Stellar Canine Athleticism in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Downtown St. Petersburg had its wow factor turned on to high voltage for a spectacular dog day afternoon on Saturday, May 4. The 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge brought in dogs and their humans from all over the country to compete in dog diving, agility, Jack Russell Terrier races, 30-weave up-and-back and freestyle flying disc. Incredible is the right word for this dog-filled event.

As a venue, Spa Beach Park is perfect. Its proximity to the St. Petersburg Pier and a boat-filled waterfront gave out-of-towners a visual treat. And while the cloud-filled sky threatened to burst at any minute, it rained only briefly, towards the end of the day. The downpour arrived during a beautiful freestyle flying disc performance. The team continued its performance, undaunted, as most of the crowd ran for cover.

The overall event set-up was pretty near perfect, with bleacher seating on two sides and VIP seating on another. There were several big screen TVs displayed throughout, including the main one just above the dog diving staging area. Spectators were able to see every competition from any vantage point within the event’s parameters, thanks to an incredible video production crew from F&F Productions. The show’s production, including sound, music and announcing were all spot-on, adding complete entertainment value to the competition. Speaking of value, the event was free to the public and their dogs.

Complimentary copies of The New Barker Dog Magazine were handed out in the main merchandise tent as well as in the VIP tent. The New Barker Dog Magazine team, including Heather Schulman and Leanne Sandbach, photographed and interviewed competitors and spectators for our summer issue. The event itself will be broadcast in Tampa Bay on May 11 on the CBS affiliate, WTSP at 1:00pm. To find out where the event broadcasts in your Florida city, visit BarkNetWork.

In the meantime, here is just a teaser of what we saw during the 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge. No question about it, these dogs rocked & ruled.

Baxter, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois broke records during the dog diving competition. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Baxter, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois broke records during the dog diving competition. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Baxter shakes it off after one of his jumps. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Baxter shakes it off after one of his jumps.
Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Energy and high-flying athleticism were in full swing during this team's freestyle flying disc performance.  Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine
Energy and high-flying athleticism were in full swing during this team’s freestyle flying disc performance. Photograph by Anna Cooke for
The New Barker Dog Magazine
Freestyle Flying Disc Competition during the 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge in St. Petersburg, FL. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Freestyle Flying Disc Competition during the 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge in St. Petersburg, FL. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.

Author: Anna Cooke

Anna Cooke put a fine art career on hold to enter the advertising world. The name Anna Cooke became synonymous with creative excellence as she went on to become a celebrated art director and then creative director of international renown. Her award-winning design work for industry giants ABC, D&B, and others, eventually led to an agency partnership which exists to this day. Anna Cooke is also co-founder and editor of the awarding-winning dog magazine, The New Barker. "What matters most is what you have done, not what others have done to you."

3 thoughts on “Stellar Canine Athleticism in St. Petersburg, Florida.”

  1. Wish I had known about it before the 4th. It was a little hot for those dogs/bitches, and the humane folks also. Hope there was plenty of water there.

    1. Hi Barbara. Thanks for your comment.
      We recommend staying in touch with
      The New Barker dog magazine calendar online at http://www.thenewbarker.com/Events.htm. It is updated at least once a week. The New Barker Facebook page is another way to stay connected to upcoming events, as is The New Barker dog magazine itself. The weather was actually perfect…cloud coverage kept the sun at a minimum, and the breeze off the water kept us all cool (including the dogs). There were water bowls everywhere, and a few wading pools for the dogs as well.

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