Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sighthound Trials / Blogger Meet-up

I took the family (Maggie and B above with puppy friends) to Bush, Louisiana, yesterday for an afternoon of lure coursing, and (as it happened) sunburn---Summer is very nearly here. Our whippet's breeders Debbie and Maurice Bahm of DebMar kennels hosted the event on their own property, recently cleared with help from Hurricane Katrina. Although the Bahms lament the loss of their once-shady, canopied acres, the new open space offers a rare chance to follow their sport without driving across the country.
For others, the eclectic group of lure coursing fanatics who troop from meet to meet, it was just another two-day drive for a few seconds' dash around a grassy track. If that sounds crazy, you probably aren't a lure courser. Like hawkers, these dog folks are a group best understood from the inside.

Following the camp you can expect to find at least two regulars: that lady selling slip leads and other sighthound paraphernalia, and Shot on Site Photography. Dan Gauss and Margaret Fairman provide the running dog world with its own one-stop photo shop, piloting their RV and pack of five hounds around the country to various lure and open-field coursing meets. Theirs is not a lifestyle for everyone, but it has its charms. Dan and Margaret's report of whereabouts prior to yesterday's meet was telling. Dan explained, "We went broke in New Mexico so just hung out there and hunted for a couple months." Now that's living!

Check out Shot On Site's visit with the Bodios here. And here. And some highlights from their hunting season here.
I'll post a few pics (NOT Dan's work, mind you--mine, from a distance, with a point and shoot digital) below from the Bush meet:

Borzoi at the starting line.

A short course: False start but still fun for the dogs!
What the heck's wrong with this thing?
Soon the kinks are worked out and the trials begin. Greyhounds in pursuit.
The judges' tent in center of field; note Dan's little scooter-thing.
Dan and Margaret and companions (4 of the 5)

Some fine long-dogs. Safe travels, y'all!

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