are expected to be known by early next week.