Tracked Lure Coursing explodes in Florida - LGRA,WRA and all new AOK9
Special Photo-Feature: SOMOS adds AOK9 to new track racing in Florida
Historic day in Central Florida as track lure coursing is reborn and one of the oldest sports for dogs and their owners explodes across the fields of Williston, FL.
The weekend had the lowest temperatures in Florida for the last year, yet dog families from as far as Virginia excitedly lines up for registration and pre-race check-ups and measuring. Saturday was mostly preliminary and qualifying runs with plenty of room for those just wanting to see how their own dogs might take to this game. Though temperatures and other obligations may have reduced total numbers for this historic morning, the number of teams was quite impressive.
Track racing has been around for hundreds of years in various forms. Both Straight and Oval tracks to test the speed of your sighthounds provide a great sport for both dogs and their owners, but does take hard work of the organizers. With the courses being hundreds of yards and requiring careful setups and a starting box similar to professional dog racing. The logistics can be daunting.
This weekend saw the rebirth of amateur dog races in Florida due to years of commitment from members of the Southern Most Sighthounds (SOMOS) club. The club is one of the largest and oldest sighthound clubs in the USA and was based in Jacksonville for many years using the practice track of the local greyhound circuit. However, with the end of professional Greyhound racing, that track was closed and they started to look for new venues.
All new AOK9 add non-sighthounds and mixed breeds.
This league has existed for some time in California and Texas and is open to mix-breed dogs. A similar format to the sighthound races, up to 6 dogs can races the 200 yard straight track and are released from the start box. In its first day in Florida we saw everything from Border Collies to Bulldog mixes and more "vertically challenged" dogs run the entire 200 yards with great joy.
Safe, casual fun for all.
This form of dog racing is family orientated and intended for your personal pets. These races are for fun and bragging rights. Safety is paramount and the condition of each dog is checked before the rans and each dog must qualify with a test run before entering the first time. Judges monitor each race to ensure this. The muzzles are part of that safety program and required for all the races to prevent harm to the dogs.
A new beginning.
This weekend was just a start and some ways a test of the new rules, events and troubleshooting for these sports. The impressive show of interest from around the dog community, SOMOS has a great start to what many are hoping will become a regular part of Florida's already vibrant dog sports and events. The addition of the AOK9 opens of the track lure coursing for all breeds and the enthusiasm has the potential to make it one of the stars of the future in our state.
SOMOS JAN 2022 - PHOTO-FEATURE
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More Information: - Southern Most Sighthounds (SOMOS)
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