Incline Village going to the dogs |

Incline Village going to the dogs

Talented dogs and their owners will go head-to-head this weekend in the Purina Dog Chow Incredible Dog Challenge.

The March 3 and 4 Incline Village event is the second in a series of five, ranging from St. Petersburg, Fla. to Pomona, Calif.

“This is a new idea at Snowfest,” said Robert Frohlich, a publicist for Snowfest. “The events themselves sound great.”

The event featuring 125 of the nation’s top canine athletes begins March 3 at the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe where dogs will compete in an avalanche rescue competition. Two people are buried under 6 feet of snow and the dogs must locate the victims and dig them out.

On March 4, at the Incline Village Golf Course, the fun starts at 11:30 a.m. with the Freestyle Flying Disc competition. It concludes with the Paw & Pole Competition at 2:15 p.m.

The Incredible Paw & Pole Competition is open to the public. Teams consist of a dog and a human on skis with one ski pole who race on a curvy, one-quarter mile course. There will be prizes awarded in many categories, including awards for best costumes and team look-alike. A $10 donation to enter the Incredible Paw & Pole Competition will be donated to Pet Network, a local animal charity.

“These dogs are really amazing,” Frohlich said. “These are events that people can really relate to.”

Each of the winning dogs will have a donation made in their name to the Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

The event will be televised on ESPN and ESPN 2.

There will be three local competitors in the Avalanche Rescue Dog Competition, two in the Sled Dog Sprints Competition, 10 in the Skijoring Competition. All of the competitors in the Mini Musher Competition will be local contestants.

Mark Wellman, of Truckee, and his Alaskan husky, Keinai, will compete in the Incredible Ski Skijoring Competition.

Wellman also skied The Great Race and held a place on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

He said the Incredible Dog Challenge and the event in which he will take part “gives people with disabilities more freedom in the outdoors.”

After hooking up with some local mushers Wellman said he feels confident and is ready to compete.

The top dogs this weekend will earn a chance to compete in the National finals on Sept. 9, in St. Louis.

This event is open to all and viewing is free.

For more information, call Snowfest at (775) 832-7625.

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