Boatyard Dog Trials

2015 World Championship
Boatyard Dog® Trials
Sunday, August 16, 10:30 a.m.

Because everyone loves to watch other people act foolish around their pets, this light-hearted, family friendly, paw-to-paw “competition” is always a crowd favorite. Each team will strive to complete three events within an eight-minute time limit. In the Dockside Obstacle Course, both dog and handler will negotiate a maze of funky dockside detritus. During the Dinghy Hop, they will scramble in and out of a small, unstable boat. Finally, for the Freestyle segment, each dog will show off whatever special talents they may (or may not) have. No holds are barred for this segment, but a Frisbee MUST be included in the performance somehow, and either the dog or person must be soaking wet when they finish.

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Announces 2015 World Championship
Boatyard Dog® Trials Contestants

The organizers of the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show are pleased to announce that six courageous canines (and their people) have been chosen to strut their stuff during the World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials on Sunday morning, August 16, at 10:30 a.m. The trials take place during the 13th Annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show, a celebration of coastal living that runs August 14-16, 2015, at Harbor Park in Rockland, Maine.

Because everyone loves to watch other people act foolish around their pets, this light-hearted, family friendly, paw-to-paw “competition” is always a crowd favorite. Each team will strive to complete three events within an eight-minute time limit. In the Dockside Obstacle Course, both dog and handler will negotiate a maze of funky dockside detritus. During the Dinghy Hop, they will scramble in and out of a small, unstable boat. Finally, for the Freestyle segment, each dog will show off whatever special talents they may (or may not) have. No holds are barred for this segment, but a Frisbee MUST be included in the performance somehow, and either the dog or person must be soaking wet when they finish.



Meet the Competitors:

Boatyard Dog Trials

Gatsby
Homeport: Scarborough, MaineHigh-Flying Defending Champ

Photo by Debra Bell, Bell’s Furry Friends Pet Photography. www.bffpetphotos.com

This will be Gatsby’s third appearance at the Boatyard Dog® Trials. She was first runner-up in 2013, and was the paws-down winner, in 2014.

When the Defending Champion, who introduces herself as a “Flying Chocolate Lab,” heard that an all-new, jewel-bedecked Canine Crown was being created to replace the coveted Pup Cup trophy (which is being retired), her determination to win again was strengthened. Why? “Because a girl can never have too much bling!”

Last year, Gatsby edged out the competition by acing the mandatory parts of the contest with ease. She then launched into a series of incredible high-flying jumps—so high did she fly that she needed to wear goggles (or are they doggles?) to protect her eyes.

Boatyard Dog Trials

Herman
Homeport: Falmouth & Long Island, Maine
Big Paws to Fill

Herman is a 9-year-old black Labrador retriever with big paws to fill. He was named after his owner's former partner in the police force, a “large, athletic man full of life and kindness,” who was killed in the line of duty during an armed robbery.

Herman is also large, athletic, and kind. For example, he graciously allows his human dad Peter to co-pilot the family boat when they travel out to their summer home. Herman has plenty of sea time, so he’s happy to give his dad some experience at the wheel. Once on-island, Herman supervises the grandkids and swims almost every day; in fact, he swims year-round in Casco Bay (even the winter’s ice doesn't seem to bother him).

Herman told us that he is a fun-loving guy who has yet to meet any crew or ride in any boat that he doesn't like. He is thrilled that he has been selected to compete, and whispered behind a paw that his people have talked about doing this every year and are now “finally getting off their behinds” to make it happen.

Boatyard Dog Trials

Jazmin
Homeport: Bangor, Maine
Were You Talking to Me?

Jazmin is a spunky, statuesque goldendoodle who loves to swim and fetch and stand atop high mountains so all can see her golden-doodle-ness in all its golden glory. Her handler told us that Jazmin is not always the best listener, but insisted that she is always the cutest and funniest at whatever she attempts.

This will be Jazzy’s first appearance at the World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials, but we have been assured that she isn’t nervous at all. Gold is her favorite color, of course, and she is hoping to bring it home as this year’s trials winner.

Boatyard Dog Trials

Pipsi Ruby Rhubarb
Homeport: South Bristol, Maine
One Serious Pug

First-time competitor Pipsi Ruby Rhubarb is an eight-year-old pug of “tremendous character and charisma,” a true Mainer who was born in Windham. She loves to travel with her people by foot, in the car, or on a boat. As for going in the water, she likes that not so much, but she will faithfully wait on shore while others take the plunge.

Despite her name, Ms. Rhubarb is a serious pug. Hence, she finds the frivolous nature of other dogs, especially those happy-go-lucky golden retriever types, somewhat annoying. She is serious about treats, serious about loving her people, and seriously cute, but under that façade lurks a sometimes playful pup.

Although she has never seen the Boatyard Dog Trials in person, Pipsi has video of the event saved on her phone, where she watches it daily as part of her training regimen. Rumor has it that she will show off both her puggish fashion sense and her marlinspike seamanship during the freestyle portion of the trials.

Boatyard Dog Trials

Pixel
Homeport: Orlando, Florida
Third Time’s the Charm?

Pixel is back, better than ever! After taking a three-year hiatus from her world tour, she told us that she is in fine competitive form. This will be her third appearance at the trials; she hopes that her vast store of experience will make up for the fact that she is one of the more…mature…competitors.

As a Chihuahua of a certain age, Pixel also said that she prefers not to disclose her weight. With age comes a certain gravitas, however, so while she may not be the youngest or leanest or most muscular competitor, she believes that a little extra ballast will be of benefit in this contest. She is not fond of water (swimming in saltwater dries out her pelt), but she is a dedicated pooch who will do anything to help homeless animals.

To that end, she co-founded and serves as CEO of The Pixel Fund, an interstate non-profit organization that rescues dogs and cats. The idea for the non-profit was born at the 2011 World Championship Boatyard Dog competition. Pixel wanted to return to the MBH&H Show to continue raising awareness for homeless pets and to thank the sponsors of the competition for their support for her cause.

Boatyard Dog Trials

Zephyr
Homeport: Owls Head, Maine
Love, Love, Love

Zephyr is a three-year-old English yellow Labrador retriever. English Labs are said to be somewhat smaller in stature than their American cousins, but Zephyr is living proof that their hearts are big, big, big. He loves living with his family in Owls Head where he loves to play, and he loves to fetch, and he loves to run in the woods, and he really loves to swim.



The field of competing dogs has been pre-selected; organizers emphasize that for liability reasons ONLY those dogs will be allowed onto show grounds. Please leave all other pets at home to avoid disappointment. Due to the show’s no-pet policy, show organizers also ask that any service animals be marked as such.

The judges will be Dr. Bjorn Lee, of Pen Bay Veterinary Associates in Rockport, and Heidi and Joel Neal, co-owners of The Loyal Biscuit, with locations in Camden, Belfast, Rockland, and Waterville. The trials will be spiced up by the verbal antics of emcees Mike Joyce and Alan Sprague, who are also the co-hosts of WERU-FM’s call-in show “Boattalk” (89.9 FM and weru.org).

The overall winner will take home the new perpetual Canine Crown trophy and will be featured in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine’s “Boatyard Dog” column (where all this nuttiness began). All competitors receive a Boatyard Dog Ditty Bag filled with goodies from Boatyard Dog® Sponsor Loyal Biscuit Co. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors also appreciates the support from Boatyard Dog® Sponsor Bell’s Furry Friends Photography.

The 2015 Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show will be held August 14-16 on the waterfront in Rockland, Maine. Gates open at 10 a.m., tickets are $12, children under age 12 get in free. Admission to the trials is included. For more information and a full list of exhibitors and activities, visit www.maineboats.com/boatshow.

In addition to canine shenanigans, the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show is known for fine boats in the water and on land, handsome home wares, custom-made jewelry, and bespoke furniture. Other signature events and displays for 2015 will include Boats that Make Maine Work, with visits by the schooner Bowdoin, the mission ship Sunbeam V, and a squadron of classic wooden lobsterboats; the Refit Docks, a fleet of beautifully refitted yachts; a Boston Whaler® Rendezvous (all weekend) and Whaler Tales Party (Saturday night); a Food Truck Rally (vote for your favorite!) and other food vendors; and fun and science for the kiddos.

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors appreciates the support of show sponsors Awlgrip/Interlux, Bangor Savings Bank, Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, Epifanes, Loyal Biscuit, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, Maine Made: America’s Best, Port Harbor Marine, and US Harbors. The support of the City of Rockland is also much appreciated.

What Happens During the Trials? The goal is for each dog to complete three events within an 8-minute time limit:
1. The “Dockside Obstacle Course” — Dog and handler negotiate a maze of lobster traps, piles of rope, buoys, and other funky dockside paraphernalia.
2. The “Dinghy Hop” — Dog and handler scramble in and out of a very unstable dinghy that’s tethered to a float.
3. The “Freestyle” segment — Each dog (and their person) shows off his or her special talents… No holds are barred during this segment, but it must somehow incorporate a Frisbee.

Boatyard Dog Trials

Are There Any Rules?
Only Three:
Rule #1: Either dog or handler must finish the contest completely soaked.
Rule #2: Cheating is not only tolerated but encouraged.
Rule #3: The freestyle event must incorporate a Frisbee in some fashion.
Rule #4: There are no other rules (and no, we cannot count).

Every competitor receives treats from Loyal Biscuit Company and others. The World Champion takes the perpetual trophy home for the year and is invited back to defend their title at the next show. In addition, the winner is featured in the Boatyard Dog® column in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine (where all this fun got its start).

As always, the Boatyard Dog Trials competitors will be encouraged to bring donations for midcoast Maine's local shelters. For liability reasons, no other pets will be allowed on show grounds, except the field of predetermined trials competitors on Sunday only. Please plan accordingly.