The history of dog racing began many thousands of years ago, this is evidenced by the numerous drawings found by scientists of Egypt on the pyramids, and the dogs depicted on them are very similar to our breeds of hounds. The modern version of the dog race or Greyhound Derby comes from coursing, that is, from the peculiar field trials of hound breeds of dogs with the use of bait. In the course of the course, the dogs had previously pursued a living goal (fox or rabbit), however, after the intervention of the animal protection society, whose members considered these rules to be cruel, in 1876 the very first mechanical hare was invented.
The first models of mechanical hares moving on a straight track were not entirely successful, as it often happened that at the most responsible moment the lure simply broke, which caused numerous scandals among the fans of this sport and the gamblers who made a bet. At the beginning of the 20th century (1905), the American engineer Owen Smith proposed the idea that the mechanical hare should move in a circle. This means that, according to his idea, the tracks should have the shape of a circle or an oval. None of the influential and wealthy greyhounds endorsed Smith’s idea, denying him financial support, explaining that no dog would follow in a circle, game-like bait. Not desperate, by 1907 Smith collected the necessary sum of money and built a small circle-shaped track near the city of Salt Lake City. The mechanical hare, which was pursued by the hounds, was attached behind a motorcycle that was riding in a circle. The project was successful, but the owners of the hounds agreed to finance only by 1912, then the track was built in the city of Emerville (California). George Sauer, the rich owner of the hounds and the main sponsor of Smith, soon suggested arranging a betting between the spectators during the races on the track in Emerville and did not lose, the success of the event was colossal. Gambling lovers of dog races are so fond of this sport that they often had to ask for time off from work to make it to the stadium. For this purpose, night races have become organized, which have become much more popular than daytime competitions. In 1926, another American, Charles Mann, who borrowed Smith’s idea, introduced it to the British, who liked it so much that the National Association of Hounds was soon established, the first meeting of which was held in Manchester at Belle Vue Stadium. The popularity of dog racing quickly spread to all large and small towns of Great Britain, by the end of 1927 over 40 tracks were successfully operating in the country. The key point, attracting to the dog races a large number of new and new fans, mostly male, was the ability to bet on one of the greyhounds. At the end of the Second World War, this sport became even more popular, for example, in 1946 over 34 million viewers were counted, ready to bet on one of the greyhounds. In the 60s, there was a decline in the popularity of such races, but soon everything got better again.
English Greyhound Derby
One of the most popular entertainment of the United Kingdom is precisely dog racing, many people visit stadiums every day in order not only to cheer on one of the greyhounds, but also to bet on it. In Britain, over 26 specially equipped stadiums are registered, where regular races take place. There are a total of 133 tracks regulated by various organizations in the United Kingdom, of which 117 are in England, 11 in Scotland and 5 in Wales. There are also 256 well-known, but from no one independent tracks, which began to appear in the country since 1926.
Great Britain is the undisputed trendsetter in dog races. The nation can be distracted from the madness at the “dog tote” only by a meeting of the parliament. For decades, the measured course of the life of the British kingdom has been pierced by radio broadcasts from dog competitions. TV broadcasts of races united the English in pubs since 1987. Today, young fans vote online. English dog races – an exciting spectacle. The entourage of the event resembles a medieval knight’s tournament. Ratchets and horns in the spectators in the stands, barking dogs, the presentation of the participants.
Greyhounds are a special category of dogs. To admire the energy, speed of the dog, not enough proper nutrition, good care, walks on the site with relatives. An animal bred as a result of the filigree work of breeders as a hunting weapon requires constant physical exertion. To unlock the rich potential, sleeping in the genes, you need a chase, hunting excitement, real prey. A suitable compensation for the dog can be a bloodless form of hunting – dog racing. Sports competitions are held at the equipped venues – cinemas. A carpeting artificial hare describes the outer radius of the arena along a special rail. The ellipsoid race is called racing. A dog track can be straight and it can have a different length – according to the rules from 300 to 900 m. On the track there is grass or soil cover. Comply with certain requirements for turning corners and the distance between them. The length of the amateur route is 480 m with an inclination of 8 degrees. Professional reaches 1000 m and is inclined at 45 degrees. The rules can be slightly modified – the start can be handicap, barriers are set on the track.
The real conditions of hunting are more consistent with another type of dog racing – kursing. This is a race in the field with artificial, sometimes live bait. To the dog races of any type admit representatives of one breed, having a pedigree, received an equal category in the qualifying race. Participants are evaluated by a number of parameters: speed, maneuverability, enthusiasm, intelligence – the ability to choose the optimal trajectory, the degree of endurance. Each breed has its own recommendations on the training regime and evaluation during the race.
Participants of UK Greyhound Racing
There is an official list of dogs participating in competitions. Among them, the champions in speed – the British landowners, the leaders in maneuverability and fearlessness – the Whippets, the prestigious dog greyhounds. In the list are Irish wolfhounds, Italian greyhounds and saluki. In the competitions run Pharaoh dogs, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bassenji, Sicilian greyhounds Cirneco del Etna. Runners can become Dobermans or Chinese Crested. But they will not be allowed to qualifying competitions. A feasible training, positive emotions in a circle of other dogs, vivid impressions are available for them.
Irish Greyhound Derby
Stadiums for dog races in Ireland are more than a dozen. Horse races are also held, but they are more for the local bourgeoisie, while the run of the hounds of dogs is a more democratic entertainment, which is looked at by lowered alcoholics, and children, and the so-called top of society. Runs are held in the vicinity of Cork. The entrance ticket costs 10 euros. The maximum gain seems to be about 300 euros, if you guess the three winners, but this is the most difficult. Usually win 10-20 euros.
Regulars of races are elderly people of different builds. They thoughtfully study the program, make notes in it and exchange short phrases. Many children aged 6-10 also make bets, carrying coins to the cashier and standing on toes to be taller, and they talk about the merits of a particular dog with non-child maturity. Apparently, they listen to the conversations of the elders and absorb them. They also sell beer and fast food. In general, people are resting.
Scottish Greyhound Derby
On weekends, residents come to see the dog races, which are very popular. Gambling people bet on the winner. Locals hold competitions for throwing logs. The one who throws the log further will be the winner. This is an amazing sports entertainment. According to a special rail, the outer radius of the arena is described by a skirmishing artificial hare. Four hundred eighty meters of “human friends” fly by, barely touching the track, at an average speed of 60 kilometers per hour, for thirty seconds. The beauty of the photo finish is repeated again and again on the scoreboard in the “Rapid” mode. For the sake of this half-minute spectacle, there are all the intricacies of the dog-racing industry: the construction of stadiums, kennels, trainings, judges, bookmakers, special press, satellite communications and, of course, considerable means.
One hound, before launching at the start, costs the owner in the amount of 30-40 thousand dollars, including the purchase of a puppy, food and payment of the coach. And, although the prize funds reach 25 thousand dollars, and the dog runs on average three times in two weeks, its age and peak form are short. A four-year-old dog is usually out of the game. Each dog track has its own specifics: the length of the track (usually 450-500 meters), the rules (starting with a handicap and a long track with barriers are possible) and the amount of bets (from 65 pounds and more). The excitement of fans is truly limitless – a certain Tom Merson became famous throughout the United Kingdom. Losing 7-10 thousand each week, he squandered the whole marital status. The country knows its “heroes”. But the lucky winner, who recently won half a million pounds, chose to save incognito.
Anyone can, after seeing a program of runs a couple of times, purchase a ticket, place a bet, without leaving home and, whistling “Dog Waltz”, watch the performance unfolding in the stadium. If desired, and well-known financial opportunities, you can enter the path of a “businessman from racing,” becoming the owner of the coveted four-legged champion. Before becoming a “pro”, dogs pass qualifying races, in which it turns out who is capable of what and who with whom to measure strength (something like the highest and first league in football or weight categories in boxing). Only one breed can take part in the sporting race (except for the greyhounds, the Afghan greyhounds, landhounds and wipets run around) that have a pedigree and have received the same category in the qualifying race.
Sometimes the dog runs because of incidents look like children’s competitions. For example, when dogs exhibit an exorbitant agility and mechanical hare becomes their victim. It happens that the dog manages to turn around in the starting cage and take the sole lead … in the opposite direction. But the most curious sight, when the “brother rabbit” leaves for shelter and the dogs continue to rush. The owners are thrown into the arena and rush for their pets with some delicacy in their hands – otherwise the heated pack simply cannot be stopped.
There is also a classification among English greyhounds – dogs are divided into internal subclasses depending on their purpose and compliance with the requirements. This division is considered to be quite conditional, although often representatives of different subclasses may differ greatly in appearance. Historically, the first class of greyhounds – hunting, they are distinguished by a very developed muscles, honed maneuverability and intelligence. Number two is show-greyhounds, which are grown for generations in order to bring the ideal representative of the breed, which has all the distinctive features of greyhounds, brought to the ideal.
The last, third type of Greyhound, from which, in fact, began this material – running. They are grown with one clear goal – to develop maximum speed on a treadmill, on which the faithful dog chases metal bait. They often differ from exhibition samples by the presence of external features uncharacteristic for the breed — no one is following this, and from hunting ones by smaller ones. Again, the only goal of cross-country breeds is maximum speed, they don’t need to be very hardy, run over the bumps, maneuvering around the clay terrain in the forest in pursuit of another hare and so on. Therefore, cross-country is always drier, smaller and, naturally, easier hunting.
Sport, business, art
What is so attractive greyhound running? It would seem that it is special when 4-6 dogs are running in a closed circle behind a skin tied to a cord. But flying like an arrow, dogs are so beautiful; they give such a charge of positive emotions and aesthetic pleasure that it is simply impossible not to fall in love with this spectacle. Greyhounds – a truly fantastic sight. The greatest racecourses during the most prestigious horse races can be envied by the passions in the stands during the race. Around the world, dog races have won many fans. According to foreign data, this kind of competition, in its fascination and public reaction to the spectacle, was in sixth place among the most popular sports, and today film shows gather more spectators than racetracks.
In addition, running is an excellent training for preparing dogs for exhibitions, because it is only during a real race that the muscle groups that make a running dog a first-class show dog are correctly formed. Races are also a great consolation for owners, whose dogs have a not very successful show career, but run great, and these greyhounds are no less noticeable than exhibition winners, for they get runners’ titles, prizes, cups and fame. Owners of dogs use their “personal” training system, athletes as a rule keep it secret, but the main principle is well known: the better the understanding between the dog and its owner, the higher the athletic performance.
Types of bets on dog races
For bets on dog races 2 totalizator systems are used (general betting fund) and bets with fixed odds:
- Simple bet (Single or Winning bet) – choose the winner from the list. If your dog is first, you win the bet.
- Place a bet – choose the winner from the list. If your dog is the first or the second, you will win the bet.
- Bet on each method: choose the winner from the list. If your dog is first, then you get a whole prize, if the second or third, then you get a part of the prize.
- Quiniela (Opposite prediction) – choose 2 dogs, which you think will come running last and penultimate.
- Perfecta (Accurate Forecast) – choose 2 dogs that you think will run first and second carefully
- Trifecta (Triple Prediction) – select 3 dogs that you think will be the first, second, third in the exact order.
- Superfecta – choose 4 dogs that you think will be first, second, third and fourth in the exact order.
- Battery (Express bet) – on one ticket you can choose between 2-12. All your choices must win in order to win.
Exotic bets are unusual bets, which in most cases are associated with the result of more than one race. More information about these types of bets can be obtained at the racetrack that you plan to visit, for example, the winning greyhound is unbeatable in every round of the derby. There is also “rates One-to-One (H2H)” when you choose which of the two greyhounds will be higher in the table. Usually the bet is canceled if the dogs come running at the same time (a draw) or do not perform. And we can see “more / less – winning distance” when you have to predict whether the winning distance between the first and second dogs will be more or less than the number of the bookmaker office.