At the side of the field

Summer is almost gone and only one of our dogs has run during this time. First the winter was at the extreme cold, preventing us from even the normal walkies. Then came the spring with sudden heat wave, which was continued for the best of the summer. In between freezing cold and simmering heat our ‘old lady’ had her season, disrupting the promising start. And finally, when our youngest took her first trial in the lure-coursing, her season started at the site!

Despite of having no luck in having my own dogs running, I have been in several lure-coursing events, working. Doing this and that from the office work to designing the track. I have also been running the weekly lure-coursing training in the club I belong, so I’ve seen quite a few dogs run.

At one point or another the question arises, why do I find myself at the side of the lure-coursing field time and again, even without my own dogs?

I have found several reasons, actually.

  1. Like every good hobby, you start to yearn for more as you learn more. After seeing how our male performed on his first two seasons, I wanted to see how it looks like when the dogs run. How the judges see it, how the pulling machine operator sees it and how the view differs. Then I was doing things in the field, working in the start, checking dogs gear and working in the office. Now I have started my price judges training, part of which was the track master training a couple of weeks ago.
  2. The people involved in the arranging the events are like-minded. This means that it’s easy to co-operate with them, as all have the same aim: to create an event in which the dogs and their owners enjoy being.
  3. The dog owners, especially the newcomers to whom everything is uncertain. “This dog is first time lure-coursing, so he may not run the full track” is the most common phrase I’ve heard this summer in the club training sessions. Guess what? Every newcomer has run the whole training track, with enthusiasm I hope remains when they come to official lure-coursing event!
  4. Last but not least. One excellent performance of a dog or a pair in which the dogs fly after the lure like well oiled machines, only one thing in their mind, to catch the lure and kill the prey. There is next to nothing to compare with that sight, and its only once or twice in a lure-coursing event that you see such a performance.

As a novice (who has had some luck in the beginning, admitted) all I can say that if you haven’t participated in a lure-coursing event as one of the people arranging it, you have missed a great big part of the thrill. When you see the dogs run from the judges point of view for the first time, you will not see how the judges can separate the dogs from each other, but the later views will open your eyes to the finesses the judges have to deal with.

The mastery of any hobby lies in the details and will to know more.  It is the same in lure-coursing.

And that’s why I enjoy my time at the side of the field, making the events possible for others.


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