If your dog loves FastCAT, these events will take them to the next level! In these sports dogs run in programs of up to four dogs of their own breed and placements are based on the order they cross the finish line.
Points are awarded after each race depending on the dog’s placement in the race. The sum-total of the points earned by each dog at the conclusion of the meet determines its final placing in the meet. Champions and non-champions compete together, but points ‘roll down’ so that non-champions are credited for the number of dogs they defeat.
Straight and oval track racing are structured similarly, differing by course length and design.
STRAIGHT (SPRINT) TRACK RACING
The Large Gazehound Racing Association (LGRA) sponsors straight racing for large sighthounds. Similar to straight racing done by whippets, hounds run 200 yards on a straight, flat track in competition with their own breed.
There are three programs with heats made up of a maximum of four dogs. All dogs run with properly fitted muzzles and race blankets. Winners earn points towards the Gazehound Racing Champion (GRC) title. While working towards this title, the hound also earns points towards the Superior Gazehound Racing Champion (SGRC) title.
OVAL TRACK RACING
The National Oval Track Racing Association (NOTRA) sponsors competitive oval racing. Modelled on the success of whippet racing, the organization established a program for ‘Other Breeds’ in which accepted sighthound breeds run three programs versus the four programs run by whippets. Hounds run 300 yards on an oval, flat track in competition with their own breed. The inside of the oval is fenced to discourage cutting!
There are three programs with heats made up of a maximum of four dogs. All dogs run with properly fitted muzzles and race blankets. Winners earn points towards the Oval Racing Championship (ORC) title. While working towards this title, the hound also earns points towards the National Oval Race Champion (NORC) title.
The best way to get started is to attend a race meet! Most clubs will hold practice runs between programs to introduce new dogs to the sport. Check out the organization’s race calendar for an upcoming event in your area.
Dogs must be one year or older to compete. You will need to certify your dog as running cleanly with another dog prior to entering your first event – this can be done at any race meet in coordination with the Race Secretary. Note that dogs are released from racing boxes or hand-slipped, depending on the club and equipment available, so you will want to spend sufficient time in box training your dog in advance of your first trial if boxes are used. The method of starting will be stated in the race premium.
At least two weeks prior to first entry you will need to register each dog with LGRA or NOTRA to be included in their database. Registration is accomplished by sending a copy of the individual registration papers with a fee to LGRA or NOTRA. You may also register on the day of the meet by submitting the above requirements to the meet Race Secretary. Registration is for the life of the dog.
LGRA was launched in 1995 and the first Ridgeback to earn a GRC was 'Jomie' in 1996. Ridgebacks gained provisional status in NOTRA in 1997 and full status in 1998 ('Jomie' also earned the first ORC and SORC). Both organizations publish Top 10 statistics each year.