The weekend of October 26 & 27, 2019 saw Canadian Whippets, Greyhounds, Azawahks and Ibizans head to Muncie, Indiana for the 34th American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) International Invitational. This event is considered by some enthusiasts to be the premier lure coursing event across all of North America. The judging panel consisted of judges from across the US and Canada, with Ontario’s own Laurie Soutar being a member of this prestigious group. Laurie is a long-time Greyhound breeder and competitor who with her partner, Dave has been instrumental in supporting lure coursing and sighthound racing in Canada.
Participants woke up Saturday to a cold, wet, blustery morning, ran all day in unrelenting rain and wind, and went to bed dreaming of warmth and dry clothes. Nature rewarded those who persevered on Saturday, with blue skies, light winds and moderate temperatures, in other words, perfect coursing conditions on Sunday. The abysmal weather conditions and fading light resulted in the rare occurrence of the Gillette Cup, which is a stake limited to highest scoring dual Champions (both show and field Champion) in each breed, being run on the Sunday morning instead of at the end of the day Saturday.
Laurie Soutar's Greyhound, Lottie
Three Canadian dogs beat the odds, earning a spot to compete in the Gillette Cup: Greyhound GRCH Lakilanni Wish You Were Here LCM (Shirri) owned by Laurie Soutar, Azawakh CH Knightwind’s Tiziri FCH (Siri) owned by Deanna Vout, and Ibizan Hound CanDC FC Icy Cold Thirdmate FCHX LCM4 (Ensign) owned by Dr. Karen Catt. Unfortunately, it was just not their day and American Whippet U-GRCh FC Belaya Here Comes the Son to R’L, FC, MC, LCX, LCM, DCAT, CA (Sonny) owned by Irva McDougald ran away with the honour.
The last event of the weekend was the running of Best in Event. Again, three Canadian owned dogs made the cut, CanDC FC Icy Cold Thirdmate FCHX (Ensign), Hyflyte Poetic Justice (Justice) and Knightswind’s Tiziri FCH (Siri). Although all of them ran wonderfully, they were eclipsed by Saluki, Eden’s Corah K Burnin’ Love (Caldera), owned by Nannette Lipinski.
Laurie Soutar's Greyhound, Tull
The awards dinner Saturday involved great food, many congratulations and much camaraderie comparing tales of frozen feet and wet underwear.
At the risk of sounding unCanadian, the small but mighty Canadian contingent rocked this event! I apologize for any errors or omissions, but the following is an unofficial list of all of the Canadian accomplishments from the ASFA International Invitational:
Championship Stake: Knightswind’s Tiziri FCH (Siri) Second
Open Stake: Lakilanna Whole Lotta Love (Lottie) First
Veteran Stake: DC GRCH EN Lakilanna Wish You Were Here LCM SWA SHDN DCAT RATS RN CGC (Shirri) First
CanDC FC Icy Cold Thirdmate FCHX (Ensign) BOB
Open Stake: FCh Hyflyte Fleet Fox CGN (Fleet) Third
Championship Stake Flight A: Hyflyte Poetic Justice (Justice) First, Hyflyte Stand’in Ovation (Cheers) Third
Championship Stake Flight B: Hyflyte Live Long And Prosper (Vulcan) Third
Championship Stake Flight C: Longrun Mystique at Longlesson (Raven) Second
Veteran Stake: CH Devonair’s Vera Duckworth FCh (Duck) Second
Hyflyte Poetic Justice (Justice) winning the Tom Leone Memorial trophy
Hyflyte also was awarded both Top Kennel and Top Breeder honours!
Championship Stake: Knightswind’s Tiziri FCH (Siri) First
Championship Stake: CanDC FC Icy Cold Thirdmate FCHX (Ensign) Third
Open Stake: Lakilanna Whole Lotta Love (Lottie) Second
Championship Stake: DC UCH Lakilanni Thick As A Brick FCH, DCAT, RATN, TKN Fourth
Open Stake: Hyflyte Merciless Vengeance (Vengeance) second, FCh Hyflyte Esmeralda (Zelda)
Championship Stake Flight A: FCh Hyflyte Fleet Fox CGN (Fleet) First
Hyflyte Live Long And Prosper (Vulcan) Second
Longrun Mystique at Longlesson (Raven) NBQ
Championship Stake Flight B: Hyflyte Poetic Justice (Justice) Third
Hyflyte was again awarded Top Breeder.
Laurie Soutar's Greyhound, Shirri
Although at all trials the volunteers are instrumental to the success of the weekend, the extremely challenging and adverse conditions on the Saturday required all to go well above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of our dogs at the risk of their own hypothermia (it should be noted that their day began before 6:00 AM and did not end until after dark). Our own Dr Gordon Cheung stepped up and volunteered to Hunt Master.
A highlight of the weekend was a creative raffle basket contest where clubs and breeders were asked to donate a basket filled with items to be drawn to offset the costs of such a huge event. Three Canadian themed baskets were donated by the Northern Azawakh Association, Just Run With It Sprinter Club and Hyflyte Performance Whippets. The Canadian contribution was greatly appreciated and it felt great to give back. In fact, the Just Run With It basket was the second most popular of all the amazing baskets available.
We look forward to reuniting with friends both old and new, enjoying great competition and improving upon our results at next year’s event!