2016 So Cal Cup
Sonic and I made our last trip of the year to southern California for the 4th annual running of the So Cal Cup, an invitational trial where the 3 top scoring hounds from each breed run off for the honor of representing their breed in the final runoff for SoCal Champion. In order to be eligible, a hound must have run in at least 8 of the 14 qualifying trials hosted by the SoCal clubs, and Sonic entered the weekend having run in 6 of the required 8 trials to qualify. He was the second highest scoring Greyhound based on Bowen system points, so he needed to receive qualifying scores in both Friday and Saturday's AKC trials to qualify for the Sunday Invitational trial.
The weather on Friday was miserable, with driving rain and temps in the 40's, and there were many places on the field where the hounds ran through standing water. The footing was not great, and as one of the heaviest, fastest hounds running Sonic struggled to find solid footing through the turns and the judges marked him down accordingly, so he finished 2nd in the Specials stake. Saturday we had clear skies and warmer temps, but the footing on the field was still quite sloppy and I was not happy with Sonic's performance, so I did not allow him to run off for Best of Breed against the Open stake winner.
Sunday was another sunny but extremely windy day, and the cold, damp weather and rough footing took its toll on Sonic - despite being completely sound since coming back from North Carolina, he again had a very slight hitch in his left shoulder after two days of running, so I made the difficult decision to again miss out on the final runoffs. Sonic has put out some amazing performances this year and has proven himself more than worthy as a coursing hound, so while I am bummed that yet again he was not able to compete in the finals, but I am still so proud of him and amazed at how much his performance has improved since the beginning of the year.