On November 22, 2023

Local dog comes in third place in national swimming competition

 

By Cristina Kumka

Rutland County is home to one of the nation’s fastest dogs. Hozzy became the third-fastest swimming dog in the nation recently, after competing against hundreds of other dogs in the Ultimate Air Games Dog Dock Diving Competition in Lebanon, Tennessee held Sept. 28 through Oct. 1. A total of 230 dogs from across the United States attended the annual competition. 

Hozzy is owned by Cristina Kumka and trained by various obedience, scent and agility coaches at Warner Brook Kennel in Pittsford. His dock diving coach is Jeff Leonard of Rutland and he primarily swims laps on Lake Hortonia in Sudbury where he lives. Hozzy was first evaluated by malinois trainer Nate Whitehorne who determined Hozzy had a mild temperament and would be a good companion animal. 

Hozzy, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois adopted out of New Jersey as a puppy, came in third place with a time of 5.47 seconds in the game of “Chase-It” — where dogs from around the country were timed as they swam 35-feet across a pool. 

Hozzy missed a top 2 position by only a tenth of a second or less — bested by a lab mix from Georgia with a 5.31 second swim and another malinois from New York with a 5.43 second swim.   

How did he do it? Hozzy excels at endurance snowshoeing and hiking and is a member of the Endurance Society, a Mendon-based racing company owned by Andy Weinberg. When he isn’t jumping or swimming, Hozzy enjoys cold weather sports. 

“This type of dog was first bred in Belgium to excel at herding animals but when brought to America in the early 1900s, the Malinois soon started outpacing the German Shepherd in military ownership and operations,” said owner Cristina Kumka, a teacher at Stafford Technical Center. 

“What people don’t realize is how sensitive and affectionate they are. They can make great family pets if trained and worked properly and consistently,” she said. 

 

 

By Abimax Photography, courtesy  Cristina Kumka

Hozzy, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois is one fast pup in the water. He swam 35 feet in 5.47 seconds beating 227 other dogs.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Large turnout for Hartland school budget info session

May 23, 2024
By Curt Peterson The May 21 Hartland school budget information session may be the best-attended school board gathering in recent history — an estimated 40 people attended in person at Damon Hall in Hartland, and another 41 tuned in online. Hartland voters had already approved the $11,040,567 budget 320-311 on April 2. But a petition…

United Way of Rutland County names new exc. director

May 22, 2024
The United Way of Rutland County (UWRC) announced the appointment of Tina Van Guilder as its new executive director, May 17.  Van Guilder officially assumed her role as executive director May 6. With over seven years of direct non-profit leadership experience in the Rutland County area, coupled with recent roles focusing on grant coordination, budget…

Slate Valley school district to hold fourth vote on district budget

May 22, 2024
In response to the results of the last vote on May 9, and valuable community feedback during the school board meeting on May 13, the Slate Valley Unified Union School District will hold its fourth vote in an attempt to pass the budget on May 30. It will be a revote on the third FY25…

Where is the road construction this week? 

May 22, 2024
The Agency of Transportation produces this weekly report of planned construction activities that will impact traffic on state highways and interstates throughout Vermont. Hartford: Monday, May 20, through Friday, May 24, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., multiple concrete mixers will be moving in and out of the project area at either end of the…