Hurricane leads Pelham man on ESPN

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 2004

When Pelham resident and Alabaster podiatrist Darron Barrus got a dog on Labor Day 2001, he knew his new pet needed some exercise.

&uot;I grabbed a frisbee out of the garage and started throwing,&uot; Barrus said.

Little did he know his canine workout routine would land him some air time on cable’s most prominent sports network a few years later.

Barrus, who began competing in the Disc Dog sport in 2003, was recently featured during ESPN’s coverage of the Great Outdoor Games in Madison, Wisc.

A new event in the Great Outdoor Games, the Disc Drive featured 12 dog-handler teams competing for distance.

Handlers were allowed a number of throws in each round with the longest throws earning a trip to the final rounds.

For a throw to count, the dogs had to make a &uot;clean&uot; catch (no tips) of the disc in the air and return it to the handler.

Competing with Hurricane, an Australian Shepherd owned by North Carolina’s Susan Markham, Barrus took the silver medal with a final-round distance of 181.75 feet.

The event was televised on ESPN and re-aired on ESPN2.

&uot;Any time frisbee doggin’ can get some added exposure that’s great,&uot; Barrus said.

Barrus, a member of the Central Alabama Disc Dog Club, has two dogs of his own, The Moo and Seabiscuit, a dog he rescued from the Shelby County Humane Society