Heart Of England PWRC on 8th October 2023 – 240 yards bends, veterans 140 yards at ½yd/lb plus yd/yr.
Our last big get-together before winter although you wouldn’t have believed it with high-summer weather all weekend. Well-cushioned ground made both bend and straight tracks true tests of stamina and we saw some great racing. Once again, the Heart of England Club gave us a great welcome and from Snowy and I, many thanks to you all, you’ve looked after the two of us so well.
Set-up on the Saturday was followed by a cook-in with a wonderful selection of casseroles, curries and chilis – a toss-up which was best, Saturday supper, the canteen Sunday breakfast or lunchtime cakes! A return to stand-on scales helped speed the weigh-in and then it was on to the racing, 88 dogs entered, slightly more than the same Championships last year.
Overall, a great day’s racing, cabling issues bedevilled the PA periodically through the day but despite that, we did the last race by 5pm. We saw some marvellous efforts, right across the speed range, and well done especially to the three new Racing Champions, Pure Delight, Ryamber That’ll Do and Tik Tok Tia.
The finals of the Veteran Sprint were run first, some classy match-ups in there, particularly in the two heavier groups. Sarah Layfield enjoyed a double in the two lighter groups; firstly VC *Winterfell Must Be Crazy beat Paul Priest’s Scratchybrat to win the 14-20lbs group then in a driving finish her Winterfell Let Me Loose overcame William Harper’s Mal Y Pense to take the 21-23lb class, Kevin & Keeley’s WCRCh Twilight Twiggy a close-up third.
The 24-27lb group was a select threesome, Dave and Carole Cuttler scoring a 1-3. WCRCh VC Call Me Enchanting prevailed over the Gilfeathers’ fine WCRCh Rising Star. Third, in her retirement race was VC *Call Me Amazing, coming up to ten this winter and if not going out right at the top, pretty close to it.
The heavyweight group has been a bruiser for most of the year and this renewal was no exception. Five Racing Champions in the group of nine tells all. It made for one truly horrid semi-final where Dave Favell’s WCRCh VC Lovely Jubbly was the one to miss out behind the Brearleys’ WCRCh VC Feilly’s Gold and the Hunters’ WCRCh VC Zola Go-Quick, while in the other, Paul Priest’s Yovbinslade and Denise Pitcher’s Jay Jay were certainly not disgraced against Trish Gilfeather’s WCRCh Back To Light and my WCRCh The Cooler King. It teed up a great final, Zola finding her trapping boots to hold off WCRCh VC Feilly’s Gold, WCRCh The Cooler King and WCRCh Back To Light.
Then it was time for the Championship main group finals.
The 16lb class was won by the Villis’ WCRCh Ameesha A Touch of Sass from Terry Wheeler’s WCRCh(s) Mamma Mia. Liz and Richard got the double up next race with WCRCh Ameesha Summer Rocket (six next April) gaining her thirteenth 18lb group win and claiming the record outright. It was a tough final and Avril Caunce’s Kissy Suzuki was only a diminishing half-length behind in second, with Sarah Layfield’s pair close up in third and fourth.
Avril’s second runner, *Black Fairlane went one better, indeed she was unbeaten in the 20lb weight class, overcoming the Hunters’ WCRCh My Girl Enfys, the Gilfeathers’ Bruce Almighty and the Villis’ Ameesha Black Beauty.
The 22lb final was a tale of two halves. First try was shaping up to be the best race of the day, Dave & Lynn’s WCRCh Tiana trapped well and hugged the rail defying all-comers, a battle royal looming on the run-in…. then the lure caught. Second go, it was equally close at first but this time Nicola & John Walton’s WCRCh Pure Delight led into the bend and prevailed by a length and a half to gain her title from WCRCh Tiana, good runs in 3rd and 4th from Vince and Sarah Hart’s Charlie Brown and Sarah Layfield’s Winterfell What The Heck.
We didn’t have to wait long for our second new Racing Champion. Like Pure Delight, Christine and Mark’s WCRCh Ryamber That’ll Do gained her “half” around the bends in June. This was another close-fought group.
As aperitif we had an outstanding duel in the heats between the Waltons’ *Gimme Delight and the Hunters’ WCRCh Brontë – WCRCh Brontë left *Gimme Delight for dead at the traps but somehow *Gimme Delight clawed back the three-length deficit to take the race by a head. Both won their respective semi finals, you’d have thought this final was teed up for a rematch but unfortunately *Gimme Delight was impeded on the first bend and *Ryamber That’ll Do, a true bend-racer reversed her semi-final defeat by WCRCh Brontë in the race that mattered. It was also a fine effort by Denise’s Foxie Flyer in fourth, too.
The 26lb group was well-stacked with half-coats, five among six semi-finalists, you’ve got to feel for the owners. It became a triumph for Terry Wheeler’s WCRCh Tik Tok Tia who never put a foot wrong all day, three wins out of three, all trap-to-line, minimum of fuss. Honourable mentions for Trish Gilfeather’s *Mista T, Christine & Mark’s Ryamber Room At The Top and John & Sheila Strain’s *Return of the Mac, their times will come for sure.
Two good youngsters came into the 28lb final unbeaten, Philip and Crystal Fusi’s *Danger Dash and Mark & Charlotte Bursey’s Mach’s Kamikaze Mars. That’s how they finished, with Jo Lock’s fine *Sea The Moon a good third and Karen Bridge’s Glory Narah 4th.
The 30lb final looked cut and dried even before the bend. Kevin & Keeley’s WCRCh Moonlight Millie did a “special” and rounding the first she was a good five yards up. Then they started to reel her in; she led by a bare half-length at the line but that was enough. Like WCRCh Ameesha A Touch Of Sass she’s won all four Champs weight classes this year, well done. Kudos also to her chasers, the aptly-named Gimme It All (he’s given us some great races this year) in second for the Gilfeathers, followed by two youngsters doing well in their first WCRA Championship finals, Christine Padmore’s Trouble in Store third and George Whalley’s Joe Cocker, fourth only a length and a half behind the winner.
The 32lb final was another close race. The second heat gave us warning when Mark & Charlotte’s Machs White Toed Brodes just held off the Gilfeathers’ *Rising Sun. But come the final, it was *Rising Sun who took first run, Machs White Toed Brodes was impeded and he was the one trying, unavailingly to regain the lost ground, failing by a nose. Only half a length back was Trish and Graham’s other runner *Gimme Some Action and William Harper’s *First In Last Out a length further down, a great run considering he’s had a year of injuries.
The Fastest Time Rosette was won by the Gilfeathers’ Gimme It All with 15.06 in his 30lb heat, well done.
During the meeting, we learned of two sad passings. Firstly Jean Goode, for many years a pillar of the sport, one of our premier breeders. Her line goes back to Lady Blue in the late 70s through Twinkle, Misty Bay, WCRCh Blossom, Emma, WCRCh VC Shiny, Honeybunch and her litter-brother WCRCh VC Markamy’s Black Bentley, and most recently WCRCh Selby Lad. Secondly “Bob the burger Man” at Ryemeadows who was a beloved fixture at Championships and Opens there and really helped make those meetings special. Bob loved to watch the racing.
We remembered them both at the presentation, our condolences and best wishes to their families.
A special mention to all the helpers on the day, many of whom travelled a long distance and with no dogs to run, just to work all day for us. We are indeed indebted to you – Margaret Armstrong, Anne Williamson, Gavin & David Cairns. Paul Priest, Jim, Dave Bursey and Dave Cuttler (the resident electronics and all-round mechanic fixer) – thank you. Also, the girls who worked on paddock duty – you did a first class job. Colin & Tina Jennings came for an hour or two to watch the racing but, Colin kindly agreed to step into the breach and stayed all day to do a sterling job as interference judge.
Not forgetting the fantastic work from the Heart of England ground team, including their long-suffering spouses who provide the much needed refreshments – Vince & Sarah Hart, John & Maggie Brearley, Michael & Sue Treacher, Gary Hogan, Jim and son (young Henry) – I think young Henry was the official food taster.
It only remains to say that we hope that you all enjoyed the day and return next year.
Mark Etheridge Reporting.
Photos courtesy of Michael Treacher.
Click/tap thumbnails to view full image. Photos courtesy of Michael Treacher
- WCRCh AMEESHA A TOUCH OF SASS (Ameesha As Good As Gold – Devil Hall of Fame x Ameesha Blue Spirit). Owner : Liz Villis (time 15.73)
- WCRCh(s) Mamma Mia
Heat Wins: WCRCh(s) Mamma Mia, WCRCh Ameesha A Touch Of Sass
- WCRCh AMEESHA SUMMER ROCKET (Ameesha Indian Summer – Billy On Show x Ameesha Pure Spirit). Owner: Liz Villis (time 16.09)
- Kissy Suzuki
- Winterfell Tangfastic
- Winterfell Must Be Love
Heat Wins: Winterfell Must Be Love, WCRCh Ameesha Summer Rocket
- *BLACK FAIRLANE (Ryamber Black Diamond – Goodad Special Duty x Ryamber Keep On Running). Owner: Avril Caunce (time 15.59)
- WCRCh My Girl Enfys
- Bruce Almighty
- Ameesha Black Beauty
Heat Wins: Bruce Almighty, Along Came Betty, WCRCh My Girl Enfys, Black Fairlane
Semi Finals: WCRCh My Girl Enfys, Black Fairlane
- WCRCh PURE DELIGHT (new Champion) (Kentwone Theta – Freasley’s Archer x Sheer Bliss). Owners: Nicola & John Walton (time 15.44)
- WCRCh Tiana
- Charlie Brown
- Winterfell What The Heck
Heat Wins: Winterfell What The Heck, *Pure Delight, WCRCh Tiana
Semi Finals: *Pure Delight, WCRCh Tiana
- WCRCh RYAMBER THAT’LL DO (new Champion) (Ryamber Tried And Tested – Goodad Special Duty x Ryamber Keep On Running).Owner: Christine Howard (time 15.71)
- WCRCh Brontë
- *Gimme Delight
- Foxie Flyer
Heat Wins: Foxie Flyer, *Ryamber That’ll Do, *Gimme Delight, *Ryamber It’s Aw Reet
Semi Finals: *Gimme Delight, WCRCh Brontë
- WCRCh TIK TOK TIA (new Champion) (Ryemeadows Solar Eclipse – Ryemeadows Figaro x Ryemeadows Zola). Owner: Terry Wheeler (time 15.45)
- *Mista T
- Ryamber Room At The Top
- *Return Of The Mac
Heat Wins: *Tik Tok Tia, *Return Of The Mac, Ryamber Room At The Top
Semi Finals: *Tik Tok Tia, *Return Of The Mac
- *DANGER DASH (Funtime Dash – Roross Brambers Flyer x Danger Mouse). Owners: Philip & Crystal Fusi (time 15.58)
- Mach’s Kamikaze Mars
- *Sea The Moon
- Glory Narah
Heat Wins: Mach’s Kamikaze Mars, Danger Dash, Dexters Rodney Come Home, *Sea The Moon
Semi Finals: Mach’s Kamikaze Mars, Danger Dash
- WCRCh MOONLIGHT MILLIE (Elliemays Millie – Jolly Pocher x Rudy’s Rock ‘N Roller). Owners: Kevin Coe & Keeley Bradshaw (time 15.49)
- Gimme It All
- Trouble In Store
- Joe Cocker
Heat Wins: Gimme It All, WCRCh Moonlight Millie
- *RISING SUN (Wiltwojs Jonty Gilfeather – Jolly Pocher x Kingscastle Melody of Wiltwojs). Owner: Trish Gilfeather (time 15.69)
- Machs White Toed Brodes
- *Gimme Some Action
- *First In Last Out
Heat Wins: *Gimme Some Action, Machs White Toed Brodes
Superstars Veteran Sprint
- VC *WINTERFELL MUST BE CRAZY (Winterfellin Must Be Crazy – Winterfellin Tinkers Lad x Winterfellin Frosted Dawn). Owner: Sarah Layfield
Heat Wins VC *Winterfell Must Be Crazy, Scratchybrat
- WINTERFELL LET ME LOOSE (Winterfellin Let Me Loose – Winterfellin Tinkers Lad x Winterfellin Frosted Dawn). Owner: Sarah Layfield
- Mal Y Pense
- WCRCh Twilight Twiggy
Heat Wins: WCRCh Twilight Twiggy, Winterfell Let Me Loose
- WCRCh VC CALL ME ENCHANTING (Freasley’s Lady Wizard – Drawn To Me x Lucky Me). Owners: Dave & Carole Cuttler
- WCRCh Rising Star
- VC *Call Me Amazing
Heat Wins: VC *Call Me Amazing, WCRCh VC Call Me Enchanting
- WCRCh VC ZOLA GO-QUICK (Ryemeadows Zola – Wagtail Flash In The Pan x Matchington Zula of Ryemeadows). Owners: Lynn & Dave Hunter
- WCRCh VC Feilly’s Gold
- WCRCh The Cooler King
- WCRCh Back To Light
Heat Wins: WCRCh VC Feilly’s Gold, WCRCh The Cooler King, WCRCh VC Lovely Jubbly, WCRCh Back To Light
Semi Finals: WCRCh VC Feilly’s Gold, WCRCh Back To Light
Mark Etheridge reporting