JUDGES: John Jones    SLIPPER: Duncan Nicholls   LURE DRIVERS: Greg McLatchie & Mike Florek 


Wow, what day! I think that was the best day's sport I can remember us having. I really love our format of lure coursing, knock out rounds being easy to understand and more clear cut than other grading systems. However this month it seemed a very unfair system, dogs were getting knocked out after astonishingly good runs. I also don't usually enjoy bye rounds, but for the same reason this month I was glad of them, as at least in those no one did have to go. Every stake had multiple worthy winners. We had courses that allowed for some extremely close runs, pairs keeping pace almost step for step through-out. You know just how good, how close they are when at the end you can see the judge looking round the field, reviewing the turns and checking his counting of points before making his decision.


After last month's mammoth entry, this month was a smaller but good entry of 42, which allowed us to start the day at our regular time. Just as well, seeing the the Club secretary decided to have a detour via Devon before arriving at Raleghs Cross. Apologies to the rest of the committee for not helping set up – more navigating less gossiping for me in future! The field was in glorious condition, and for once didn't have its own icy/windy/rainy/foggy micro-climate, and joined the rest of the country in sharing a dose summer sun.


The day began with a few trials, new dogs to the club getting themselves psyched up ready for their clearing trials later in the day. With the smaller entry, we took the opportunity to lay a longer course, of 680 meters / 745 yards. First up were the dog stakes. Laguna Laces Loki had an incredibly strong run with Harerunner Haresbreath, running his socks off despite hitting a pulley early on. He took quite a knock and left the field looking quite sore. Hopefully a little rest and some tlc, and he will be back on 4 paws soon.

Our bitches came up next, starting with Laguna Lawn's Lupin putting real pressure on the lure. The most notable run was a double bye between Harerunner Holy Smoke and Combeholt Celestine. They were two gutsy little girls, H. Holy Smoke taking an early tumble but picking herself up without skipping a beat, they were neck and neck through-out. I'm very glad neither had to bow out the competition on this run!

The flock cheering Loki before his knock


In the Open stakes, Coppermow Cute As A Button got stage fright and decided to not run, which was lucky for her partner, Harerunner Halfpenny, who decided she didn't feel like adding all the corners into her run. Making her debut after successfully clearing in April, Twiggen New Leaf Of Moonlake left her mark from the outset, fighting hard for the win against one of the hottest new competitiors in the group, Coppermow Evoque. In the second Open stake, Zoraden Surprise Party made his debut, also having cleared in April. He put in a lovely run against Collooney Candyman At Alacrity, it didn't go his way this time, but I predict a good lure coursing future for this boy. Yet another newcomer to the competition was Lavebella Empire Born To Run, who powered out of slips with his partner Moonlake Motorway Cop, and once he managed to sneak an edge, clung onto it until the end.


We ended the first round here and had a break for lunch, and we all enjoyed a fine spread of cakes, bakes and biscuits. My dentist would like to thank all those who contributed! Before continuing with the competition, we had some puppy schooling and our clearing trials. Congratulations Monty, Harry, and Iris, we look forward to seeing you on the card soon!



The second round was the first reversed, and began with our veterans. We had left them off the first round so they didn't have to run a long course, I guess we forgot that the same thing done backwards would be no shorter! Well, at least they got to have a lie in and warm themselves up sedately – hmmm, the theory is nice, I'm just not sure 'sedate' applies to many of our veterans!


Onto our dogs once more, I was particularly impressed with Harerunner Hornet against his kennel mate, Silverhare Foxy Sundance, he showed a real turn of speed I have not seen from him in a good while. For the girls, Ryemeadows Zara came out of slips as if fired from a canon. In Open stakes, T. New Leaf had another stonking run, inseparable from Combeholt Silvinka for all 680 meters. Photos from the end of the course still show them matched stride for stride. Judge John Jones must have had to focus hard to call a winner, and it was a real shame to see C. Silvinka leave.


Before I go onto our Finals – lets have an interlude with some 'alternative', unofficial competition. In April, we recognised our wonderful Whippets. In May we will acknowledge and celebrate our humans:

The contenders for Most Relaxed are:

1) Heather Doble preparing for winter with her knitted woolies.

2) Loraine Florek, soaking up the Royal Wedding news.


Most stylish -

Just one entry, but what an entry!

1) Our Chairman, Mrs Sharon Dalgleish.



A second break, and we held the raffle, lots of lovely prizes including more bottles of booze than I could count! Our final course laid was 580 m, with a very trick turn on one side that confused a few, and had some turning in circles,  was trialled by our guest Cirneco Dell'Etna. The finals saw another series of blinding runs and close calls, I don't know about you, but I think we should introduce complementary vuvuselas to all spectators because so much clapping and cheering can be quite exhausting!

Congratulations to Silverhare Foxy Sundance, back on winning form after last month's shock defeat in the first round, and to his litter brother S. Farah's Sunspeed winning his first ever stake, also their litter sister S. Fizgig Sunburst, winning again in her first run since she took home the Shandril Trophy, then we mustn't forget their dam S. Full Speedahead who was runner up in her first veteran competition. It really was a Silverhare day, huge congratulations to their breeder Fay Sechiari, what a remarkable feat.


Congratulations also to Ryemeadows Zara, after many months recovering from injury, she has lost none of her fire.

Congratulation to Catriona Ryan, owner/breeder of Twiggen New Leaf Of Moonlake winning at her debut, and her dam Moonlake Mercedes winning her stake also.

Congratulations to Lavebella Empire Born To Run, a second debuting dog winning his take, I know his owers were surprised and delighted beyond words.

Finally our second veteran winner, Dawesychoice Moon Light, who outshone 6 of her children and 2 of her grandchildren competing on the day.

I know that may seem an excessive use of the word 'congratulations' but the strength of the competition, that's the least I can offer the winning whippets!

Thanks as always to all who helped out in anyway, but especially those who helped with the raffle and the tea and cake stall.


My biggest thanks to Martin Abbott for the photos below - you have truly excelled yourself and these mementos will treasured forever:

Our next meeting is just 3 weeks away, at Frampton in Gloucestershire and I look forward to seeing you all there and hope we can have another day half as good as this one!



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