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Annual flyball competition at Seaton Park

Seaton Park Flyball
Seaton Park Flyball

Dog lovers will descend on Aberdeen’s Seaton Park next month for an annual canine contest

The north-east’s own flyball team Scratch Squad will host a national competition for the fast-paced sport.

It is the second time the side has hosted competitors on behalf of the British Flyball Association.

Team captain Marguerite Fleming said: “We’re the most northerly team and this is the most northerly competition.

“It’s basically a relay race. A team of four dogs race against another team of four.

“They jump hurdles and collect a ball from the box at the end. Then they return over the hurdles and the next dog goes. The first team back with no mistakes wins that leg.”

More than 100 pets and their owners attended the inaugural event last year, which brought appearances from some of the best flyball teams in the country.

Dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds are able to compete in the competition, which is governed by the British association.

It has become a popular spectator sport since Crufts organisers started including it in their programme.

Scratch Squad, which is based at Garioch Sports Centre in Inverurie, was formed in May 2013.

The group has about 20 members from across Aberdeenshire who train together each week, and travel around the country for competitions.

Ms Fleming said: “This is the biggest show we’ve hosted, there are 28 teams coming from all over the country. We’re hosting it on the Saturday and the Banchory team are hosting it on the Sunday.

“The fastest team in the country can do the race in less than 16 seconds, which is less than four seconds per dog. We would average about five seconds per dog for our ream right now.”

The competition takes place in Seaton Park on Saturday, September 20, and Sunday, September 21.

Working breeds such as collies tend to be naturals at the activity due to their speed, agility and keen intelligence.

But British Flyball Association rules now stipulate teams should include at least one ABC – anything but a collie.

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