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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Momentous decisions ahead for hound trailing

THE Hound Trailing Association could be on the verge of some momentous decisions this winter as the sport faces up to the challenge of the 21st century.

Last Sunday the executive committee held a lively, and at times animated meeting, to look at the way forward for the sport.

The main points of the discussion covered a variety of subjects, all of which should figure at the various Area annual meetings coming up after the season is over.

The main points covered were:
1. Do we have too many Areas to cater for the smaller number of hounds?
2. Should we have fixture meetings to ensure that fixtures are spread evenly across the Areas and to avoid clashes?
3. Is there too much trailing on Sundays? Should they be stopped or do we treat them as we do a Saturday?
4. Lack of officials at trails, i.e. shortage of scouts and the importance of guarded crossings.
5. Big trails, they are not being supported by the Membership, have we got it wrong? Should we look at the way in which we organise them?
6. All to pay, entries free, at all trails. What are your views? This is a crucial issue.
7. The abuse of “all in” trails. Too many fit and healthy dogs running against the lame ones.

Ian Beck was elected HTA chairman last February and said he would take his time in assessing the general hea-lth of the sport before making any substantial deliverances on how he feels.

But this week he told me: “These are very important issues, and the views of the whole membership are vital.

“I would ask all members to attend their Area AGM’s in order to give these points a full and frank discussion. The sport needs to look forward, not back.

“This year the views and proposals raised at your Area AGM’s, the December Keswick meeting, and indeed next January’s AGM, are going to be vital as to which way we go.”

Our week’s review starts at Boonwood last Wednesday where the reigning champion Westgate Kyza saw off the opposition quite comfortably, coming in 20 lengths ahead of the second hound Levi.

The puppy trail saw Dairy Diamond continue her push for the title, winning by 10 yards from Quiet Swallow.

It was tighter in the open maidens where Temptation beat Celtic Warrior by two lengths after a good battle.

At Grasmere on Thursday Huntsman’s Dazzler beat Westgate Ruby in the senior trail by five yards, and these two were well clear of the rest.

In the pups Jenny’s Dream led down the fell, but nearly all of the 12 runners had a chance, as they came over the last wall in a bunch.

Then on the tricky finish it was Jenny’s Dream who did best, beating Tranquillity by three yards, with the others close behind.

The first three in the open maidens were only sorted out after lengthy deliberations with the camera, as a result of which Lingbeck Shadow, originally judged second, was promoted to first at the expense of Howgill Anna, with Jordan’s Miracle only a whisker behind in third.

At Scawthwaite Close the senior trail was easily won by Quiet Pearl who had 50 yards on her nearest challenger Show Girl.

There was a good finish to the pups between the two kennel-mates but Shiraz just got the better of Chardonnay close to the line to win by a length.

There was another good finish in the open non-winners with Bowderdale Billy beating Birkby Tan by a length.

Silent Star came from fourth place in the open restricted to beat Top Man by two lengths with Glen Mist and Mambo close up.

The first two trails at Eskdale Show on Saturday were in complete contrast to the third. Westgate Ruby beat Misty by a distance in the senior trail while Huntsman’s Echo had a similar winning margin over Matador in the pups.

But the open maidens was a bit different with judge Tommy Newall describing it as the closest finish he has seen for many along time.

In the camera a length covered the first five home and it was finally Bushie who got the verdict ahead of Roulette, Temptation, Shady Lady and Dempsey.

The open restricted trail saw The Real Bandit lead in but there was a late challenge from Langdale Smiler who was only a length down at the tape.

The other meeting on Saturday was at Redmain where the champion Westgate Kyza had to settle for third as Darling came through in the closing stages to beat Alliance.

Dairy Diamond had also shown third in the lonning about five minutes from the finish but came through to grab another win in her bid to steal the puppy title.

The open restricted trail went to Busy Time who beat Sara’s Gift and Escala with Mambo back in fourth.

The first run of the end-of-season series at Cunswick Fell took place on Sunday and it was local hound Show Girl who won for Penny and Kevin Swanton by a good 100 yards from litter mates Negress and Habana.

The puppy trail proved to be a challenge for the 13 runners who took part. The pups were seen to scale outside although it ended in a blanket finish.

Patrick and Jane Laidler’s consistent bitch Mabel put on a spurt at the end and narrowly took the win from Dizzee Rascal and Sunshine.

The maidens was an open contest. Debbie O’Brien ventured south with Blueprint, who came over the top of the scar with a big lead, and was still in front through the gate, but he gave up on the finish and had to settle for fourth.
Patrick and Jane Laidler’s Sally Watts closed fast on the long time leader and gave them the double on the day, beating Jordan’s Miracle and Eden River.

The open restricted proved successful for John and Brian Graham’s veteran Outrageous who won by a considerable distance from Claymore and Calzaghe.

At Keswick Old Golf Course on Monday the in-form Westgate Ruby had a comfortable win in the seniors from Gentle Lady.

That was Ruby’s 15th win of the season and she could yet pose a threat to the table leaders.

The pups produced a very exciting finish and it was Jenny’s Dream who was just a neck in front of Mika at the line to record her 10th success.

At the end of the puppy maidens four had a chance on the finish, but it was Nutmeg who did enough to win for the Loan family, with The Legal Beagle just a few lengths back in second, followed by Quicksilver and Quiet Swift.

In the open restricted trail Langdale Smiler beat Dempsey by three lengths.

Monday’s other meeting was at St. Helena where No Chance came with the lead in the senior trail but it was Top Man who lived up to his name by coming through well to win by two lengths.

In the puppy trail Shiraz looked to be in charge and at the line had four lengths to spare over nearest challenger Jet Rose.

The open non-winners race went to Meregill who bat Foxparke Traveller by five lengths with Foxparke Lady Amanda back in third.

Sandale had Tuesday to itself and two of the title chasers were able to make significant moves.

Show Girl beat Mayfair by five lengths in the senior trail while Dairy Diamond had a similar winning margin over Dizzee Rascal.

In the open restricted trail Pursuit beat Blueprint by a length with Shady Lady in third.

On Sunday, October 11 the trails at Askam are to be run to raise monies for a young member of the HTA who has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Thirteen-year-old John Lyon from Lindale, who owns Cotton Eye Joe with his mum, sister and brother. was diagnosed last week.

On Sunday, members on Westmorland Area dug deep and raised over £100 for him, so it would be nice to raise a little more to help the family during the coming months ahead. Any raffle prizes, donations etc would be greatly appreciated.

Finally there’s a special request for Ulverston Area presentation evening trophies to be returned by mid October, and they should be labelled on the bases. 

Latest results in the Border Association have been as follows:

Thursday, September 24 – Cumrew

Seniors: 1, Trust; 2, Castle Corrie; 3, Spring Midget; 4, Major; 5, Jackpot; 6, Fire Dream. 7 ran, time 24:20.
Senior Graded: 1, Mr Ed; 2, Eagle Gill; 3, Lakeland Mist; 4, Class Act; 5, Spring Raider. 5 ran, time 24:54.
Pups: 1, Tune; 2, Jacko; 3, Spring Dream; 4, Amber Gem; 5, Prancer; 6, Bantry Bay. 9 ran, time 16:59.
Open Restricted: 1, Gold Finger; 2, Delta Dancer; 3, Puzzle; 4, Castle Brae; 5, Fire Cracker. 5 ran, time 17:01.

Sunday, September 27 – Sorbie’s Farm

Seniors: 1, Marshman; 2, Templer; 3, Sparkling Pearl; 4, Mr Ed; 5, Castle Corrie; 6, Delta Dancer. 11 ran, time 27:13.
Senior Graded: 1, On-Line; 2, Eagle Gill; 3, Lakeland Mist; 4, Fire Dream; 5, Denton Memory; 6, Denton Friendship. 15 ran, time 27:23.
Pups: 1, Storm; 2, Tune; 3, Bantry Bay. only three finished 7 ran, time 15:55.
Puppy Graded: 1, Denton Princess; 2, Fire Cracker; 3, Amber Gem; 4, Spring Gale; 5, Brooksey. Only five finished 6 ran, time 15:53.

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