West Coast Greyhounds had a two-day hunt weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday; the first day was a Greyhound breed hunt and the second day was a mixed. I had entered Hattie in the breed hunt, and brought Pi down for the mixed.
Pi drew the second to last course of the day, a brace, in a day that had 7 prelim courses! With such a large entry I worried that he might not get a chance to run at all should we run out of daylight before finding 7 hares. We arrived at the field shortly after sunrise and walked for about two hours, only managing to get one course off. We decided it would be wisest to move to another field, so we quickly made our way back to the cars and headed out.
The second field proved to be much more productive, but with all the time we had spent working the other field and driving over to the next field, we were running out of time. I had felt a cold coming on a couple of days before, and by this time it was in full bloom -- sinus pressure, sneezing, a headache, the works! After what seemed like forever, it was finally Pi's turn to run. He drew a brace with a handsome, and very amiable Saluki named Tut.
It didn't take long for us to get our rabbit up, which broke to the right from behind a small piece of scrub. Without even thinking, I slipped Pi, ... and then I heard the huntmaster yell "Tally Ho!" I was extremely embarrassed, but in all honesty I'm not sure that a more even slip would have made much of a difference in the outcome of the course. Most of the courses that day were relatively short, because the rabbits had lots of cover to hide in, and the ground undulates quite a bit making it easy for the dogs to go unsighted. As such, most of the courses that day favored the faster breeds. Only the first course in the first field we worked resulted in a long Saluki run. Even so, from what I could see standing in the gallery it didn't look like Pi ever really worked the rabbit, but according to the judge the rabbit turned several times and Pi stayed on it. So even though he lost a point for the pre-slip, the judge was impressed enough by his ability to stay sighted for as long as he did to give him a pretty decent score.
Pi with his 5th Place award medallion
We managed to finish prelims, and with only about an hour and a half of daylight left we decided to call it quits. Once all the scores were entered and ranked, Pi ended up in a three-way tie for fifth place, for a grand total of 1.666666 mixed points. Ha! ;-)