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Splash Dogs Super Vertical Results

Striker wins Super Vertical jump competition at 7'. By Andrew Douglas

Striker, a Belgian Malinois and Border Collie cross, jumped 7' off the top of the Splash Dogs dock to snag a bumper and win the Super Vertical competition. It was high but not high enough to set a new record.

It was enough of a struggle for Striker and his owner, Tracy Hughes, to make it to the Cynosport Games. They're from San Diego, California, and live in one of the first communities to be evacuated due to the wildfires.

"We were told to evacuate but we decided to stay and fight for our home," says Hughes. She has 17 horses and five dogs, so leaving home isn't easy in the best of circumstances, let alone when fire is threatening to destroy everything she owns.

She left her neighborhood to come to the Cynosport Games only when it was clear that the threat was over. She says her the whole region around her property is blackened by fire, but that none of the 30 homes in her area were destroyed.

Hughes thinks that Striker is set to break a record soon. They've been training and working towards it. He's fast. He's been clocked at 38 mph on flat grass and he has quick acceleration  he can reach 32 mph on a 15' dock.

Striker's best jump was 7'6". The current world record is 7'10". The distance is measured from the top of the dock to the bottom of a bumper. Just knocking the bumper off the straps that it dangles from over the water is enough  the dog doesn't have to land with the bumper in its mouth for the jump to count.

Strength and fitness training is important but setting a record is basically up to the dog. Weather can play a factor in the other competition  the distance jump  since the dogs are looking out over the water and get confused by light or the reflections of clouds on the water. That doesn't happen in the vertical competition since the dogs are looking up at the bumper.




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