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Jul-10-2006 15:18printcomments

Marion County Fair is Dog-Gone great with Muddy Paws A-Flyin'

Muddy Paws A-Flyin' team members
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(SALEM) - As many as 100 dogs and their owners from the group Muddy Paws A-Flyin' will compete in flyball on Saturday, July 15th, from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM at the Marion County Fair on the State Fairgrounds in Salem.

"Flyball is the fastest paced dog sport there is. You can see how much fun these dogs are having just by looking and by listening to them," says Ed Clarkson, Muddy Paws representative. "There's very little that can compare with this style of head-to-head racing. Some races are won by hundredths, even thousandths of a second."

Flyball is a relay race with four dogs per team. The course consists of a starting line, four hurdles spaced ten feet apart, and a spring-loaded box. Each dog jumps the hurdles and steps on the box causing it to shoot out a tennis ball. The dog catches that tennis ball and then runs back over the four hurdles.

When that dog crosses the starting line, the next dog takes his turn. The first team to have all four dogs run without errors wins the heat.

According to Clarkson, a dog that excels at flyball is athletic, friendly, loves tennis balls, and comes when called. Flyball rules, regulations and titles are governed by the North American Flyball Association. Dogs can earn title points based on how fast their team runs. Muddy Paws A-Flyin' is a group that is currently practicing flyball in the Salem area.

Marion County Dog Control will be on hand with dog licensing information and T-shirts.

The Marion County Fair runs July 13th-16th, with many activities for all ages including a carnival, exhibits, llama and longhorn shows, a petting zoo, cultural and heritage displays, karaoke, the Extreme Teen Band Challenge, the KBZY Talent Show contest, and much, much more.

General admission is $6 or $2 for children ages 6 through 11. Kids 5 and under admitted free. Check out all the fun things to do at the fair online at

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