Fun Activities for Greyhounds in February

 

There are going to be both oval and straight racing meets in this area in February.

 

Oval Racing

 

The oval meet is February 4th and 5th in the Denton area on FM 428 part way between Denton and Aubrey at the Diamond T Ranch (directions will be provided).  Oval racing is run on grass.  The oval races are 300 – 400 yards long, with 4 dogs maximum at one time running together.  All dogs must start from boxes and wear muzzles. 

 

Straight Racing

 

The straight racing meet is February 25th and 26th at the Meyer’s Event Center (old Collin County Youth Park) site in McKinney (directions will be provided).  Straight racing is run on grass.  The straight races are 200 yards straight.  The dogs also break from boxes, must wear muzzles and run a maximum of 4 dogs in each race.  

 

You do not need racing blankets as Deann has a spare set.  All they need are muzzles, two leashes and a friend.  The friend and two leashes are so that one person can take the dog to the starting box and load them in and the other person can catch the dog at the finish line.  For collars, they recommend a normal buckle collar with no tags on it.  You can  buy cheap nylon or neon plastic hunting collars and write your name and cell phone number on it with a black magic marker so that if the dog were to get loose, he has ID on his collar.  They don’t wear normal greyhound martingale collars for fear the hanging down metal loop could get caught on something.  

  

These are both amateur race groups who run the dogs purely for the enjoyment of the dogs.  There is no money involved and no professional racers will be there.  Before the races each day they will run practice runs for those who have never done it so that the dogs can practice coming out of the boxes.  Obviously for off-the-track dogs, this is a no-brainer.  But even for those who have never been boxed, once or twice usually makes them comfortable.  They chase a “bunny” that looks like a stuffed Daniel Boone coon skin cap with a very noisy squeaker toy in it that squeaks and squeals with every bump as it goes down the field.  The dogs usually go insane for that noise.  Hence, when the box opens and the squawker starts going down the field making all of that noise and swishing its big fuzzy tail, there is no problem getting the dogs to come out of the boxes and go after it. 

 

Each day is a separate racing day.  The Greyhound is the only breed that usually only races one day -- either Saturday or Sunday but not both days.  Why?  They run so hard that their muscles get sore.  No other breed, except whippets, who have their own racing clubs and events, runs as hard as a Greyhound.  So the Greyhound folks usually get together and decide which day they would all like to come.  It appears that so far the majority of seasoned greyhounds are going to be there on Sunday, February 26th. 

 

In amateur racing, to compete, a dog must be registered either with the AKC or NGA.  If your dog is not registered with either now, that can be done through the AKC site.  AKC has a new category of registration called PAL registration.  Any purebred dog can apply for a PAL registration, even if you have no clue where they came from.   Any tattooed greyhound is registered with the NGA, and all that they need is the tattoo numbers and their racing name to compete in either straight (Large Gazehound Racing Assoc., LGRA) or oval (National Oval Track Racing Assoc., NOTRA) racing.  If they are not tattooed, then they will need to get on www.AKC.org and register for a PAL (purebred alternative listing) number. 

 

Please contact Deann Haggard at DeannHaggard@msn.com or 214-914-0191 if you are interested in participating in either of these events with your Greyhound or coming to watch the fun.

 

More information will be provided (day, time, location, etc.) closer to the event.  Bring your Greyhound out to play (whether you want your Greyhound to run or not) and be prepared for an exciting day.