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Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee World Championships return to Nike Park Sept. 2-3

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Above and Below / Take time during Labor Day weekend to enjoy the high-jumping talents of canines who catch Frisbees during the free-style competition. (PN File Photos)

Update, Sept. 2, 2023 / Day One of the 2023 Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee World Championships is now a thing of the past. Dozens of loveable dogs, all sizes and ages, were on the run during the qualifying match ups of Toss-n-Catch on Sat., Sept. 2.

“We had over 100 teams today. Omg!” said organizer Tom Wehrli. “Tomorrow there should be about 50-70 total.”

With disc in mouth, 10-year-old Penny came right up to the bleachers where folks were sitting. Her owner said she wanted us to toss the disc for her to catch. Two weeks ago in the Indianapolis, Penny qualified for this weekend’s competition at Nike Park. Matches continue on Sunday from 9:30AM to 4PM. (PN Photo, Sept. 2, 2023)
Ready and set, agile canines were eager to chase discs and score points to qualify for Sunday’s finals. (PN Photo, Sept. 2, 2023)

Live action and entertainment continue from 9:30AM to 4PM Sunday. Cheers!

Original Post, Aug. 9, 2023 / The 2023 Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee World Championships will be held over Labor Day weekend from 9:30AM to 4PM, Sat., Sept. 2, and Sun., Sept. 3. This event returns to Nike Sports Complex, located at 288 W. Diehl Road and Mill Street.

Admission and parking are free.

“It’s free for all spectators and we’ll have bleachers available,” said longtime organizer Tom Wehrli. “We have teams—dog and thrower—from all over the world coming in to compete.”

Dogs and their owners registered to participate are from Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Japan and Canada, Wehrli said. 

All teams have qualified from their Regional events and will vie to win the Ashley Whippet World Champion trophy.

“We’ll be holding a Last Chance event on Saturday and those teams that place in the top five places in three different divisions will come back on Sunday and compete with many other teams that have already qualified earlier in the year,” explained Wehrli.

Back in the beginning of the Ashley Whippet K-9 World Championships, the popular event was held near the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion behind the VFW. (PN File Photo)

Note also that the Ashley Whippet K-9 World Championship is the original and longest running disc dog competition series in the world. 

“Come watch the fur fly!” said Wehrli. “Come watch teams from all over the world compete for the title of ‘World Champion.'”

The Ashley Whippet Championship experience dates back to 1974. The story of Alex Stein and his whippet named Ashley, now told through numerous articles and video clips found on the internet, quickly made international history when the duo “catapulted the game of canine flying disc into the national spotlight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

According the Ashley Whippet website, “His (Alex Stein’s) daredevil stunt leaping over the infield wall and playing disc with his dog (uninvited) during the seventh inning stretch caught the attention of Irv Lander, from Wham-O. Alex and Ashley were separated as he was removed from the field and arrested. Alex was well on his way to becoming the icon for a beloved dog sport now celebrating its 49th year.”

For the 2023 championships, a food tent will be open both days with hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie burgers and soft drinks available for sale, noted Wehrli. All proceeds from food and beverage sales will benefit nostigmas.org.

“I couldn’t do any of this event without the help of my family… My wife Chris, our girls and Ginny’s husband,” added Wehrli. “And I try not to get choked up every year when I say it to thank them during the event.”

For more information, visit the official website at www.ashleywhippet.com. Scroll down for details at Nike Park.

Jump, doggie, jump! Good catch! (PN File Photo)

Editor’s Note / This free event at Nike Park has been an attractive Labor Day weekend activity for PN readers since the days when it was held near the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion. Note all the convenient advantages of this Nike Park location with plenty of free parking and easy access to I-88. Spectators may want to remember to bring collapsible lawn chairs, sunhat, sunscreen and water bottles while enjoying the event in the last days of summer sun.

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.
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