2017 AKC National Lure Coursing Championship
Sonic and I had a solo road trip to the 2017 NLCC in Limestone, TN at the gorgeous property owned and lovingly prepared for coursing by Eddie and Selma Kominek. The fields were beautiful mown hay, with some wicked terrain that really challenged the agility and endurance of all the hounds. Sonic ran amazingly well on Saturday's difficult and technically demanding course, and won the Field Champion stake by a sizeable margin. The Best of Breed runoff was the most exciting course of the day, but the judges chose to award the Open dog the win.
Sunday's course was much more 'speed' focused, with gently rolling terrain and some great long straightaways to showcase follow and endurance. Sonic pushed the lure ops with his customary mid-course acceleration and his scores, combined with his stakes win on Saturday, placed him as the highest combined scoring Greyhound of the weekend, and gained him invitation to the NLCC Best of Breed runoff, which was nearly 1300 yards and asked the hounds to not only show speed and endurance, but heart as well. Sonic laid it all out on the field and set a blistering pace for his running mates, and for the second year in a row he was awarded a well-deserved NLCC BOB!! His course was absolutely breathtaking, with a mid-course fly-by that brought him within arm's reach of the gallery - truly a sight none of us will forget, hearing the lure machine SCREAM as the Greyhounds rocketed past.
After winning NLCC BOB there was absolutely NO downtime before the NLCC Best in Event runoffs, as we were within 15 minutes of sunset and had to get through 5 courses of BIE finalist runs. Sonic was paired with the Whippet and Cirneco, both of whom benefited from the shorter runup to the first turn - even after six runs Sonic had speed to burn, and had to overshoot the turn to make it safely around. The rest of his course was as breathtaking as the BOB runoff, with his speed, endurance and sheer heart leaving me with my heart in my throat and tears in my eyes. The little Whippet he ran with had a near-perfect run, and while Sonic represented the Greyhound breed in a style that I will not soon forget, the Whippet was awarded the National Field Champion title for 2017.
I am so glad that we made the long trek to Tennessee for the NLCC this year, while Sonic did not win on the same level that he did last year in North Carolina, I consider it even more of a victory that he finished the weekend completely sound, happy, and ready for more even at the end of the most grueling weekend of competition he had ever faced. Sonic is the first Greyhound to win back-to-back NLCC Best of Breed, and I couldn't be prouder of him!!