I went to watch whippet racing for the first time. Like many whippet owners, I knew the races existed by reading about them in books and online. I had no idea of when or where they were held. Yet that changed when I got Luke. His dad’s human mom, Chris, is the President of the Georgia Rag Racing Club and holds whippet racing events several times a year. Finally, I had an opportunity to go to one. So, off I went with my camera and great anticipation of the day.
I left before sunrise and headed to nowhere. Literally. The next to last leg of the journey was on Nowhere Road. I arrived at where the event was held, a beautiful field on One Day Farms in Hull, GA. The event started with whippets being inspected as a part of qualifying to be in the races.
This is where I first witnessed how excited the whippets are about racing and getting the “bunny”. Funny thing though, it didn’t look like a bunny at all. It was a dog toy that looked like a long fluffy tail. The bunny was near the inspection area. As soon as the whippets saw the bunny, all they wanted to do was to get to it. Some even got vocal as if begging to get to it. The bunny had to be moved down the field to keep the whippets calm.
There was a test run and then it was time for the first official race. The whippets looked so happy while they were walking down the field to the starting box. Many would jump for joy along the way. As they were put in the box, they started barking with pure excitement. Once inside, all they wanted to do was to have that door open so they could get to the bunny. They were scratching at the door and barking like crazy. It reminded me of how my Trixie would spot a squirrel or rabbit out the window of our bedroom and then run to the back door barking and trying to scratch her way out to get to it.
The door opened and the whippets leaped out and ran like I’ve never seen before. They were so fast. The thunderous sound of their feet hitting the ground was captivating. Pieces of earth and grass flew in the air behind them. They blew past me at blinding speed. Taking photos was a challenge for sure. All I could do was hold down the shutter release and hope for the best.
My goal was to capture the awesomeness and fun of whippet racing along with candid photos throughout the day. I took a whole bunch photos along with one video of a race. I put them together in this video slideshow:
To view individual photos, go to the Georgia Rag Racing Event May 2018 page.
There were four programs with multiple races in each. A conformation match was held after the races. Conformation match is the same as what you see in dog shows like Crufts when they are judged on breed standards. These are the winners for the first day of the event (I couldn’t go to the second day):
- Race Meet Winner: Torino
- High Combined Winner: Ember
- Awarded 2 ARX Points: Bender
- Awarded Top Set ARX Points (4): Remington
- Conformation Winners: 1st Pia, 2nd Dora, 3rd Ember, 4th RB
Congratulations to the winners!
I had such a big fun time watching whippet racing. I can’t wait to go to another one. Perhaps next time it will be a lure coursing event.
For more whippet fun, check out 37 Naughty Whippet Dogs Destroying Things.