Get ready next weekend for three days of some of the fastest dogs in the world as they compete in what could only be described as “doggy drag racing.”
The Shell Factory will host the first Dueling Dogs competition from April 15-17 in the center parking lot.
Watch as some of the world’s fastest canines, including Cape Coral’s famed superdog and current world champion and record holder, Bo, compete against the clock and each other to earn the first championship of the season in this relatively new event.
Handlers are expected to come from all over the country. Bo’s chief rival, Remi and his handler, Tom Dropik, will come from Minnesota to compete.
“Having the world champion right here in our own backyard is drawing a lot of attention to the upcoming competition,” said Crystal McClaren, Bo’s owner, in a statement.
The event is sponsored by SunCoast Dock Dogs. Vicki Tighe, who runs the organization, said they starting dueling dogs last year and was done in conjunction with the Dock Dog events, but will be done as a stand-alone this year.
“The dogs will be classed by seed and there will be four classes according to their time. At first it doesn’t matter who wins the duel, but their time. They race against the clock,” Tighe said. “They get classed after that for the finals and it becomes single elimination from there.”
The competition starts Friday afternoon and will run all day Saturday and Sunday. A special pool will be set up in the parking lot that is made with Plexi Glass, giving the fans a 360-degree view of the action.
The regular pool will feature Seth Casteel, an underwater photographer who did a book on underwater dogs and puppies. There is a charge for that.
Bo set the record last year at 4.2 seconds. They will run 20 feet and jump and swim the remaining 38 feet to the end of the pool and the bumper.
Rick Tupper, CFO/ marketing director of the Shell Factory, expects this to be an awesome event as the parking lot will be transformed into a mini sports arena.
“It really fits with what we do. We start with these smaller events and they become big events. This one will be big right out of the gate,” Tupper said. “We’ll have stadium seating around the pool and it’s three days, so it fits in with the family atmosphere.”
All the attractions at the Shell Factory are expected to be open, including the newly-remodeled Dog Bones Cafe and the expanded Christmas House.
For more information and to register, call Tighe at 464-1859 or visit www.shellfactory.com.