TRURO - It was difficult to tell who was cheering for whom at the Maritime Disc Dog Cup competition in Truro on Sunday.
But that's part of the fun, participants say. It's that sense of comaraderie that everyone wants all entries to do well, even if they are strangers.
Hilden's Kate Messer and her four-year-old border collie Sam took part in the event for their second year. They were focusing on two things: doing well and cheering on the other participants.
"I watched two years ago and thought it was great. Then last year we tried it and I want us to do better all the time," said Messer pausing to clap for another competitor whose dog gave it a good try, just narrowly missing the Frisbee.
"Sam's always liked playing Frisbee and the competition is fun. It's a great environment because the dogs love it, it's a great way to bond with your dog and you cheer each other on."
Some of the categories in the two-day weekend
event included men's, women's, juniors, mini, single disc and free style.
Messer said there are many challenges to the event, which is more and more being recognized as a sport.
"You always want to do better than you have done before. Sometimes the wind is a problem, or the dog loses track of the Frisbee or outruns it or sometimes they don't run fast enough," said Messer moments before it was Sam's turn to catch the disc as it went flying through the air. During that attempt, he caught one of two throws.
Messer practices with Sam up to four times a week at home and she encourages others to give disc events a try.
"It's something anyone can do. If they will play fetch and enjoy it, it's a blast."
As the human and canine duos each took their turns under overcast and windy conditions yesterday afternoon, it was evident they were among peers.
Regardless who was up, competitors and event-watchers lined up to cheer, clap and encourage the participants, of which there were more this year.
Event organizer Andre Landry confirmed there were almost 60 entries from throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Ontario. That compares to 23 last year, which was the second year for the local event.
"It's definitely a sport and people enjoy the thrill of success and agony of defeat like other sports," said Landry.
Results from the weekend's competition were not available at press time.