Some of you who've known me for years know my interest and love for lure coursing. I've been sort of out of the loop and out of competition for a few years, mainly because I've been so busy starting Second Chance Greyhounds AND I didn't really have anybody young to run. Sami was the last one I took coursing and she ended up with two partial amputations on the same toes on both front feet. So, she has been retired since she was 4!!
Lucy has faired well and made it to obtain her Field Champion title and I could, truly, still run her in Veteran's if I would get her out a bit more and exercise her a bit more! She does still love to course, even at 8 years old, and yes, they can still compete at that age and beyond, providing they are fit and sound (and Lucy is both). I've seen 11 year olds out there on the field!
My second Greyhound, Sugar, actually is the one I began my love affair with coursing back in 2004. She was such a beautiful, fluid runner who always took your breath away. She would come in from a 900 yard run and just stand there looking at me as if it were entirely effortless on her part. Not even breathless. I credit that to her being raised in the high altitude of Colorado which I am convinced, even to this day, had a great positive effect on her lung capacity. Nonetheless, she was a remarkable runner who, unfortunately, had a mishap in the backyard with the cherry tree, which subsequently ended her coursing career several years later.
Here is Sugar loving the lure!
But before that happened she took the BOB (Beast of Breed) trophy on the Sunday of the International Invitational held in 2005. I was so proud of her. Oh, the International Invitational or II, for short, is the "Olympics" for lure coursing around the country. There are typically hundreds (400+) of sighthound entries and close to 25-30 Greyhound entries. I was very proud of her. At the end of that year, she was the #4 Greyhound in the country. Obviously, I was hooked and have been coursing off and on ever since.
Which brings me back to 2012. In November I took Gwyneth to GANG Park in Calhoun for a practice run which actually certified her to run in a real trial. She did fabulously. The first 90-degree turn she pivoted and pulled it off without mishap. The entire gallery lost their breath, including me! It was quite spectacular. Here is a picture of that run. She was running with a Whippet.
I then entered her in the National Greyhound Specialty where she took 5th place in Open. There were only 5 entries in that category!! Ha ha!! She had a wardrobe malfunction on her 2nd run of the day which caused her score to plummet. But thankfully, no one was hurt and she didn't trip over her jacket which broke on her!
Then I took her to a local club's field trial and let her do a practice run. Here are pictures of that (and yes, she is running in her bling):
Then last weekend, she was entered in GANG's Winter Challenge trials. She ran on Sunday, the 30th, in Open with a field of six Greyhounds. She came in FIRST!! Then I let her run for BOB (Best of Breed). The Field Champion dog had forfeited so she ran against the lone Veteran dog and she won, hands down! So, her first BOB win to her credit. She did fabulously, even after loosing her footing during the Breed run on the first turn and tumbling. She hopped right up and continued on with chasing the bunny! She was a bit stiff that night so I scratched her from running the next day (better safe than sorry). We were happy with our weekend's efforts. Here she is with her ribbon! I couldn't be more proud of my little Gwyneth.
So, the moral to this story is there is always something to do with your Greyhound after they've retired from the track. Whether it be lure coursing, READing Paws, Agility, Fly Ball, Obedience, Rally, etc. There is always something to help keep your Greyhound and you active!