Redlands on Fire flyball racing competition returns to Birkdale

WORKING HARD: All breeds, from working dogs to Jack Russell terriers and cocker spaniels, can take part in flyball racing.
WORKING HARD: All breeds, from working dogs to Jack Russell terriers and cocker spaniels, can take part in flyball racing.

DOGS of all shapes and sizes will come from across south-east Queensland to take part in Redlands Flyball Racing Club's annual competition in Birkdale.

A Redlands Flyball Racing Club spokesperson said dogs from about eight other south-east Queensland flyball clubs would come to race at Redlands on Fire on June 8.

Flyball is a relay race with dogs in teams of four.

Each dog jumps over four hurdles, performs a turn on a spring-loaded box and in one motion, retrieves a ball as it is ejected from the box.

The dog then jumps back over the hurdles and as they pass over the finish line, the next dog begins their leg of the relay.

A Redlands Flyball Racing Club spokesperson said flyball was often referred to as "drag racing for dogs".

"Flyball is not only a very addictive dog sport for both the dog handler and their dogs, but it is also a fantastic spectator sport," the spokesperson said.

"Watching a fast team race is often an exciting but nerve-racking experience.

"Flyball is a dog sport for all breeds, shapes and sizes from working dogs such as Koolies, kelpies, border collies and cattle dogs to Jack Russells, schnauzers, cocker spaniels and mixed breeds."

Redlands Flyball Racing Club boasts three racing teams, with a fourth team set to make its debut at Redlands on Fire.

One Redlands club team came away from the Australian Flyball nationals in New South Wales last September ranked the third fastest in Australia.

Head trainer Craig Pearce said it could take one to two years to train a dog to a competitive level.

"You train them in a series of exercises then put them together," Mr Pearce said.

"It's a really exciting sport and it tends to get noisy. There's people cheering and dogs barking.

"Seeing your dog do it is a lot of fun."

The Redlands Flyball Racing Club is hosting its Redlands on Fire flyball competition at Judy Holt Park on the corner of Bailey and Randall roads, Birkdale on Saturday, June 8.

Racing will start from 9am.

For more information or to get involved in flyball, go along to Redlands on Fire or attend a training session at Judy Holt Park.

Training is held each Monday from 6.30pm.