Sunday 1st October 2023

Dryleaze Farm, Siddington

Judges: Mark Bicknell & Stacey Haynes

Slipper: Duncan Nicholl


What an epic season SWC has had, the first in a few years in which a full 7 qualifiers have been run with a total of 115 competing dogs, and a huge number of triallers and puppies set to join in next year. With such tough competition, receiving an invitation to Finals day is a recognition of achievement in itself.


The ground at Siddington was as lovely as always. The weather was reasonable, a bit grey, a bit blowy, but mild and without rain.


Without the number of triallers members have become accustomed the day got off to a prompt start, which caught out a few and lead to a bit of juggling with running order of supporters stakes to try and accommodate late arrivals. The Kemble Veteran Supporter Stakes kicked off the competition, with brother and sister duo Ringmore Day Lily & Dalrymple getting knocked out. SpyanFly Swan Song took on Laguna Lawn's Lia, reserve for the Laguna Trophy, in the final and took the win.


The Siddington Supporters Stakes was a mixed affair with some creative runners and some who really shone. Florancy Hot Shot gave two strong performances, and caught my eye as one who saved his best until last – more of that next season Browning! The Final was won my Harerrunner Heavenly Mover, reserve for the Sporting Whippet Club Open Stakes, with reserve going to Ch Lolani Cafe Amore.


The Dryleaze Supporters Stakes had its own share of creative runners (Silverhare Fortis Saxon, AKA Margot's second round run being a masterclass for cheaters!) but saw a lovely debut from Rosemary Kitty Way at Dighestres, and a super final between Bod's Dazzel and Daze and Penbriar Rocket Star, with the former giving Cherry McRedie her second winner of the day.


With a bumper crop of youngters this season, we had 4 puppy stakes, with many making their competitive debut. It was a joy to watch the puppies. There is nothing like watching a well matched pair when neither has yet become lure-wise. Coppermow Cedrella at Ziradash with Whippiness Tornado Take off, Coppermow Harfang Avec Elstoto with Abbeycorner Mercury, Laguna Lias Lara with Dapperdiva Angel's Envy at Ottercomb were particularly lovely runs. The final round gave wins to who will be joining the Dog Stakes next year, Winterfellin Dexters Robin at Dighestres, and Winterfellin What The Heck, both bred by Sarah Layfield. Also taking the winners rosettes were Abbeycorner Mercury and Laguna Lias Lara.


The Laguna Trophy Veteran Stakes saw last year's Winner Winterfellin Gotta Dash avec Elstoto and runner-up Laguna Lawn's Lupin meeting again with the same result, though as Lupin approached the final as a straight race she gave the judge an easy call. Ringo is now the first dog to get his name on the trophy 3 times!


The Sporting Whippet Club Stakes, I'd say is the toughest stake to win, as its the toughest to get in. Eight of the strongest dogs, with not one putting a foot wrong on the day. The Final was a show down between a dog and a bitch and it was the powerful girl, Midnight Phantom Petunia that gave that bit more than Laguna Lockets Loved One.


The Harerunner Trophy Stakes was aptly named! Litter brothers Harerunner Hombre Estrella and Hasta La Vista have jostled for the top spot all season, and it was brilliant to see them go head to head again in the final of finals and H. Hombre Estrella claim the trophy.


The Shandril Trophy Stake sadly saw Veloxcanis Solis Venatrix withdraw injured after her first run, giving Nita Pilgrimsway a bye into the final. Coppermow Velar took the Trophy in style for the second year on the trot.


Finals day is the pinnacle of the season, with annual awards for top achievers being presented. Marion and Don Wyatt claimed the two biggest accolades – The Wheatroyd Trophy for Top Whippet going to Ryemeadows Mable and the Fortuna Trophy for Top Opposite Sex going to Harerunner Hasta La Vista. Fiona Graham collected the Silverhare Trophy for Top Puppy for the incredible Royaltudor Storm Diana of Ohoka.


Our Whippets who have reached the end of their coursing careers were also honoured with special engraved glasses, Ringmore Day Lily, Ringmore Dalrymple and Winterfellin Gotta Dash avec Elstoto. They have all been incredible to watch over the years. Harerunner Halfpenny was also honoured posthumously, sadly she didn't get to make her final run.


The day may be about celebrating our dogs, but it also a day to celebrate our members, friends and helpers and give thanks to those who make all this possible and add a cherry on top. Without landowners and trailer storage, slippers and judges there would be no competition. The field assistance from Ashley, James and Ross has been invaluable this season. Kate for cakes and Martin, Elizabeth and Lina for photos we all love, thank you all!


Now is a time to rest up feet and paws for a few months. But don't worry, committee will be beavering away behind the scenes planning a lot of exciting stuff for next season. WATCH THIS SPACE!

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