River dogs to hone stick tricks Saturday

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— For the first time ever, participants in this year's Crazy Riverdog Contest will have to pay a $5 per entry fee to participate.

The money will go into a fund aimed at building a hydraulic below the 13th Street Bridge. A hydraulic, or hole, is a depression in the river caused by reverse water flow.

"It will create high to low water play spots for kayakers of all levels," said Peter Van De Carr, who organizes the Yampa River Festival. "You can do lots of playing in the river."

The contest will take place at

1 p.m. Saturday at the Dr. Rich Weiss Park.

The hole will be built by looking at the river flow and throwing rocks into certain spots to create flow reversal.

The Crazy Riverdog Contest begins with the dog owner throwing a stick into the Yampa River. As soon as it hits the water, a dog will jump in, retrieve it and return it to its owner in the fastest time possible.

Only the top dog gets a prize, courtesy of B Wear Action Products. Van De Carr said that the event draws anywhere from 25 to 30 dogs each year.

Charlie and Jenene Reynolds' dog Ralph, a.k.a. Ralph Dog, won the event on his first try, when he was only 1 year old. Jenene Reynolds said she didn't expect the entry fee to be a deterrent.

"Five bucks? That's not much," Reynolds said. "But some people show up with more than one dog, so maybe."

Ralph Dog missed last year's contest, but the 4-year-old will return this year to try and reclaim his past glory.

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