More than 100 dogs jumped, navigated and zoomed through obstacle courses during the USDAA Dog Agility Trials at Texas Rose Horse Park.

Don Etheridge, secretary of the Tyler Obedience Club Agility Trial, said competitors had come from as far away as North Carolina and Mexico City to qualify for the Cynosport Rally Trials.

The event, which uses scoring based on equestrian agility trials, has dogs jumping fences, running through tunnels and taking on obstacles. The weekend-long event draws everyone from professionals to beginners.

While some of the obstacles were straightforward, like a hill, others left the pups feeling bamboozled.

Trainers took to the course before the games began to familiarize themselves with the layout and order of the tasks.

“A lot of these people are athletes, many started out doing horses,” Etheridge said. “It’s very similar.”

During breaks in competition, some of the nearby equestrian athletes even made their way into the indoor arena to watch the dogs.

Emily Hurt brought her border collies Miss America and Ricochet. While Ricochet was ready to compete, 1-year-old Miss America was content to play with her new friend Godzilla, a rescued Belgian Malinois mix.

“I just really love playing with my dogs. It’s really fun to work as a team and I love the training and bonding aspect,” Hurt said. “It gives them an outlet. It’s either agility or get some sheep.”

After speeding through the course, the very good dogs grabbed their own leash and waited for treats.

The trials run through Sunday. Etheridge said the event is free to attend and open to the public. He hopes to see dog owners take a trip to the park during the holiday weekend.

Attendees bringing their own dogs must keep them leashed.

For more information, visit TexasRoseHorsePark.com.

Twitter: @TMT_Cory

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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