1st WCRA Championships and Veteran Crowns 2024 – Full Write Up and Results

HEART OF ENGLAND PWRC, Shuttington on 12 MAY 2024 – 150 yards straights; veterans 145 yards at ½yd/lb plus yd/yr.

Ooh, I do love a good weather forecast. This one threatened “occasional isolated downpours” (we’ve heard that one before) any time from early Sunday afternoon. The dreaded word “thunderstorm” was whispered quietly lest the dogs might hear….

In the end we got a nice sunny day with a cooling breeze, although it became humid and the water-bath by the finish was well-used. The First Championships is always a long day as we present the Annual Trophies and Superstars Leagues’ finalists for the previous season before racing starts.

However, with an entry of 132 and 87 races, the last whippet passed the finishing line at ten past five, no reruns. The only hold-ups, a couple of dogs who decided they didn’t want to be caught!

While we need to cut down the time from close of racing to presentation, there are a couple of tweaks we can try, the Heart of England team have nothing to prove. Winter maintenance faultless, generous hospitality, they get on with the job and a pleasure to work with, what more can we say but a big “Thank You”. Also a big “Thank You” to the visiting racers who helped on the day, without you all there wouldn’t be a race meeting.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 - Three whippets on track in racing coats

On to the racing. Only the one new Racing Champion, Liz Villis’ admirable WCRCh Ameesha Born To Run, a sense of the “changing of the guard” with seven new half-coats. In the Veterans we had four new title-holders, well done to Veteran Crowns *London Girl, Ms Moneypenny, Pendle Sally and Winterfell Let Me Loose.

The sixteen-pounders had semi-finals and what’s more were thoroughly competitive, no unbeaten dogs and finishes that would have satisfied a club handicapper. The Villis’ WCRCh Ameesha A Touch Of Sass was only second of two in her heat, John & Jill Gardner’s good two-year-old Red Light lowering her colours, but won the final by two lengths from William Nicholl & Julie Quinten’s Riverside Nefertiti, Red Light 1½ lengths further back in third. Nicola Groundwell’s splendidly-named Penderyn’s Poppylicious was a close-up fourth, far from disgraced.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 four dogs on track

The 18lb group was a 1-2 for Liz and Richard, both dogs winning heat and semi. In the final, WCRCh Ameesha Born To Run took the spoils ahead of Ameesha Atomic Blonde. Good runs too from John Wareing’s Forever Keen (3rd) and the Baches’ Mayan’s Dream (4th).

The 20lb class was another with no unbeaten dog. The three heat winners reached the final (Avril Caunce’s *Black Fairlane, Rebecca Villis’ Villiers Rocketman and Louise Fisher’s Maximum Dazzle) with Mike Head and Ilid Davies’ Along Came Betty (2nd in heat to Maximum Dazzle). Three lengths covered them at the finish, *Along Came Betty a length ahead of Villiers Rocketman 2nd, Maximum Dazzle 3rd and 4th *Black Fairlane, unlucky in running. This was a well-earned win but time enough to gain the elusive “other half”, having been handled patiently.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 four dogs running behind a lure

Only nine dogs for the twenty-two’s, the owners must have thought thank God there weren’t quarters. It was tough enough, though. Heat winners were Grant & Ellie’s Gee Gee, Sarah’s Winterfell What The Heck and Daniel’s puppy On The Bounce. In the semi finals, Gee Gee led On The Bounce and Winterfell What The Heck won from the Brearleys’ Bertie’s Gold who ran a great race to edge out the Waltons’ WCRCh Pure Delight in a blanket finish. The final was tight, 2½ lengths covering the four, *Gee Gee by a length from On The Bounce, Winterfell What The Heck 3rd and Bertie’s Gold (I reckon he really earned his dinner that night) a close-up 4th.

The 24lb final looked to be between Denise Pitcher’s Foxie Flyer and Keeley Bradshaw & Kevin Coe’s Highlight Halo, Foxie Flyer taking bragging rights by a head in their heat. Sadly Halo broke down and had to be withdrawn injured, but take nothing away from *Foxie Flyer, who won by 2½ lengths from Peter Leadbetter’s and Christine Kerrigan’s Ace Of Spades 2nd, William and Julie’s other youngster Riverside Kufu in third. Best wishes to Halo for a full recovery.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024  three dogs running behind a lure
WCRA 1st Championships 2024 - heavyweight runners

The 26lb weight class was hard graft, four runs, very tight. At the business end we had two hard-fought semi finals, 2½ lengths and 1½ lengths respectively covering 1st to 4th. In the first, *Return Of The Mac edged out Forever Jack The Lad, knocking out the Brearleys’ *Murphy’s Gold and Ruth Mabb’s All Eyes On Ike (both running well, trying to do it the hard way, 2nd in heat and quarter). The second semi, Terry Wheeler’s 20 month old Here Hugo held off Vince & Sarah’s redoubtable WCRCh Scrappy Doo by half a length with Christine Howard’s Ryamber Room At The Top 3rd and the Gilfeathers’ *Mista T a close 4th. (Get well soon Trish.)

The final, two lengths covering the lot, was taken by *Forever Jack The Lad by a head from WCRCh Scrappy Doo, 3rd *Return Of The Mac (unbeaten till then) and 4th Here Hugo. Well done to all four.

The four 28lb finalists were Helene Southin’s Tennessee Whisky, Mark & Charlotte Bursey’s Mach’s Kamikaze Mars, Chrystal & Philip Fusi’s *Danger Dash and Darcia Gingell & Rob Hughes’ Duncton Ghost Town. These are all young whippets but already a friendly rivalry has developed.

In the heats, Tennessee Whisky overcame Mach’s Kamikaze Mars while *Danger Dash led Duncton Ghost Town by a neck. The semi finals saw Tennessee Whisky and *Danger Dash come through unbeaten, their times 9.39 and 9.37. In the final, *Tennessee Whisky made her first Championships a winning one with *Danger Dash a length second, Duncton Ghost Town another length back in third and close up 4th was Mach’s Kamikaze Mars who ran really well all day.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 28lb group finalists
WCRA 1st Championships 2024 30lb finalists running

Nick Clawson’s *Making Plans For Pendle was a convincing winner of the 30lb class, again his first go at the Championships. Unbeaten all day, in the final he beat Pearl & Dennis Bache’s WCRCh Daddy’s Boy, 3rd was Trish Gilfeather’s Gimme It All was 3rd and Odds On Tess 4th.

In the heavyweights, Mark & Charlotte’s *Machs White Toed Brodes headed Sean & Barbara Lee’s WCRCh Selby Lad by half a length, both lovely dogs I know well at club and closely matched. He didn’t have the best of luck last year so this was well-deserved. A good third was Colin & Tina Jennings’ Chiefton Challenger while 4th was the veteran, Karen Bridge’s Bombalong.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Veteran Crown finals 1

The Veteran Crowns, smaller classes, but select. The 6-7 year-olds, first up was the n/e 20lb final, Jacquie Mullin’s VC *London Girl who beat the Hunters’ pair *Zikomo Go Quick (2nd) and WCRCh Enfys (3rd).

Avril Caunce’s VC Ms Moneypenny took the middleweights, 2nd John Gardner’s VC She Was A Showgirl, 3rd and 4th were Christine’s and Mark’s pair, Ryamber Stan The Man and Ryamber It’s Aw Reet.

The second semi was a brute of a race to judge, VC She Was A Showgirl won by half a length, but nowt between the others. Stan (in true Stan fashion) stuck his nose ahead of Keeley & Kevin’s WCRCh Twilight Twiggy and Steve Miller’s Black Hawk Apache.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Veteran finalists 2
WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Veteran finalists 3

The heavyweight veterans, a horrid group last year, looks yet tougher this year. The “new” veterans prevailed. Jackie & Glen Hughes’ WCRCh Stormin’ Norman and Nick Clawson’s Pendle Sally both came through their semi final unbeaten, John and Sheila’s The Mighty Finn and Dave & Sandra Bursey’s Markamy’s Reddie Eddie the respective runners-up. In the final, VC Pendle Sally made it a double for Nick, WCRCh Stormin’ Norman 2nd, The Mighty Finn 3rd and Markamy’s Reddie Eddie 4th. Fast time, too.

In the senior vets, Rebacca Hough’s VC Island Sands defended the title she won this time last year, not her fault it was a solo run but a creditable time for a lightweight oldie.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Veteran finalists 4
WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Veteran finalists 5

The 21-25lb class was won by Sarah Layfield’s new VC Winterfell Let Me Loose, consistently a Championships finalist over the years, from Kev & Sue Shakespeare’s Cairdean Laguna Luna, best wishes to kennelmate *Cairdean Chucklehead who came off injured after the 28lb semis.

The senior heavyweights ran a fine race, a pleasure for us owners to watch from the traps. Steve Miller’s fine VC Wild Apache now has a WCRA Championships record of three entries, three weight class wins, prevailing by half a length from Northern Wisdom (almost a glorious treble for Nick), my WCRCh The Cooler King 1½ lengths further back in third.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Veteran finalists 6

Now what about that storm? Well, we did get it at seven o’clock, thankfully after the “overnighting” dogs had had their dinner. For the long-suffering workers, a delicious high tea dodging raindrops, Vince and Sarah really ought to patent that mobile barbecue.

Photographs are courtesy of Michael Treacher.
Mark Etheridge Reporting.

Full Results

Click/tap on images to enlarge

Main Championships

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 16lb

NE 16lb

  1. WCRCh AMEESHA A TOUCH OF SASS (Ameesha As Good As Gold). Owner: Liz Villis (time 10.00)
  2. Riverside Nefertiti
  3. Red Light
  4. Penderyn’s Poppylicious.

Heat Wins: Riverside Nefertiti, Red Light, Razzle Dazzle
Semi Finals: WCRCh Ameesha A Touch Of Sass, Red Light

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 18lb

NE 18lb

  1. WCRCh AMEESHA BORN TO RUN (new Champion) (Ameesha Ocean Breeze – Devil Hall Of Fame x Ameesha Blue Spirit). Owner: Liz Villis (time 9.55)
  2. Ameesha Atomic Blonde
  3. Forever Keen
  4. Mayan’s Dream

Heat Wins: Kissy Suzuki, Winterfell Must Be Love, Ameesha Atomic Blonde, *Ameesha Born To Run
Semi Finals: Ameesha Atomic Blonde, *Ameesha Born To Run

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 20lb

NE 20lb

  1. *ALONG CAME BETTY (Ffion O’r Cwm – Wagtail Johnny’s Boy x Enchanting Evie). Owners: Mike Head & Ilid Davies (time 9.68)
  2. Villiers Rocketman
  3. Maximum Dazzle
  4. *Black Fairlane

Heat Wins: *Black Fairlane, Villiers Rocketman, Maximum Dazzle
Semi Finals: *Black Fairlane, Along Came Betty

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 22lb

NE 22lb

  1. *GEE GEE (Goodad River Of Stars – Goodad Across The Bay x Goodad High Revving Bird). Owners: Grant Burton & Ellie Stacey (time 9.54)
  2. On The Bounce
  3. Winterfell What The Heck
  4. *Black Fairlane

Heat Wins: Gee Gee, Winterfell What The Heck, On The Bounce
Semi Finals: Gee Gee, Winterfell What The Heck

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 24lb

NE 24lb

  1. *FOXIE FLYER (Freasley’s King Xerxes at Amphoras – Wiltwojs Joni Glen x Black Pearl Of Hope). Owner: Denise Pitcher (time 9.62)
  2. Ace Of Spades
  3. Riverside Kufu
  4. (wdn) Highlight Halo

Heat Wins: Charlie Brown, Foxie Flyer, Ace Of Spades, Villiers Dark Storm
Semi Finals: Highlight Halo, Foxie Flyer

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 26lb

NE 26lb

  1. *FOREVER JACK THE LAD (Lowlake Jack The Lad – Medlarway Moondance x Lowlake Light Of Day). Owner: John Wareing (time 9.54)
  2. WCRCh Scrappy Doo
  3. *Return Of The Mac
  4. Here Hugo

Heat Wins: *Return of the Mac, Forever Jack The Lad, WCRCh Ryamber That’ll Do, Odds On Willow, WCRCh Scrappy Doo, *Mista T, Ryamber Room At The Top
Quarter Finals: *Return Of The Mac, Ryamber Room At The Top, Forever Jack The Lad, Here Hugo
Semi Finals: *Return Of The Mac, Here Hugo

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 28lb

NE 28lb

  1. *TENNESSEE WHISKY (Goodad Rosie’s Return – Goodad Across The Bay x Goodad High Revving Bird). Owner: Helene Southin (time 9.43)
  2. *Danger Dash
  3. Duncton Ghost Town
  4. Mach’s Kamikaze Mars

Heat Wins: Tennessee Whisky, *Danger Dash, *Do You Love Me, *Cairdean Chucklehead
Semi Finals: Tennessee Whisky, *Danger Dash

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 30lb

NE 30lb

  1. *MAKING PLANS FOR PENDLE (Winterfellin Making Plans – Red Ferrari x Winterfellin Let Me Loose). Owner: Nick Clawson (time 9.23)
  2. WCRCh Daddy’s Boy
  3. Gimme It All
  4. Odds On Tess

Heat Wins: Making Plans For Pendle, Gimme It All, Tiger Feet
Semi Finals: Making Plans For Pendle, WCRCh Daddy’s Boy

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 NE 32lb

NE 32lb

  1. *MACHS WHITE TOED BRODES (Ryamber Double Take – Goodad Special Duty x Ryamber Keep On Running). Owners: Mark & Charlotte Bursey (time 9.20)
  2. WCRCh Selby Lad
  3. Chiefton Challenger
  4. Bombalong

Heat Wins: Machs White Toed Brodes, WCRCh Selby Lad

Fastest Time Rosette: WCRCh Selby Lad, 9.10 achieved in his heat.

Veteran Crowns

6/7 years:-

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Vets 6-7 14-20lb


  1. VC *LONDON GIRL (new Veteran Crown) (Ryamber Chiquitita – Goodad Special Duty x Ryamber Keep On Running. Owners: Jacquie Mullin & Dean Leonard (time 9.57)
  2. *Zikomo Go-Quick
  3. WCRCh My Girl Enfys

Heat Wins: *Zikomo Go-Quick, *London Girl.

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Vets 6-7 21-25lb


  1. VC MS MONEYPENNY (new Veteran Crown) (Ryamber Miss Money Penny – Star Of Mountdillon x Ryamber A Moment In Time). Owner: Avril Caunce (time 9.66)
  2. VC She Was A Showgirl
  3. Ryamber Stan The Man
  4. Ryamber It’s Aw Reet

Heat Wins: Ms Moneypenny, VC She Was A Showgirl, *Ryamber It’s Aw Reet, Ryamber Stan The Man
Semi Finals: Ms Moneypenny, VC She Was A Showgirl

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Vets 6-7 26-32lb


  1. VC PENDLE SALLY (new Veteran Crown) (Red Sally – Wagtail Flash In The Pan x Sunlay Desert Rose). Owner: Nick Clawson (time 9.38)
  2. WCRCh Stormin’ Norman
  3. The Mighty Finn
  4. Markamy’s Reddie Eddie

Heat Wins: The Mighty Finn, Markamy’s Reddie Eddie, WCRCh Stormin’ Norman, WCRCh VC Feilly’s Gold
Semi Finals: WCRCh Stormin’ Norman, Pendle Sally

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Vets 8-9 14-20lb

8/9 years:-


  1. VC ISLAND SANDS (Medlarway Iridescent Pearl – Enchanted Forest of Medlarway x Wheatroyd Lily at Medlarway). Owner: Rebecca Hough (time 9.93)

Heat Win: Island Sands

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Vets 8-9 21-25lb


  1. VC WINTERFELL LET ME LOOSE (new Veteran Crown) (Winterfellin Let Me Loose – Winterfellin Tinkers Lad x Winterfellin Frosted Dawn). Owner: Sarah Layfield (time 9.66)
  2. Cairdean Laguna Luna

Heat Wins: Cairdean Laguna Luna, Winterfell Let Me Loose

WCRA 1st Championships 2024 Vets 8-9 26-32lb


  1. VC WILD APACHE (Blue Indian Warrior – Red Apache x Wheatroyd Running Wild). Owner: Steve Miller (time 9.66)
  2. Northern Wisdom
  3. WCRCh The Cooler King

Heat Wins: VC Wild Apache, WCRCh The Cooler King

Mark Etheridge reporting

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