The race cars of the canine world, reaching speeds of 75 kilometres within just three strides, are taking to the track.
Lavington hosts the first trial of the season in B.C. for sighthounds May 5 and 6. Greyhounds, whippets, Afghan hounds, borzoi, Irish wolfhounds and Scottish deerhounds are among the speedy breeds anticipated for the season opener.
“For some of the dogs, it’s an absolute passion,” said event organizer Verena von Eichborn, as many of these breeds were originally bred for hunting, so these races give them the opportunity to chase an imitation prey.
“It’s an outlet for their nature.”
The races take place at approximately 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days and there will be a puppy run at noon. There will also be a show Saturday after the trial for the successful competitors.
The dogs are judged not only on their speed, but their enthusiasm, follow, agility and endurance.
“There’s champion titles to be won if you have a certain amount of points,” said von Eichborn.
The public is welcome, and encouraged, to come check out the events and witness the grace and speed of the dogs.
“It’s a very relaxed event, only the dogs are fast,” said von Eichborn, adding that well-behaved dogs on a leash are also welcome.
“They’re incredible to watch.”
Sighthounds and owners from as far as Edmonton and the Lower Mainland attend the event, as well as the fall trials in Lavington.
To get to the races from Vernon: turn right on Park Lane (off Highway 6), left on to Learmouth Road, turn left on Reid Road uphill on to Bluenose Road and just after Whitevale Road turns to the left, turn right on to Langford Road (a gravel road) and proceed 200 meters to the field entrance on the right.
Anyone interested in registering their sighthound (the closing date for entries is Monday) or for more information, contact Verena von Eichborn at 250-260-3109.