History of greyhound racing
In the summer of 2009, Usain Bolt broke the 100 m world record of 9.58 seconds at a maximum speed close to 50kmph. From the point of view of greyhounds, there is no particular reason to be proud of this achievement. Instead of world records, these dogs prefer to pursue artificial bait and can even reach a speed of 72 kilometers per hour! More surprising is that a dream of these excellent athletes is sleep, napping and idleness. Greyhounds have lived side by side with people since ancient times. They were comrades of some of the greatest rulers who walked the earth, such as Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror, Elizabeth I or James I. In their history, the greyhounds played various roles from court animals and symbols of nobility to dogs and hunters. Nowadays they are pets and professional sprinters.
History of the appearance of the Greyhounds
The history of breeding and use of the Greyhound breed begins with the inhabitants of Eastern Europe: approximately in the V – IV century BC, they developed a kind of progenitor of the classical Greyhound, the Vertragus breed, that is, also the greyhound, which they began to use for hunting. By the way, the word “greyhound” has never been translated as “gray dog”, as you can first think, more precisely, it has nothing to do with gray. This term came to England from another language, was adapted over time, but was originally translated as “just dog” (there is, however, a version with the translation “dog-grasshopper”, but we like it much less).
It is not known when the British English Greyhounds first appeared in Britain, but we can say for sure that the Romans brought their ancestors there. In the 5th century, they were already kept in court, and in the 10th century even peasants used to hunt everywhere. The greyhound’s advantage as a hunter lies in the fact that such a dog can not only sniff out the beast and serve as a gunner (like many other breeds), but also independently drive many forest animals – even a hare, which is really rare for runners. In addition, the Greyhounds are extremely hardy – it helps them to follow the mounted expedition a few hours before the hunting ground and in the process of directly searching for game. But nevertheless their main horse is lightning-fast runs for short distances.
The turning point in the history of the Greyhounds is 1014, when the authorities of England adopted the “Law on Forests”. According to him, the peasants, as well as representatives of other underprivileged classes, could no longer carelessly hunt in the forests and, moreover, keep the greyhounds as the ideal tool for this occupation. Since then, the Greyhounds have become not only the privilege of the nobility, but also associatively rich families.
The next important (and perhaps the most important) moment in the history of the Greyhound as a breed occurred in the 16th century — then the great English breed quickly degenerated due to closely related mating. At this moment, in order to save the situation, Lord Orford crossed the Greyhound with a bulldog – so after several generations a modern Greyhound was bred, dry, powerful and smooth-haired.
After Lord Orford finished his experiments on breeding Usain Bolt among dogs, it took just a few years, and in England there was another fun associated with the Greyhounds, the dog derby. The first such race was held in 1776 – it was then that the dogs were first publicly deceived and forced to run for an artificial hare. It was immediately clear that this entertainment was destined to become part of popular culture – in the twentieth century, races became wildly popular throughout Europe, in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. It is also worth saying that now not only the Greyhounds are used as runners (although they are considered to be the fastest) – greyhounds, Afghans and even wolfhounds are used.
The rules of dog races are very simple – at a special stadium, like a racetrack, they prepare the floor, put a large mechanical paddock across the tracks, and at the command, the doors open, and crazy-looking dogs break out at tremendous speed in pursuit of a hare. There is not much point in telling a lot about this – it’s much more interesting to see such runs at least once in your life.
Explanation and decoding of classes of races in dog races
– greyhound a-class race – a classic class of races in dog races on Betfair on the tracks of Great Britain. This class is characterized by a long distance from 380 to 520 meters. A Class of races is divided into three groups – Top Class (top class, abbreviated from A1 to A3 – the strongest dogs, running at an average speed of 38 mph); Middle Class (middle class, denoted by the abbreviation from A4 to A6 – the average of the characteristics of the dog, the average speed of running 37 miles / h); Low class (low class, abbreviated from A7 to A11 – the weakest in characteristics of the dog, the speed of running an average of 36 miles / h)
– greyhound h-class race – greyhound races for short and medium distances with various obstacles
– greyhound hcp-class race – the same as the H Class, only for long distances
– greyhound d-class race – greyhounds sprint at 200-300 meters long
– IT Class – races between dogs held on different racetracks
– greyhound m-class race, E class, greyhound s-class race – Greyhounds long-distance races, starting at 575 meters and ending with 1080 meters.
– HP Class – greyhounds running with handicap weaker dogs. The handicap in these races is determined by moving the stall for a weaker dog (s) closer to the finish line for a certain distance in meters. This distance in the statistical information is marked with a special letter index – R, with a number indicating the distance in meters. For example, R3 – booth moved 3 meters closer to the finish line.
– OR Class – demonstration races between special dogs kept on a specific track.
– greyhound p-class race – races where only young dogs take part.
– TS (Trainer’s Championship, Championship among Trainers) – the award is received by the best coach depending on the results of his dogs.
– T Class (T Class) – test runs, not represented in the bookmakers, usually between beginners. The letter T is marked with a cipher index indicating the number of dogs in the race.
Separately, we want to mention the so-called B.A.G.S. races. B.A.G.S. (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service) – this is the usual races, but held specifically for bookmakers in the daytime, at least in the evening. In fact, in other words – “demand creates supply”, that is, these races were held as additional due to the growing popularity of dog races and the interest of players putting dogs in bookmaker offices.
Explanation to the abbreviations of the names of the tracks (stadiums) for greyhounds, brief information about the tracks
– BVue – Belle Vue (Manchester, UK). This track is known primarily for the fact that it was the first greyhounds running in the UK, back in 1926. The total length of the circumference – 395 meters, the distance of the races – from 260 to 878 meters, races are held – on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the number of seats is about 4000.
– Hove – Brighton / Hove (Brighton, UK). The total length along the circumference is 455 meters, the distance of the races is from 285 to 970 meters, races are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday (only in the evening), Sunday (only in the morning), the number of seats is about 2200
– Crayfd – Crayford (Crayford, London). The total length along the circumference is 334 meters; the distance of the races is from 380 to 1048 meters, the races are held on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the number of seats is about 4000
– Coventry (Coventry, UK). The total length along the circumference is 400 meters, the distance of the races is from 280 to 1080 meters, the races are held on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (except for the first Saturday of the month), the number of seats is about 4500
– HGrn – HallGreen (Birmingham, UK). The total length of the circumference – 412 meters, the distance of the races – from 258 to 898 meters, races are held – on Tuesday, Friday, the number of seats is about 3000
– Kinsley (Kinsley, UK). The total length of the circumference – 385 meters, the distance of the races – from 270 to 850 meters, races are held – on Friday, Saturday (only in the evening), Sunday (morning only), the number of seats – about 3000
– Monm – Monmore (Wolverhampton, UK). The total length along the circumference is 419 meters, the distance of the races is from 264 to 835 meters, races are held on Monday, Thursday, Friday (only B.A.G.S. races), Saturday (only in the evening), the number of seats is about 1370
– Newc – Newcastle (Newcastle, UK). The total length along the circumference is 415 meters, the distance of the races is from 290 to 895 meters, races are held on Tuesday, Wednesday (BAGS races), Thursday, Saturday (BAGS races), the number of seats is about 1300
– Nott – Nottingham (Nottingham, UK). The total length of the circumference – 437 meters, the distance of the races – from 305 to 925 meters, races are held – on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats – about 1500
– Oxford (Oxford, UK). The total length along the circumference is 395 meters, the distance of the races is from 250 to 1040 meters, the races are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (only B.A.G.S. races), the number of seats is about 1500
– PBarr – Perry Bar (Birmingham, UK). The total length along the circumference is 435 meters, the distance of the races is from 275 to 895 meters, the races are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the number of seats is about 1500
– Poole (Poole, UK). The total length along the circumference is 400 meters, the distance of the races is from 250 to 840 meters, the races are held on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats is about 2500
– Romfd – Romford (Romford, UK). The total length along the circumference is 350 meters, the distance of the races is from 225 to 925 meters, the races are held on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats is about 4300
– Sheff – Sheffield (Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield, United Kingdom). The total length along the circumference is 434 meters, the distance of the races is from 280 to 934 meters, races are held on Monday (also B.A.G.S. races), Tuesday (also B.A.G.S. races), Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats is about 4000
– Sittb – Sittingbourne (Sittingbourne, UK). The total length of the circumference – 443 meters, the distance of the races – from 265 to 708 meters (with obstacles – more than 480 meters), the races are held only in summer – on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the number of seats – about 4750
– Sund – Sunderland (Sunderland, UK). The total length of the circumference – 378 meters, the distance of the races – from 261 to 828 meters, races are held – on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats – about 1500
– Swindon (Swindon, UK). The total length of the circumference – 450 meters, the distance of the races – from 260 to 685 meters, races are held – on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats – about 2000
– Wdon – Wimbledon (Wimbledon, UK). The total length of the circumference – 412 meters, the distance of the races – from 256 to 872 meters, races are held – on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, the number of seats is about 6000
– Yarmouth (Yarmouth, UK). The total length of the circumference – 382 meters, the distance of the races – from 277 to 843 meters, races are held – on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, the number of seats – about 5800.
The idea of dog racing is not intricate. On a track, 6 hounds rush at a tremendous speed and the winner is the one who first crosses the finish line. Next on the sloping, the next dog takes the second place, the other third and so on up to the 6th place. Prizes are considered only the first three places. Each position on the starting line is called “Trap”, i.e. boxing from which the dog will start. Moreover, the ladder 1 is located closest to the inner edge and the ladder 6 is just the opposite. The numbers of the tracks or traps are also indicated by the colors: Trap 1 (red) or “Red”, Trap 2 (blue) or “Blue”, Trap 3 (white) or White, Trap 4 (black) or “Black”, Trap 5 ( orange) or „Orange“ und Trap 6 (black and white) or „Striped“. The choice of the ladder for the hound is carried out depending on its preferences of running. Hounds prefer to run in 3 ways:
- Run closer to the inner edge of the track
- Run well in the middle of the track
- Run after the hare closer to the outer edge of the track
If a greyhound, which prefers to run closer to the inner edge, starts from box 6 (the outermost box), then it can cause inconvenience for dogs that start from other, closer boxes, as it will cross their path, trying to move to the right inner board. It can also be the opposite case when a greyhound, accustomed to running closer to the outer edge, starts from box 1 (outermost inner boxing) and this again can complicate the running of other dogs, as the greyhound will tend to get closer to the outer edge. Therefore, the greyhounds are trying to distribute the ladders in accordance with their preference to run. So for the category one race, 1 and 2 Trap will work. The same is for category three race and 4, and for the third, 5 and 6. The races are held at different distances, as well as with varying degrees of difficulty. For example, if the line says 11:03 Swindow 480 A8 – this means:
- 11:03 – Runtime (time is indicated in London);
- Swindow – Track where the race is held;
- 480 – Distance in meters;
- A – run category (for example, category two race and others);
- 8 – The figure indicates the level of preparation of the hounds.
What dogs are involved?
Dog races of any type allow representatives of the same breed to participate. The greyhound should have a pure pedigree and pass a qualified selection of professional canine. There is an official list of dogs that can take part in races. The English Greyhound ranks first in terms of speed, while the whips and Russian greyhounds are famous for their agility and assertiveness. In the competition can also participate lauret, Pharaoh dogs, bassenji, saluki, Irish wolfhounds, Rhodesian ridgebacks. Runners are divided into age categories:
- juniors – in small breeds this is age from 9 to 15 months, in large ones – from 9 to 18;
- sandard – representatives of small and medium breeds belong to this category at the age from 15 months to 8 years, large – from 9 months to 8 years;
- veterans – regardless of the type and size, these are animals from 8 to 10 years.
To participate in the championship except pedigree, you must have a licensed permit of the current year and a passport with an indication of vaccinations. A balanced diet, a qualified trainer and an effective strategy for regular training are mandatory factors that will turn a small puppy into a powerful athlete. At least once to go on a dog race is necessary. The experience is so unusual that it will capture even the most sullen pessimists, and many will be amazed at their own unpredictability and will turn into gambling fans in minutes. Judging by myself – and screaming, and waving her arms, and jumping up from a chair. A trip to a film theater in a small town in east London, Crayford, was an impressive event for me.
Movie film looks like a small football stadium. A sandy track runs around the green square, along which greyhounds rush for a mechanical hare. Not far from the finish line are bookmakers. Please place your bets, ladies and gentlemen – everyone can afford it, starting at 50 pence. And if you decide to spend the evening in a restaurant, where you can see everything that happens on the track, bookmakers will do.
The English Greyhound, the Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, reaches a speed of up to 72 km / h, and on a throw up to 90 km / h (the result is listed in the Guinness Book of Records). Its homeland, of course, is England, although the origins of origin should be sought back in Ancient Egypt. Greyhounds were brought to the British Isles by the Celts in the year 500 AD. And in 1014 a decree of Parliament was issued, according to which only nobles were allowed to keep the hounds.
At first, everything seems complicated, but very soon you begin to think about what is needed, the necessary information is at hand: information about dogs, their previous wins and losses, trainers, the percentage of victories of their wards and so on and so on. True, it is necessary to think quickly: there are 12 runs in the program of the evening, 15 minutes break between them, and you also have time to eat and drink. Well, if the company will be someone at least a little familiar with the races, or at least, a decent knowledge of English. Not long bothering, some of my friends just began to put on a dog with your favorite name. And their names are really fancy. Regulars, of course, know everything, which, incidentally, does not always help them either.
They say today it is not the business that it was thirty years ago. In those years, the people poured on races in droves and this despite the fact that the runs at the large film theaters were held 6 times a week. People came only to make bets; they stood in the wind, in the rain and waited in the wings. They were called “the poor and greedy.” The stakes are still being made today, but now it’s more social entertainment — people meet with friends, chat and drink. Running is no longer a profitable business, as in the old days. It did not help that the government removed the tax on bookmakers. People don’t have to come to the stadium right now to make bets. It is easier for them to run to the nearest office, you can even do it by phone and on the Internet. It is very much supported by the fact that some television channels broadcast live from the races, film shows receive a certain fee for this. The organizers try to stay afloat by organizing various events where people could just spend a good evening with family and friends. It is not by chance that there are only three movie theaters in Greater London (Crayford, Romford and Wimbledon). A few years ago, the most famous London film theater – Walthamstow Stadium closed.
About 9000 Greyhounds, 4-6 years old, retire every year, and this is where the problems begin. Some manage to arrange a dog shelters, many “adopt” – take in the family, but a lot of them still have to put to sleep. A special charitable organization “The Retired Greyhound Trust” was organized, which is doing a tremendous job of saving the Greyhounds who have served their excellent mission.
An interesting history is dedicated to the appearance of dog racing. In the old days it was a real hunt for a real wild hare. In 1776, the famous English eccentric, Lord Orford, introduced the hare hunting (hare coursing) as a spectacle and competition in the open space. Since 1836, the Waterloo Cup has become the most prestigious competition. The popularity of the sport grew rapidly – up to 100,000 spectators gathered regularly. They say that even the Parliament did not sit on the days of the competition, and from London specifically for those who like to watch the hunt sent up to an additional 30 trains. Almost from the very beginning, the “Industry” was headed by The National Coursing Club, and he also controlled strict observance of the rules during the hunt: the hare was given a head start of 100 meters, while he already had to gain good speed and run in a straight line, only after that : “Tally Ho!”. The hare is impetuous, he has extraordinary endurance, he has good peripheral vision, which helps him to make instant turns and throws, escaping from danger. Greyhound some of the fastest sprinters on earth, but inferior to the hare in endurance. When judging, the speed of the greyhounds, agility and agility during the rut, the ability to take and kill a hare were taken into account.
Ironically, it was the monstrous popularity of this sporting hunt that marked the beginning of its end: when the mechanical hare was invented, more precisely, in 1926 they brought it from Alabama, the dog competitions from huge open territories were transferred to stadiums. After a few years, cine-run runs completely surpassed the popularity of the free rabbit hunt. And in February of 2008, loyal fans of royal sports, which are still quite a few, gathered at the saddest Waterloo Cup: another piece of old England died together with the last killed hare – hunting for a free hare was prohibited by an act of Parliament. In the memory of some, it will remain the most beautiful ancient sport, in the memory of others – barbaric and not civilized.
Rates on dogging run
Dog races have long been the object of stakes in bookmakers. A lot of races are held indoors and outdoors. When these competitions have just appeared, they gathered a lot of fans in the stands. In those days, the hare that they were trying to catch was released as bait. The winner was the dog that crosses the line first. A little later began to put greyhounds. As a stimulus for the participants, they began to use the mechanical analogue of the hare, which externally was very similar to the original. For this reason, dogs with the same desire sought to overtake a moving object. Before the start of the competition, quadrupeds are kept in special boxes. As soon as the judge makes a go-ahead, the door opens and the exciting race begins. Dog competitions organized on specialized sites. The track is covered with grass or soil, can be straight or ellipsoidal shape. The length of the territory for the run ranges from 300 to 1000 m.
6 hounds participate in the race; the winner is the first animal that has reached the finish line. Competitions on the track in the arena are called racing, when artificial bait describes a territory radius on a special rail. Another type of competition looks more like hunting conditions – this is a course. Such a race takes place in a field with a live or artificial hare. The winner is the animal that first hits the bait. The founders of each competition make an official list of regulations, which includes the following characteristics:
- place, time, run schedule, the names of the organizers;
- information about the film range (size, type of coverage);
- the amount of the initial payment and the prize fund;
- the conditions of the competition and the draw;
- prizes and winners awarding conditions.
Competitions are held at temperatures from -10 to + 25˚С, and are not possible in rainy or snowy weather. The decision of the judges is final and cannot be challenged. For violation of the rules by the owner of the dog, the animal may be disqualified.