The Grand National

We got truly beautiful weather for Beagle Racing yesterday, and the racing itself was particularly exciting. It started out with an elimination-style event. The dogs raced each other in pairs, with only the winner going through to the next round. When only four dogs remained a final race was held. After that came “The Grand National” – a free-for-all where all dogs ran together with no colored jackets and therefore precious little hope of recording the finishing order!

There was a good turnout overall; some regulars were missing (notably Sam and Milo) but there were some new faces, and the return of Sophie – one of Beanie’s best friends from the park. Once the draws had been made it turned out that Beanie was going straight through to the second round – there was an odd number of Beagles and she got lucky. To even things out though, we put her in an extra race against Kai – a frisky eight month old mixed breed pup who’d come along to support his Beagle chum Honey.


Race organiser Graham gave Kai a head start over Beanie (more to keep them apart than anything else – they seemed very keen to wrestle each other) but Kai didn’t really start running until Beanie was level with him. This was just as well, because once Kai got going he was very fast. Beanie had to run very hard indeed to win, but win she did, much to my relief!

Kai’s Beagle chum Honey is apparently even faster, but this was her race debut and she seemed very unsure about it all. Her dad gave her a very good start…

but after a few steps she lost confidence and stopped.

Undeterred, her owner gently coaxed her down the track and across the line, so she got to finish her first ever race – that’s more than Beanie did on her debut!

Another racing newbie called Freya did spectacularly well though – she won her heat, but sadly had to skip the other rounds as her family had to leave early for a prior engagement.

Freya – a “natural” if there was one!

Beanie’s chum Sophie had a very exciting race against Pebel.

She just lost at the line to the more experienced racer, but she clearly enjoyed herself and it was great to see her romping down the track, full of energy.

In between the official heats one or two of the non-Beagle regulars also had a go on the track.

The close-cut grass must have seemed like an untamed jungle, but little Odie still battled through it like a trouper!

In the second round Beanie was up against Lynn Sanford’s sweet little girl Tammie. Tammie generally only completes a race if she feels like it, and I’m glad to say this on this occasion her mood was favorable…

…but despite her efforts Beanie won the race and was now through to the final.

It was no surprise to see Derby winner Murphy in the final, and going on past results it was highly likely he would beat Beanie. This time however Beanie got a good start while Murphy’s was not quite so clean, and in the closing quarter of the race Beanie was fractionally in the lead.

But like a true champion, Murphy dug deep and managed to edge past Beanie as they crossed the line!

Murphy wins by a (moist, black) nose

Now it was time for the Grand National. Kai was allowed to run with the Beagles, and within the first few yards the lure seemed to stick and he caught it!

This caused a lot confusion for some of the dogs – not least Beanie and Murphy who both took a brief time-out to see what was going on. The lure quickly started up again and the race was back on, but while Murphy pushedhis way back through to the front and went on to win, Beanie never really got back into her stride.

Still she had great fun, and to give her an extra race Susan asked if there was a slow whippet that she could run with. I think that message got garbled, because the little boy she ended up racing against was Toby – one of the fastest, if not the fastest, at the club. Beanie got a sizeable head start but Toby had already passed her at the halfway point:

and after that, well, you can guess the rest!

She loved every second of it though, and was yelping loudly as Toby pulled away from her, just as she does when she’s chasing the fast dogs at her local park.

So Murphy got two more red rosettes for his collection, Beanie got another blue for hers, and when Kai and Honey’s owners next visit the track they’ll get this:

.. a special rosette awarded to Kai for being such a fast and entertaining little boy!

You’ll find more photos from the racing here:

4 Replies to “The Grand National”

  1. Paul Roberts Post author

    >> Great photos from Sunday, could you possibly email me the
    >> ones with Toby please ?

    Absolutely – there are a few I didn’t upload to Flickr so I’ll bundle them up and get them to you tomorrow!

Comments are closed.