By Tom Koler and Audrey Hsia
The Tacoma Polo Grounds are well-hidden northeast from Olympia. With a little effort we were able to find the grounds and navigate the Great White Whale to a parking area. We got there just before check-in time, and found out that Fecni was in heat. That was the reason for Gator not having a very quiet road trip on Thursday and Friday. This left us with just Luna and Gator, although Fecni had several chances to meet new people and hounds.
The first day of the Western Washington Whippet Association’s Versatility Weekend is the LGRA 200 yard sprint. As usual the brother and sister team were nose to nose at the finish line but Gator in the end squeaked out the win. Several people expressed an interest in the MAs and we had a chance to visit with Ann Chamberlain, who has expressed a lot of interest in our breed. Everyone had kind words for Gator and Luna and both of them brought home plenty of loot for the trophy room.
After a long hot bath and some dinner with Charlotte and Claire we were ready to turn in for the night. Everyone slept soundly and woke up bright and early the next morning for the NOTRA race meet.
The two pups have only had limited experience running the oval but they both ran it like pros. The first race of the day drew loud applause from the onlookers as the two sped by in perfect unison for an even tie, which was confirmed by the club's video camera that they had set up at the finish line. Thankfully for the finish line judges the last two races were much easier to judge, although the two siblings were still running neck and neck for the most part. In the end Gator proved the victor yet again for another point towards his ORC.
To top things off, even Leeroy the longhaired dachshund got to do a fun run. We weren't sure if he was going to make it the entire 300 yards but to everyone’s surprise and delight he finished with a flurry across the finish line! He's now got a whole new fan club up in the PNW :-)
After the oval meet we stuck around for the fun match. This was Gator's debut appearance in the show ring and he did fantastic! For a dog that's had no show training he handled himself beautifully and was given lots of praise by the judge.
Since there's no restrictions on showing bitches in season, Fecni finally got her chance to step out of the van and into the spotlight. To our great delight she ended up winning best female and best of breed! The judge lauded her effortless movement and gave her serious consideration for best in match, but ultimately that award went to the whippet. Nevertheless it was great to have Fecni do so well since she couldn't participate in the running events.
Thanks to Kerie Swepton for helping us getting signed-up and checked-in. Kerie had a heck of a job with a very large entry of whippets along with the large gazehounds.