ASFA Lure Coursing Ranking for 2009

Top 20 Deerhounds

I know I am not alone anticipating the 2010 Lure Coursing Season with excitement.  If you’ve never tried Lure Coursing with your hound and are curious check out some of the videos on Youtube or better yet, plan to go and watch an event. It will be very exciting for the whole family whether or not you’ve a dog of your own. You are not alone if you are not familiar with Lure coursing. To lure course dogs chase a lure (artificial) meant to mimic the motions of a rabbit.  A typical course is between 600 and 1000 yards (548 to 914 meters) long. In Europe the course length can be over 1000 meters, and may incorporate some obstacles or jumps. The course must have a minimum number of turns in order to simulate prey (the jack-rabbit or hare) changing direction in a chase.  Stories of abuse at the Greyhound track makes some people think that dog racing is cruel- Lure Coursing is nothing like track racing, peoples beloved pets travel to compete in a park location where they can run freely or not depending on the dogs desire. Some of the sighthounds that travel to Lure Course are so excited they must be kept out of sight and sound of the field. The desire to run full-out chasing a plastic lure is just toooooo much fun!!! I know you will all join me in congratulating all of the participants and volunteers that make Lure Coursing possible. Dedicating many weekends to travelling great distances for Lure Coursing events is not for everyone, standing shivering in inclement weather is a testament to the competitive spirit; you would however be hard pressed to find a more convivial bunch of people where the love of the dogs and the fun for all is paramount. Special Congratulations to Susan Trow my friend and her very keen Atzberg’s Legacy of Caretta Fch (Field Champion) achievement of 1st is no mean feat especially considering the talent that was out racing.

Top ASFA L.C. Deerhounds

For complete results by breed go to-


SDCA Specialty and Lure Coursing

Time to write my blogs has been in short supply of late.

I am deviating from my intention to keep this blog mostly informational and am going to become anecdotal this time.

Cailean and I have had a couple of big adventures. A very busy 10 days left us feeling totally pooped out for a few days. First we went Lure Coursing in Uxbridge Ontario on Sat. May 10th. Cailean with her cousins Vesper and Legacy had a gay time at Pat Wolfe’s Lure Coursing Event. A very amiable and fun group of people were in attendance in spite of the stormy weather. Cailean took to coursing like a duck to water; it’s hard to say which she enjoyed more all of the people, dogs and general busy buzz or the coursing itself. It is supposed to be a competition but I am sure I am not alone in simply being relieved that my dog ran cleanly and without incident. To see the dogs stretch out and run for the absolute joy of it is reward enough for me.

Slick rain soaked fields are no deterrent for the dogs, but do unfortunately increase the risk of injury. Vesper finished her race but unfortunately tore a ligament in the process.

We enjoyed meeting up with Karen and Mick Fasciano of Quiero Borzois (theirs are the most lovely dogs I’ve met next to Deerhounds) OK OK hubby I’ll just dream about adding a borzoi to the fold. At least for now. LOL.

Sun May 11th after the typical and not so typical delays (car trouble with both vehicles) we left finally about 2 in the afternoon only 6 hours late for St. Louis Missouri and the Deerhound Specialty. Driving in tandem 2 vans 4 frazzled humans and 7 deerhounds what a trip!

We arrived safely in St. Louis on Monday with no further incidents. One lame bitch in heat, one very agitated young stud dog and the rest of the pack. Four relieved people found their beds gratefully that night.

Tuesday was a big day; Lure coursing the main event for the day. I guess Cailean sensed the agitation and excitement of all those around her and was extremely hyper. After 2 days in the car and sharing sleeping space with 4 other dogs at the hotel she was full of piss and vinegar, wound up and excited from the moment we arrived. We were early and left ourselves plenty of time to set up a site with as much shade as possible for the dogs. Walking around on a leash was not really doing it for her at all. Once the lure machinery started up she was even more agitated. This dog memorizes activities by her associations with sounds. At home if a key jingles or a zipper is pulled up or the sound of a nylon windbreaker crinkles she will come running from upstairs or wherever she happens to be. I am making a rather long run up to the dramatic finish to the story. I was about to put on the coursing jacket when suddenly Cailean vomited; at first it was mostly white with some foam, I wasn’t too alarmed until a few minutes later she vomited again white mucous but including blood this time. As a mother of 2 children that feeling of dread and your blood running cold is a familiar one; when she vomited again and again each time with more blood I was frustrated and frightened by the helplessness you feel when you can’t help or diagnose the problem. I was so disappointed that I had to withdraw Cailean from the coursing, but at that point I was so afraid for her I would have done anything. Fortunately there are a few vets in the SDCA that were there, I am very grateful to Betty Stephenson for checking Cailean over and telling me that it was most likely not too serious as all her other vitals were fine. After much discussion it was agreed that she may have ruptured something in her esophagus from straining and pulling on the leash; or she might have cut her throat on a piece of stick. For the next 24 hours she was fed only soft things and other than some blood in her stools the next day there were no obvious signs she had been sick. Unfortunately no coursing for my girl for a few weeks. We sure didn’t have an auspicious start to this specialty did we? I think for a dog as high energy as Cailean having a day to unwind from the journey & be a little active would have been better.

More about the specialty later.

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