Dog competition

The Super Retriever Series Dog Show is coming to Bethel soon; event open to spectators for free

If you love dogs and are impressed with the skills retrievers show when working with their owners during hunts, then grab your lawn chair and head to Abby’s Farm in Bethel next week to watch the Super Retriever series heading to the area for the first time.

The SRS club event will be held August 13-15 at Abby’s Farm, located at 1278 State Route 222. The public is invited to watch the event in person, free of charge.

According to the SRS website, SRS’ mission is to provide retriever play that will take a retriever and handler to an advanced level of play and help develop the best all-around team by providing hunt testing, field testing terrain and savvy hunting situations in a competitive package.

The SRS is an organization that exclusively uses Tanglefree Dead Bird Mallard, a simulated bird, and it should be noted that this exclusivity allows all dogs and handlers a chance for consistency and equality in testing and hunting scenarios.

SRS representative Shannon Nardi said SRS is excited to bring the event to the area and that organizers hope to engage the retriever community in Ohio and adjacent states to participate.

As of August 2, the local SRS event had already reached its maximum entry capacity – some 80 dogs are registered to compete, with some dogs coming from as far away as Oklahoma.

Abby’s Farm owner Joby Houck is delighted to host the event on his 130-acre farm.

“It’s a really big deal,” he said.

Houck, who has competed in retriever trials with his black lab named Milli, said the SRS will use water and land features on the farm to conduct the field trials.

A few local New Richmond scouts will serve as “bird boys” and throw the recoverable rubber duckies.

Houck, who clearly has a passion for the sport, is thrilled to be able to share the experience with his local community and is setting up a gallery for people to bring their lawn chairs to watch the event.

Houck has also provided some amenities for spectators:

The reception barn, with functional toilets, will be open to the public.

On-site food options are burgers, hot dogs, fries, and soda.

For details on the next SRS event, visit https://www.superretrieverseries.com/ or Abby’s Farm on Facebook.