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Daviess County to Host Dock Diving Competition in September

The world’s premier canine aquatics competition is headed to Daviess County, Kentucky this fall.

“Pups in the Park” will be held September 21-22, 2024 at Panther Creek Park on the west side of Owensboro.  Kentucky DockDogs is excited to announce this unique event in collaboration with Daviess County Parks & Recreation and Visit Owensboro.

“Kentucky Dockdogs is extremely excited about this partnership with Daviess County,” said Carrie Vosburg, Secretary of Kentucky DockDogs.

“This event will allow us to move out to the western area of the state and introduce the community to the sport we love,” she added.  “It is our hope to not only provide the area with a great show but to also teach locals about the sport and allow them to try it with their own dogs!”

Spectators can expect to watch two exciting days of competition with dogs of all different backgrounds, sizes, and skill levels.

DockDogs® consists of three different sporting disciplines.

  • Big Air is the long jump of canine aquatics. Taking place on a 36’ dock and pool, the competing dog will run and jump into the water after a throw toy is tossed.  Distance is judged from the end of the dock to where the tail set breaks the water’s surface.
  • Extreme Vertical is the high jump of canine aquatics, where the dog starts at the 20’ mark and pursues a bumper toy extended 8’ from the end of the dock over the water. The starting height for Extreme Vertical is 4’6” and goes up in 2” increments as competition progresses.
  • Speed Retrieve is a timed event. At the far end of the pool, a bumper toy is suspended 2” above the water with a starting indicator light above it. When the light turns green, the handler releases the dog to jump into the pool and pull the toy from the Speed Retrieve bracket.

The Iron Dog Challenge was invented to incorporate all three of the competitions.  DockDogs® compiles the best run in all three disciplines for each team and the team with the overall best score wins.

As many as 50 to 75 teams are expected to compete from surrounding states, providing a boost in visitor traffic that weekend.

“Daviess County’s investment in hosting unique, innovative sports events not only enhances the quality of life for our residents, but fuels economic growth,” said Mark Calitri, President of Visit Owensboro.

Local dog owners will have an opportunity to get started in the sport at a “Try It” clinic on Saturday, September 21 at 11:30 a.m.  There is a $15 fee to participate in the clinic.  However, admission to the park is free both days.

“Along with dock diving, Pups in the Park will feature local rescue organizations, trainer demonstrations, vendors, food trucks, and kids’ activities,” said Jordan Rowe, Director of Parks and Public Information for Daviess County Fiscal Court.

Prospective vendors are encouraged to contact Events Coordinator Jenni Warren at Daviess County Parks & Recreation.  Call (270) 685-6142 or email

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