2016 AKC National Lure Coursing Championship
Sonic and I made the LONG journey to Reidsville, North Carolina over the Thanksgiving weekend for the 2016 AKC National Lure Coursing Championship. Sonic had a great time running at the 2015 NLCC in Oklahoma, but with a full year of competition under his belt he has morphed from a happy young dog brimming with potential into a serious running hound fully capable of going head to head with the top dogs in the country.
On Saturday he handily won the Specials Stake and went on to win Best of Breed in a thrilling runoff with two coursing-bred hounds owned by Karen Lorenzo. The course plan on Saturday was perfect for showcasing speed, endurance and follow, and Sonic looked phenomenal! I chose to let him run off for Best In Field because he LOVED the day's course, and it is always an honor to watch him represent this amazing breed on the field. The BIF runs were spectacular, and it could easily have gone to any of the 6 hounds that ran... but the big win went to SONIC!!!
Sunday's course was full of tight turns and on a challenging hill, and Sonic made a bad judgement call and cut off a big chunk of the course in prelims trying to predict the path of the lure. He placed second in the Specials Stake behind a lovely Dual Champion Russian import bitch owned by Cindy Swanson.
After the Sunday trial concluded, the club reset the field for the National Championship course, which worked out to just under 1400 yards. Sonic earned the right to advance to the NLCC runoffs by winning Best of Breed on Saturday, and he SMOKED the field that afternoon, winning NLCC BOB by the largest margin of any breed, and earning the highest score of any hound for the NLCC runoffs. Unfortunately we ran out of light before we were able to progress to the NLCC Best in Event final runoffs, and the decision was made to have the breed finalists come back on Monday morning to finish during daylight.
Alas, Sonic woke up on Monday just a little off in front after two days of hard running on hilly fields, and we decided that it was not worth asking him to run again that weekend. He was, in true Greyhound fashion, absolutely willing to leave it all on the field, but his safety and future career are worth more than any chance at a title or national ranking. It was an amazing weekend full of spectacular running hounds, gorgeous scenery, friendly people and great local food, and I will look back fondly on the entire experience for years to come!