Racing Whippet enthusiast Malcolm Clarke,
in his role as UK Sales Manager of Connolly’s Red Mills,
makes a presentation to the Supreme Dog and Bitch
at the 2005 Bend Championships held at Warwick.
The BWRA have launched a website www.thebwra.co.uk giving a comprehensive insight into the world of the racing whippet.
The British Whippet Racing Association was formed at the Golden Lion Hotel, Halifax in 1967 by a group of like-minded enthusiasts whose primary interest within the breed was racing. The principal aim of the association is stated as the promotion of ‘a greater friendship and understanding between racing clubs’ and to that end the BWRA is responsible for the regulation of meetings and racing.
Full details of all planned activities are publicised on the website, together with results, regional contacts, a gallery of notable winners and much more.
Meetings are well organised and well represented with 2 championship meetings being held and a number of national events throughout the year.
Under BWRA regulations runners are handicapped on a yard per pound basis. Each Whippet has to be within 1/4 of a pound of its racing weight otherwise it will gain a penalty of an extra pound, effectively increasing its handicap by one yard.
The handicap system is run between 16lbs to 32lbs. However, there are classes catering for dogs that exceed 32lb, as variations in size and weight are inevitable due to the re-introduction of Greyhound blood from time to time
The late Brian Plummer once stated that the BWRA Racing Whippet is a crossbred. He was, however, considered by devotees to be a long way off the truth as breeders have gone to great lengths to maintain the Whippet type, carefully re-introducing only the Greyhound in the whole of the last 30 years.
Enthusiasts point out that whilst many taking part in racing cannot claim to be candidates for Kennel Club registration their dogs are the product of many generations of dedicated, selective breeding and good breeders keep accurate records of lineage.
Racing breeders have single mindedly bred for speed. By selective breeding from only the very best racing specimens available a strain has evolved that is the fastest in the world over distances of 150 to 200 yards.
A 23lb bitch from the North East, kennel name Peggy Sue, owned by Mrs Sue Smithson can complete the course of 150 yards in 8.58 seconds – a truly exceptional bitch. Most open class dogs can complete the course of 150 yards in well under 9 seconds. Some of the larger dogs have been threatening to break 8 seconds for a number of years but this has not been achieved on a regular basis – yet!
Keep up to speed on this fascinating subject at www.thebwra.co.uk