Birtsmorton on 26 JUNE 2022, 220 yards bends; veterans 110 yards at ½yd/lb plus yd/yr
Goodness it was windy that weekend which proved to be quite a challenge when setting up on Saturday – our large marquee was in danger of dragging us across the track before it was pegged down, fortunately we had enough people to control the structure.
We were greeted on Sunday with the same strong winds and threat of rain. Luckily the only rain of consequence fell in the break before the finals and then the sun returned.
Most racers agree that bend racing is more exciting to watch and the 2nd Championships was no exception – whether watching from the traps where the dogs manoeuvred their way round the first bend, some cleverly avoiding the bottleneck by running wide then cutting in or others negotiating through a narrow gap. Add to that some very close finishes, one of which was only separated by a head between 1st and 2nd, and a head between 2nd and 3rd – it all provided for a great day’s bend-racing. It was apparent too that the competitive racing extended to sporting behaviour where even if their dog hadn’t won there was appreciation for others whose dog had prevailed in a tough contest.
We were blessed with wonderful teamwork which enabled us to send everyone home just after five PM which was quite an achievement. A huge thanks to everyone who helped – Saturday & Sunday (Diane & Steve Gardner, Jon Brearley, Karen Bridge, Margaret Armstrong, Paul Priest, Gary Hogan, Dave & Daniel Cuttler, Gavin & David Cairns, Dave & Lynn Hunter, Stuart Colquhoun & Paul Thorpe) -we couldn’t have done it without you.
We had just the one new Racing Champion, WCRCh Glad All Over (well done Elsy), but there’ll probably be a fair few more next time around with a bevy of new “half-coats”. Congratulations to you all and the best of luck come August 14th.
The N/E 16lb final was a convincing win for Terry Wheeler’s *Mamma Mia from the Gardners’ All About Me, lovely to see proper competition among the little ’uns and let’s hope we can grow this group some more. In the next final, Richard & Liz Villis’ classy WCRCh Ameesha Summer Rocket then overcame Pearl and Dennis Bache’s Mayan’s Dream to win the 18lb weight class for the second time in a row.
In the 20lb final, the Warnes’ *Nita Pilgrimsway edged out Jacquie Mullin and Dean Leonard’s *London Girl by a length to become the first pan-European-bred to win a Championship weight class. Jacquie and Dean’s other charge went one better in the next race with their WCRCh Glad All Over winning the 22lb weight class in style to gain a well-deserved title. Her times were fast, too, challenging the heavyweights all day. A word for the runner-up, Christine and Mark’s Ryamber Stan The Man, a consistent, skilful open-racer who’s given his owners a lot of fun.
The Ryemeadows bend Open three weeks earlier in the calendar is always a good form guide. The next two finals were essentially follow-up wins for litter-sisters *Brontë and *Tik Tok Tia, respectively owned by Dave & Lynn Hunter and Terry Wheeler. *Brontë secured a four-length win against the Villis’ Ameesha Dashing Daisy in the 24lbs before *Tik Tok Tia beat the Gilfeathers’ improving youngster Mista T – they were really pleased with his performance.
With WCRCh One For Arthur a non-runner (get well soon Gus) the 28lb weight class was up for grabs. Jo Lock’s *Sea The Moon, who ran bravely in a tough final at the last Championships, this time was first over the line, overcoming the Hughes’ *Stormin’ Norman by two lengths. The 30lb weight class opened up dramatically with two significant non-runners at the weigh-in then two withdrawals from the final due to injury (Markamy’s Reddie Eddie and WCRCh Feilly’s Gold) we wish them both a speedy recovery. It mustn’t detract from a storming win for William Harper’s *First In Last Out from Paul Priest’s Yovbinslade. William’s been in the sport for years and years and congratulations on his first Championships weight class win.
The 32lb final, with four improving youngsters was one to look forward to and it didn’t disappoint, with the Baches’ *Daddy’s Boy securing a three-length win from Trish and Graham’s Gimme Some Action in a time of 13.43. *Daddy’s Boy also secured the Fastest Time Rosette, kindly sponsored by Jackie Hawkins, in his semi-final with a time of 13.38.
The Veteran Sprint was as ever blessed (the judges would say cursed) with a series of close finishes. Splendid fast trapping saw Garry Comber’s WCRCh VC Jett Black reverse heat placings with Sarah Layfield’s *Winterfell Must Be Crazy in the 14-20lb group, while Maggi and Jon Brearley’s VC Riley’s Gold beat another Winterfell, Let Me Loose in a blanket finish for the 21-23lb final.
The 24-27lb class was a two-up contest between two legends of the sport, VC *Call Me Amazing and WCRCh Zola Go-Quick, and resulted in a driving half-length win for the Cuttlers’ charge. Then next race, the Burseys’ WCRCh Markamy’s Son and Air closed proceedings with a fast-trapping two-length win over Gary Hogan’s The Quiet Man. Well done to you all and hopefully we’ll see you again in August.
Mark Etheridge and Kim Saxby Reporting.
(photos courtesy of Michael Treacher)