Wiley – blue merle Border Collie in full flight.

You may remember earlier this year, we wrote a story featuring Illabo dog trainers Mel Tovey and Nick Barker and their two dogs Wiley and Twix who were competing in the postponed 2021 Australian Flyball Nationals in March.

Well, Wiley and the family will back competing this long weekend (1st-3rd October) as they travel to the 24th Annual Flyball National Championships at the Accell Arena, Hawkesbury Showground in Clarendon NSW.

Mel, owner of Wiley along with partner Nick, are looking forward to this weekend’s Flyball Nationals.

“Wiley has been doing flyball for over eight years with owners Mel Tovey & Nick Barker.

His current title is “FMX Flyball Master Excellent” with 949 points.

As there is no local club here, we run with Maximum Velocity based in Newcastle,” Mel said.

“If you have seen Wiley in the paper before, it may have been with our Australian Kelpie Twix, who just started competing in flyball at the beginning of this year.

Unfortunately, due to a leg injury (whilst playing ball) he had to have a major surgery at a specialist centre in Sydney back in May, he is still recovering & unable to compete.

“He is doing wonderfully since the operation with the numerous therapies here in Sydney and is expected to continue this sporting career in the future.”

At this year’s Flyball Nationals there will be over 300 dogs, incorporating a newly built arena, two rings, 13 regular and open racing divisions plus six singles and pairs divisions, and 51 teams from all over Australian coming together for three days of action.

What is Flyball?

It’s a relay race between two teams, four dogs race for a team with up to two reserves.

They relay one dog at a time over four jumps, do a swimmers turn on a spring loaded flyball box that shoots out a tennis ball, which they have to catch while turning then come back over the four jumps to the owner for their favourite reward and the next dog runs.

How can I watch Flyball?

2022 Nationals is open to the public at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds. But don’t think you’ll have to miss out if you can’t attend, as the Flyball Nationals are being live streamed. You can watch all the excitement from anywhere you want over the long weekend.

The link will be posted up on the club Facebook page ‘Maximum Velocity Flyball Newcastle NSW’.

You can see player profiles on the teams and dogs competing over the weekend as well.

Want more information about the 2022 Flyball Nationals?   

Check out the ‘2022 Australian Flyball Nationals’ Facebook page for the event catalogue, running over, stall holders and much more.

Good luck to Wiley, Mel and Nick in this weekend’s Flyball National Championships!

Tim Warren