Monday, April 14, 2014

Pi's First Meet Win!

Photo by Steve Tradewell

Every spring, our little racing club (Racing and Coursing Enthusiasts "RACE") hosts a weekend of all breed sprint racing. This year's spring meet was actually the first time since the Grand Course that Pi and Gil would be competing in any kind of running event. Although Pi came out of the accident unscathed, Gil's right arm had taken a bit of beating, particularly his wrist joint. Over the preceding weeks the inflammation had gone down, along with his lameness, but the joint was left with some permanent and noticeable calcification. I considered leaving him out of the race meet, but considering his age (he's going to be 7 years old in June) and the fact that his most competitive years are pretty much over, and his total lack of pain or tenderness in the joint, I could not justify keeping him from doing what he loves most. I decided that if he came up lame again the worst that could happen would be scratching him from the rest of the meet, and if he stayed sound I would continue to let him run and he would be a very happy puppy.

Gil making a strong finish,
Photo by Steve Tradewell

As it turned out, Gil ran soundly the entire weekend and doesn't seem to have slowed down at all despite being the oldest dog still competing. While his wrist did swell up a tiny bit (barely noticeable), he did not present with any lameness at all so I allowed him to finish both meets on both days. I wrapped his foot and wrist with elastikon tape just to give it a little bit of support, and to cut down on any swelling. I don't know how effective it actually was, but it didn't hurt.

Gil in white, Pi in red, and Gator in blue
Photo by Steve Tradewell

The first day's meet was a match between the three big boys, Gator, Gil, and Baby Pi; and Dude was entered in singles. With Luna possibly in whelp we decided it was best for her to sit this one out (much to her distress). Pi finished second in the first two programs, then went on to finish first in the final program. This secured his spot at the top and earned him his very first High Score in Meet award!

Pi in blue, Gator in white
Photo by Steve Tradwell

Pi pulling ahead for the win!
Photo by Steve Tradewell

Gator came in a close second in the meet, and Gil a close third. Dude ran some very fast singles races, with a best time of 12.58 and an average of 12.78. His times were only bested by the whippets, which is great considering that whippets were made for sprint racing!

Gator, photo by Steve Tradewell

The next day was just Gil and Pi running in the regular stakes, and Dude running in singles. Either Pi was having an off day or Gil had decided that he wasn't going to let his only son beat him a second time, because Gil won the meet with a perfect score and a significant lead in every program. I was extremely pleased, not only that he won against a far younger dog, but that he finished so strongly all weekend despite his recent injury. Dude also had a better day running in the singles stake with a best time of 11.4, only a tenth of a second slower than Hattie's slowest run (and Hattie is one fast Greyhound)!

Gil coming into the finish, and coming down hard on that right wrist with no issue,
Photo by Steve Tradewell

Overall it was a great weekend, and a great start to the 2014 racing season. We look forward to more weekends of racing and lure coursing before we take a break for the summer.

Gil in red, Gator in white
Photo by Steve Tradewell

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