It’s not a typo…it’s a country. And, if there is anything you can say about Hungarian disc doggers it is that they love their sport. Disc dogging got its start in Hungary about a year and a half ago when Fly Dogs Hungary, a group organized by Jozseph Arkosi arranged to have clinics taught by World Champion Peter Bloeme. The clinics were a great success and in only a short time, the level of play dramatically improved. It improved so much, in fact, that Arkosi approached Skyhoundz about staging an International Qualifier the following year. To support its newest International Qualifier, Hyperflite’s Jeff Perry flew to Budapest to teach more clinics for the growing population of eager Hungarian disc doggers as well as to help judge the Qualifier.
After four days of clinics, Perry commented that he had fairly well emptied [his] brain but the questions kept coming. Perry was also impressed with the level of skill displayed by the Hungarians, observing that, they displayed the skills one would expect to see in a country that had been exposed to the sport repeatedly for five or more years. Hungary may not be the wealthiest European country, but there is a wealth of desire to excel in canine disc sports, Perry added.
Perry was also very impressed with the fact that, unlike most other countries in the world, a large percentage of Hungarian disc doggers were younger (between 16 and 20). A large percentage of young players means that there will be a strong foundation upon which to build a dynasty that will likely generate Hungarian World Champions in the not too distant future, he added.
On competition day, teams battled for invitations to the Skyhoundz World Championship to be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee in September. Teams from four countries (Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, and Hungary were represented.
In the Open Division, four teams qualified Péter Seftsik & Choki, Marketa Urbaskova & Chuckie, Conny Sawiczki & Quigley, and Lucie Schönová & Dixi (fourth place finishers Jürgen Bartz & Summit previously qualified in Olen, Belgium).
Four Sport Division teams qualified for the Worlds including Tomas Kocian & Bobinka, Judit Heiczinger & Fly, Péter Seftsik & Brill, and Nóra Prenner & Berian.
In the Microdog Division the small dogs scrapped for invitations to the Worlds and Zita Jelinek & Loki and Andrea Toth & Törpi came out on top.
Rounding out the day, the ever-exciting Pairs Freestylers took the field to the wild cheers of the spectators. Displaying innovative and intricate routines, two teams qualified for the Worlds including Kata Kerényi/Dalma Kárpáti & Daeron and Lucie Schönová/Tomas Kocian & Dixi
Now, let’s talk Turkey. And to do that we must naturally talk about the amazing performance of Tarken Ozvardar, the head of the Ankara Canine College, a world-class canine training facility in Ankara, Turkey. Ozvardar traveled more than 3,000 kilometers from Ankara to compete in the Novice Class of the Sport and Open Divisions. And for his efforts, Ozvardar finished in the top position in the Novice Class of both divisions, quite an impressive showing for his first competitive event. Ozvardar, a European football goalkeeper in his spare time, also put on an amazing defensive display in a pick-up game of “Ultimate Frisbee” following one of Perry’s clinics.
Disc Dogging is alive and well in Europe and we can expect great things from our friends on the other side of the pond.