Types of Racing Lure (drag, loop & straight), Track Oval, Terrier Lure - drag As this implies a lure (trash bag) is pulled along a pre set course utilising corner spinners to mark changes in direction. After each run the course has to be re-set by hand to allow the next race. These are generally shorter in distance to the “loop” type but range from 350m to 500m distance. Or are fairly short to help with training. Dogs are raced in singles or pairs. Pro’s - Can be set up in a small field The terrain does not need to be flat The line is in front of the dog so little chance of getting caught in the line or line burn from treading on the line. Great for training Equipment available to help train or can be DIY made. Ideal for small groups to set up and have some fun. Con’s - Course needs to be reset each time. Should the dog loose sight of the lure, course needs to be reset. Equipment may not have the power to pull over long distances or complex courses. Equipment has a high likelihood of causing a line tangle at the machine. Some times difficult to find meetings. Meetings can be in open areas with very little fencing/barrier Lure - loop The lure this time is part of a continuous loop. Both ends of the string/line are joined at the lure. The loop is then tensioned so the machine when it rotates, the line becomes a belt and the lure follows the route set with changes of direction created by the spinners. These course’s can be longer as much as 800m and take very little time to be ready for the next race. Used at most events and coursing clubs. Dogs are raced in singles or pairs. Pro’s - Can be set up in a field The line is a continuous loop so the lure can always be returned to the start for the next race. Very little gaps between races Can be used over larger courses Course can be set in reverse between dogs if needed Ideal for club meetings or lots of races Con’s - Careful attention to the course set up to make it work well. The field needs to be flat Possible risk of line injury if caught in line Equipment may need to be purchased so that it has the power and reliability. The tension is important to ensure lure keeps its speed. Equipment under pressure all day with little time to cool between races. Meetings can be in open areas with very little fencing/barrier Lure - straight As the name says a straight race from A to B over a set distance. The distance can be from 100m to 300m. The lure may also be larger such as a toy etc. Because the lure does not have to contend with going around corners. Also the method of release “slipping” can be via traps. This allows for up to 6 dogs to race at once. This method is also used to train birds of prey to hunt. Pro’s - Can be set up in a small field or open area Very simple to set up and get started The line is in front of the dog so little chance of getting caught in the line or line burn from treading on the line. Great for training Different types of lure can be used Ideal for time trials Easy for dog to keep sight of lure Multiple dogs to run at one time Equipment available to help train Ideal for small groups to set up Con’s - Course needs to be reset each time. Handlers need to walk from start to finish and back A slipper and a catcher needed for each dog Should the dog loose the lure, course needs to be reset. Equipment may not have the power to pull over long distances . Equipment has a high likelihood of causing a line tangle at the machine. Some times difficult to find meetings. Meetings can be in open areas with very little fencing/barrier Track Oval These are races at set locations because of the need to utilise a track. The lure which is called the “bunny” is attached to a motorised dolly which runs on a rail. Which normally is part of the inner fence of the track. The dogs race from traps and again can be up to six dogs. The distance can vary to suite the individual dog or race day. Some times referred to as the “flappers”. Pro’s - In a fixed location with facilities No line Great for training Most sites well enclosed Ideal for time trials Easy for dog to keep sight of bunny Multiple dogs to run at one time Hound Breed Club’s host regular meetings (Afghan, Whippet, Saluki) All weather surface to run on Possible to measure progress against time and distance as the course and distance fixed Con’s - A team of helpers needed to run an event. The bunny dolly makes a noise which some times unnerves the dogs in training Can only be run at fixed locations. Hire charges would prohibit small groups. Terrier Terrier racing has become very popular and is growing fast. Pretty much anything goes so long as the dogs can chase it. The lure is normally a little slower and the race can be very simple straight or a complex course involving jumps, water obstacles even walls to climb over. They are fun and can really test the determination of a hound or terrier to chase. Pro’s - Can be set up in a small field or open area The line is in front of the dog so little chance of getting caught in the line or line burn from treading on the line. Great for training Different types of course can be used Great fun full energy Equipment available to help train Ideal for small groups to set up Con’s - Course needs to be reset each time. The initial set up with fences etc can take time Should the dog loose sight of the lure, course needs to be reset. Equipment may not have the power to pull over long distances . Equipment has a high likelihood of causing a line tangle at the machine. Some times difficult to find meetings. Meetings can be in open areas with very little fencing/barrier To find out where places or clubs are hosting any of the above contact your local/regional Hound Clubs such as the Afghan, Whippet, Saluki. Lure Coursing Clubs such as the British Sighthound Field Association who meet regularly at Newbury are great places to start. Most of the Summer game fairs also have lure coursing or Terrier racing. You may need to do some exploring to find opportunities to watch racing but to the most part once you have found one place the people will help you with other locations. You may come across terms such as “tally ho” which means release your dog. The race coat is a coloured short jacket that helps to identify the dogs racing so they can be marked on performance by the judges. Muzzles are not always mandatory, but you should check with the race organiser what the requirements will be on the day. Generally if you are racing and either you or the other dog owner prefers, then both dogs should be muzzled. Dogs get very excited during and at the end of the race and can lash out in sheer frustration at missing the lure. Slipper is the person who releases the dog, this can be either by hand or leash at the call “tally ho”. Injuries can occur and its worth just understanding the type of accident or injury so you can be best prepared should it happen. The lure will reach speeds of up to 40 mph. Your dog will give its all to keep up and stretch all its body and mussel, this can cause strains to mussels, ligaments and joint sprains in the most they are short term and a few days rest they are up for racing again. Line burn can happen, with dogs, line and running its possible to end up combining all three together. The organisers will always be in a position to immediately stop the lure tension and cut the line if necessary. At most lure course events its best practice not to have a change of direction less than 100 deg. This gives the dogs the ability to keep in sight of the lure and reduce the chance of over run of the turn, but some times not all four legs can keep a grip and the dog will trip and roll over, or the dog may catch the top of a corner spinner, resulting in bruised toes or strains. I’m not trying to paint a bad picture of the sport but being prepared can help the recovery and stress to both you and the dog. In the most an accident is just an accident and a fit dog will shake off minor injuries very quickly. Dogs are just as likely to sustain the same type of injury when out for a run in the park. Other aspects to understand when attending any coursing activity. The lure line has a breaking strain of 150 - 250 lbs and normally of a braided nylon, after lots of use the line will have been repaired with knots, stretched and twisted with 300 to 800m of line it can some times just reach a point when it needs changing, this may take some time. Also if its a drag course the line is being wound in at a rate of 20 - 30mph on to a spool. The technique of trying to keep tension on the line at the same time keep the lure just ahead of the racing dog, by switching the machine on and off can cause the line to “loop” on the spool which in turn traps the next rotation of line and this results in a lock up. Which must be un tangled for the next race. The main part of the lure machine motor is from the auto motor sector. It has a very high acceleration and excellent torque to give the power, but they are not deigned for constant use and so can become very hot. The electrical joints are only solder and therefore have the potential to melt at high temperatures so at times if no supplementary cooling then the equipment will need time to cool to prevent damage. The ground conditions can also be an influencing factor. If the race area is too dry and signs of cracks appear or surface is poor the organisers will deem it unsafe to race and cancel. So when at an event try to be patient if things do not seem to be going well. In Europe and America Lure Coursing has a major place in the Cirneco owners diary. Events are hosted regularly by Clubs and very well attended. With the chance to obtain titles for the best racers. The UK seems to be behind in this and the sport has not yet really taken off. May be because of all the poor press that has surrounded the ban on hunting in the UK its perceived that any form of encouragement of a dog to show off its natural ability is in bad taste. I’m sure this is a sport ‘in the waiting’. With other activities being promoted via the Kennel Club - Obedience, Agility, Fly ball, Gun Dog trails, Working trials and now Doggy Dancing. Some good publicity or the support of the KC would open up Lure Coursing opportunities. The sport of training a dog to chase a rag dates back in the UK to 1900’s with miners in Yorkshire. So it was then a working mans sport with hair coursing being more of a gentleman's sport. The Cirneco does make for a very enthusiastic racer but may be not the fastest in the field. They would be more suited to smaller course lengths with turns enabling the ability and accuracy to shine as apposed to just speed. I suppose a ‘race car compared with a 4X4’. At meetings dogs of the same breed compete against each other for points gained from speed, ability, accuracy and determination. This then calculates to a score, a hound that cuts the course will loose points even if it finishes in front. This then sorts out the Best of Breed. An award is also given to the Best in Field from all racers. A good sport for all. When a dog chases a lure because it wants too, not being told what to do or held on a lead to stay in place. Its a joy for both you and your Cirnechi.