The pigs are getting jealous.
For years they were the sole stars of the Maris Farms racing scene, drawing adoring crowds to Buckley during crisp October weekends. Now ducks are cutting into their porcine action.
“A couple of years ago we met to decide what type of activities to add, and the idea of live duck racing came up,” Maris Farms co-owner Steve Templeman said. “Of course I’m the one who trained the pigs, so they looked at me and asked if I would train the ducks.”
Basically that involves herding them. For their two daily races, Templeman and staff motivate the ducks past a roped-off crowd into an enclosed pen that features both a water-filled trough for swimming and sheets of plywood for waddling. It’s all part of an Iron Duck Triathlon, and currently Disco Duck and Drake are neck and neck on the tote board.
“This year’s ducks feature movie-star names and singers like Michael Quackson and Duck Norris,” said Templeman, leaning on an endless supply of puns. And there’s no doubt who he’s pulling for. “Disco Duck, he’s a dominant duck. He just kind of wings it out there. There’s been accusations of fowl play, but I can vouch for him, he’s totally legit.”
Besides providing farm fun, visitors are encouraged to place “bets” on the participants, with all proceeds going to charities Fisher House Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.