GOLDSBY — Television viewing might not lead to life-changing moments for most people, but it has for Lee Fairchild.
Fairchild, 53, had just ended his career as a team roper in 1999. One night he was watching ESPN and stumbled upon the Disc Dog World Championships. He was mesmerized.
“I saw a man named Bob Evans who was 65, the oldest guy in the competition, and his dog was also the oldest dog in the competition and they ended up winning,” he said. “It was just a really neat thing.”
That was 13 years ago. Now Fairchild is a world champion, capturing three titles since 2005, and finds Disc Dog to be compatible with his age. Team roping isn't.
“This is something I could do into my 70s,” he said. “It gets you out of the house and moving around, but it's not as physically tough on your body as roping. That really wears on you after a while. I feel like I'm as passionate about this as I was when I started.”
That's not to say Disc Dog doesn't require work. Fairchild's day job is with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. He still makes time to throw flying discs by himself five to six times per week to refine his technique. His dog, Gracie, joins him two to three times per week.