LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Las Cruces was host for the North American Southwest Regional Dog Diving Competition on Saturday, Aug. 25. The event saw dogs and their trainers travel from across the country to compete in the event that put dogs to the test to see how far they can dive into a 40-foot-long pool.

As a rising sport in the country, it has become popular among the trainers and their furry friends. The weekend featured some familiar faces as well as new ones — to see which dog comes out on top.

The competition also featured junior trainers, like Ivan Claxton who is 9 years old, after he decided to follow in his mom Sarah’s footsteps.

“It’s great. Ivan has grown up in the dog sport world. He’s been coming with me to things since he was a baby so it’s just natural for him,” Sarah Claxton said.

Veteran dog diver Bullit was also honored during the weekend’s competition after being named into the hall of fame. His owners, Ray and Donna Mobilia, were astonished by the news but knew their dog was special being both a service animal and a fierce competitor.

“It makes me cry every time. It’s just that when they said that yesterday we were like, I was flabbergasted and I must have screamed, like you could have heard me from miles away. I was so excited. He’s just such a great dog and to get such a great reward to be a hall of famer, this is crazy. I don’t know what else to say he’s amazing,” Donna Mobilia said.

This regional competition was also a first for some participants. Joseph and Kerry Jonas are from El Paso and stumbled upon dog diving after realizing their dogs’ ability. Now at the regional level, they hope they can train their dogs to go even further in future competitions.

“I got the bird dogs and the German shorthaired pointer just to hunt birds and they just kind of showed that they liked this so well, continue to let them do it until they don’t want to do it anymore. So its interesting. It’s a lot of people. One dog did good. We’re about to see how the second dog does and go from there,” Joseph Jonas said.