Syracuse’s rain-filled spring has caused delays and cancellations for central New York dog clubs and groups who rely on outdoor dog training sites. Twice in the last week, Donna DeVoist of Wylde Pups had to cancel lure coursing workshops due to standing water pools on the coursing field in Freeville, south of Syracuse. On Tuesday, May 24, Tioga County Kennel Club (TCKC) announced that it had to cancel its annual Memorial Day weekend AKC-sanctioned breed and obedience match at Hickories Park in Owego, about 90 minutes south of Syracuse.
The Therapy Dog International testing which was scheduled during the match may relocate to Campville Commons on Saturday, May 28. TCKC’s home page and Facebook page will be updated with new information for the TDI test as soon as it is available. TCKC’s regular membership meeting is this week, and options for rescheduling the match are on the agenda.
The match, originally scheduled for Monday, May 30, has been a Memorial Day tradition at Hickories Park since 1981. The town-operated park, which features camping and day-use pavilions as well as playgrounds and fields, is bordered by the Susquehanna River and Little Nanticoke Creek.
Proximity to the waterways can turn Hickories Park into a spring victim of wet weather and high water (see the photo of the park entrance, taken on March 11.) This year, one of the park entrance bridges washed out and several others were compromised during repeated flooding. The damage at and closing of the park has also delayed the start of TCKC’s spring and summer training classes.
According to the news release on the Town of Owego website published at the end of April, “Hickories Park remains closed until further notice. The entrance to the park is severely damaged. There is also debris and very soft lawn areas throughout the park. The potential for personal injury is very high. Pedestrian traffic is prohibited during this time.” The news release estimated that sixty miles of county roads have been heavily damaged by the flooding that occurred throughout April and early May.
Readers interested in more information about TCKC’s Memorial Day match should keep an eye on the club’s main website and Facebook page for updates. Syracuse Dog Training will also publish updates to this weekend’s match schedule as they are received. When this article was published, the Onondaga Kennel Association (OKA) match Sunday, May 29 at Longbranch Park, Liverpool, was still on schedule.
Get Syracuse Dog Training delivered free to your inbox – click subscribe.