The Whippet Club Racing Association (WCRA) News and Updates – March 2023

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  • Coronation Championships
  • Revised WCRA Rules of Racing
  • Updated Seeding Application
  • Changes to Racing Affixes
  • Consultative Approach to Blinkers/Training
  • New Edition of the WCRA Directory
  • Superstars Email Address
  • The Whippet Club AGM
  • WN TT Points – Clubs to confirm Open dates

    Coronation Championships

    The ‘Coronation Championships’ on 8th May will have different trophies to commemorate the King’s Coronation. The Top Twelve for each League will be presented with a certificate and a Superstars badge; the winners will also receive a velvet jacket together with presentation photos. The 2022 Superstars Leagues and the Annual Trophy winners will be presented before racing.

    Seeding on the Bend

    Trials were run last year for seeding on the bends and we have now formally adopted this into the WCRA Rules of Racing which has been revised to reflect this change and the Seeding Application form has also been updated accordingly. Both documents are available to download from the WCRA section of The Whippet Club website. Affiliated Clubs can also adopt this criterion for their events where scratch racing is in place.

    Schooling and blinkers

    At our last Committee meeting we discussed the increased prevalence of blinkers. We also have more seeded whippets and a growing disqualification list.

    All these are indications that point towards a schooling problem.

    The possible causes are 1) A “ripple effect” from two years’-worth of new dogs emerging after the 2020 COVID break, 2) Temperament issues which may be a result of a narrow gene pool and, 3) rushing young dogs through training.

    Blinkers are a recognised aid which can be used as a last resort but they do have two significant counter-risks:-

    • The dog loses its peripheral vision = it can’t orientate itself with other dogs, therefore it has less warning of a potential side-on collision.
    • In the absence of an approved design, most blinkers are home-made and their safety in collisions have not been assessed.They may flap around in the dog’s eyeline, or worse, provide a hard surface or sharp edge to cause injury to other dogs.

    Schooling and design of blinkers are two matters where we believe the Clubs can help us and in return we can help them.

    We are keen to use this year as a consultative process; in the up-coming racing season and in the lead-up to the First Championships we will be approaching Club Race Managers and other club officials to:-

    1. See whether we need to strengthen the current schooling and clearance process (it’s worked well for many years but equally hasn’t been reviewed).
    2. Try to develop a safe specification for blinkers and, if possible, arrange a supply for use at Clubs.

    We see this as a matter where the affiliated Clubs have as much, if not more say than the WCRA Committee and look forward to working with you all over the next year to develop solutions which are both practical and workable.

    Racing Affix Names and Cost

    More commonly used in animal breeding, an affix or kennel name gives exclusivity, although for pedigree whippet racing it’s not necessary, as we do have protocols in place to “protect” existing names. For instance, to safeguard the memory of our beloved whippets we do not re-use racing names for fifteen years. Names of Whippet Club Racing Champions are never re-issued.

    For affixes, we have decided to make two significant changes for 2023.

    Firstly, we will increase the cost from £10 to £20. Secondly, from now on (but not retrospectively) a kennel will be permitted one affix only. In the rare eventuality of someone wishing to amend their affix, the old one will automatically no longer apply.

    Our affixes are currently granted free of expiry dates and, with the exception of the above amendment, this will remain the case. We remind people that the WCRA committee reserves the right to reject unsuitable names.

    The guiding principle is that affixes should be distinctive, (i.e. uncommon names or unusual spelling) and unlikely to be needed by others when they want to apply for a special affix.

    The Registrar will continue to be the point of contact for affix applications.

    WCRA Directory / New Edition

    A new edition of the Directory will be available from April, this Directory will be listed in order of the Dog’s Racing name (i.e. A-Z) and will include all new entries since the previous edition. We hope that, in conjunction with the current Owners’ Directory, it should be easier to find a specific dog.

    The sale price will be £7.00 plus £2.20 postage, if required. There will be a limited number available and pre-booking can be made via Kim Saxby; email

    Official Club Open Results

    Please note that all Affiliated Club Official Open results are to be forwarded via email to

    Qualifying for Whippet News Top Ten Points.

    Please can Clubs remember to contact Steph at the Whippet News magazine with the date(s) of their events to confirm qualification of Whippet News Top Ten Points and to advertise their event in the magazine. Email

    We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you good luck for the upcoming racing season and look forward to seeing you at the WCRA Championships.

    The Whippet Club AGM

    The AGM will be held at Horspath Village Hall, Oxford on Saturday, 18th March, 2023 with a 10.30am for 11am start. As part of the Agenda, this meeting will include the AGM for the WCRA in it’s capacity as a sub-section of The Whippet Club.

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