I can't believe how lucky we were, once again, with the weather! The day before our meeting the heavens well and truly opened, with downpours that would have made the meeting unpleasant if not impossible. Sunday dawned dry and we were blessed with a bight and mild day. The field was in lovely condition and is one of our favourites for the scope it gives.
Mike had already set the course the evening before. First on the field in the morning, I decided to walk the course guessing the first pulley and making my own way around, which turns out to have been completely wrong when Mike lead us round later.
The morning started with a couple of trials, Ollie who was back as a trusted course tester, and Jack running his first full course with a muzzle on and looking very promising for next season.
The card started with the supporters stakes, first off the veterans. This season we had such a lot of veterans running we decided to offer a separate supporters stake which was well received with competitors. There were then two height graded stakes and lastly the special puppy stakes which saw litter brothers Redneck Knucklehead and Hell Of A Chancer make their debuts.
Following the supporters were the prestigious Trophy stakes. There were some absolutely cracking matches, very close calls, and dogs knocked out that may have been expected to go all the way, all of which made it a very exciting round. Sadly, Dawesychoice Moon Light Run, after giving her strongest run of the season pulled up lame just shy of the final straight.
After stopping to alter the course and enjoy Susie's bacon rolls we continued some schooling for novices and youngsters. It was lovely to see Morse and Floozy have their first trials and Zero back who started off stalking the lure before kicking in to the chase.
Another highlight of the day came prior to the finals, when George put down his slips to show young Penny how to run. I think everyone whipped out their cameras to capture that moment.
On to the Finals, I'm sad to say that three of our Trophy finals had to withdraw, leaving only supports stakes and the Laguna Trophy to run. Among the supports, Silverhare Full Speedahead got her first win as a veteran, and Bryntreia First Steps and Harerunner Holy Smoke got their first stake wins in the 'bigger' and 'smaller' adult stakes. For the puppies, the win went to Redneck Knucklehead placing him as 'one to watch' for next season. The Laguna Trophy stake saw an all Derohan final, and a brilliant run by both, just a shame Caroline wasn't able to join us to see their moment of glory.
Well done all runners, you all put on a spectacular show and made a great day for everyone. Thank you to all spectators old and young who came to cheer on the competitors it made for a super atmosphere which I know everyone appreciated. In fact, thank you all who came out in any capacity over the season, it has been a challenging one at times but each meet it what we all make it so THANK YOU!
I hope some rest over the Winter sees any injuries quickly healed as I'm already looking forward to doing it all again in March.