Department of Tourism
Buffalo Crossing to Host Super Retriever Competition April 6-9
Buffalo Crossing Fun Ranch will provide the venue for a three-event competition in the Super Retriever Series April 6-9.
The tournament, which will be televised on the Outdoor Life Network, has already attracted dog/handler teams from as far away as California and Minnesota. Organizers of the Shelbyville competition said it has the largest field in the Super Retriever Series circuit, which also includes two preliminary trials in Texas and Arkansas and a championship scheduled for Memorial Day weekend in Hot Springs, Ark.
With free admission for spectators, the four-day event also will feature a hunting and fishing exposition, a craft show and food vendors, in addition to Buffalo Crossing’s normal fee-based tours of the farm with its herd of buffalo and other animals.
The three events at Buffalo Crossing will test dogs’ leaping and retrieving abilities as well as handlers’ command of their canines. The events are the Super Retriever Trial, the Super Fly competition and the Super Vertical challenge.
The Super Retriever event has already filled its quota of 100 teams, with about 50 more on a waiting list, according to Shannon Nardi, producer of the series. The total purse for the Super Retriever event is $17,500, with the winner collecting $7,500.
The series, now in its fifth season, has proven to be very popular for both competitors and spectators. The April event marks the tour’s first stop in Kentucky. Last September, Buffalo Crossing staged a similar competition on its own that drew about 40 teams and a host of spectators for a weekend of “dog diving” and other activities.
“We’re hoping to host the championship in the near future, but we’ll need to get more sponsors,” said Cathy Bentley, Buffalo Crossing’s special events coordinator. This year’s competition has attracted a dozen sponsors from throughout Kentucky, she said.
In addition to the professional handler/dog teams, there will be competitions for amateurs. The entry fee for amateurs is $25.
Information about registration for the Shelbyville event is available at www.superretrieverseries.com or by calling 501-255-0831. Pre-registration is required for professionals, but amateurs can register at the event. However, Bentley said a maximum of 50 amateur teams can compete.
The four-day event is expected to provide a boon for the Shelby County economy, with motels, restaurants and other tourist-oriented enterprises anticipating brisk business during the tournament.