~ June 2013 ~
First CARA oval race and some of the Poodles attending
The Poodle Racing Association of Canada was formed in 2012 by Crystal Avon and Laura out of a desire
to have their Poodles continue to compete in a racing venue, beyond UKC Coursing Aptitude Titles and
the AKC Coursing Ability Titles, as well as a desire to race Poodles competitively.
CARA Racing is now open to all Poodles, one year of age or older, and registered with UKC, AKC and or CKC.
Poodles of all varieties may now race in CARA's non-regular racing events held across Canada.
All Poodles must be registered with CARA at a charge of $2.00 by providing a photocopy of their registration papers.
This can be done with Entry form at a CARA show.
CARA registration is for the life of the dog.
CARA and PRAC will tabulate each Poodle's racing results achieved within CARA to provide yearly
standings, titles and awards, for each calendar year.
Everything a new racer needs for their Poodle will be available for sale or loan (including muzzles)
at the CARA shows, including friendly very experienced people to assist you.
You don't need to know anything as people will assist you, however I did put together
some information below for those that wish to learn about CARA Racing before coming out
Before being entered in its first meet, a Poodle must be pre-certified with running 2 races with at least two other Poodles.
Pre-certification is usually done the night before a race weekend, day of show before regular races, or during parctice meets.
All Poodles are on probation for their first two race meets,
which means any Poodles getting a foul, must be pre-certified all over again.
There are 3 races (called programs) a day. Races are won by the Poodle that finishes first place.
Click on the link to read more about CARA Rules
Poodles will chase a lure same as in Lure Coursing
except there are no corners or twists, and will cross the finish line at either Oval racing or Straight racing.
Oval races are a 'horse shoe' shape and may be 300, 350 or 440 yards
Straight races are run in a straight line, that may be 200 or 400 yards
(although local modifications to fit conditions are allowed).
Blanket (racing jacket) colours are Red, Blue, White, Green and may be embelished (Poodles love their bling).
These come in a variety of sizes to fit your Poodle, for CARA Racing
4 racing blankets (Red#1, Blue #2, White #3, Green #4)
These blankets are numbered and this is important to know !
Dogs are lined up in order 1-4 starting from the inside of the track
This is our CARA racing board.
I wrote down the colours next to the squares in the photo, to aid us in seeing it
Each heat (race) the 4 dog's names are drawn, and put on the board next to a colour
This tells you what colour blanket your dog is wearing and also what position on the track, your dog will be.
"Red" is on the inside of the track, Blue is next, White and then Green
Just like in horse racing, the inside position could give a Poodle an advantage
So this position is drawn for, to be fair to each Poodle.
It is VERY confusing at first
Don't worry because lots of people will be there to help you out and keep things running smoothly.
All Poodles must wear muzzles to race, which may be any colour and or embelished as long as approved by CARA.
These lightweight plastic muzzles are designed to let a dog see and pant, but prevent them from injuring another dog
We try not to put those on until the very last minute so the dogs are very excited by the race and don't even notice the loose muzzles.
Once the muzzle is fastened you should gently pull it down the dogs muzzle (as if trying to pull it off)
the bridge of the muzzle should ideally come around 1/2 to 2/3 rds down the dogs muzzle without you being able to pull it off.
Tips on getting your dog used to a muzzle can be read on the following websites, however,
you will find they generally get used to them very quickly:
Poodle Race Off
All races, are four dog races if there are enough of a breed.
If only 2 Poodles are racing then the winner will still be awarded 1 point
Races may be "Hand Slipped" (owner releases Poodle from a leash as in Lure Coursing) or Box Started
(Poodles are placed in a box and start racing when the doors of the boxes open, releasing the dogs).
Majority vote decides if race will be hand slipped or Box started.
If being hand slipped, all the poodles will line up at the starting line
1-4 starting on the inside of the track
To ensure everyone is released at the same time, the Hunt Master will call "TallyHo"
and you are to ONLY release your dog on the "Ho".
Standard Poodle being "hand slipped"
(Poodle that had his paw scraped clean of skin. This can happen when the ground is very dry like sand paper)
A word about injury potential from the Canadian Sighthound Field Association is in order.
Although VERY rare, injuries to sight hounds have been sustained from getting tangled in the braided nylon line
that strung tautly between the pulley system or by typical sporting injuries to muscles.
As any athlete knows, any strenuous physical activity or sport is not entirely without risks, however, dogs could suffer
the same risks by playing in a backyard, or running in a park. In the event of an accident, a veterinarian is always on call
and all of the Professional clubs have experienced and knowledgeable handlers who know what to do in case of an emergency.
Often veterinarians and people trained in animal health are present and can handle just about anything that comes up.
That being said Poodles, unlike more "driven" type breeds, tend to moderate themselves.
Poodles are thinkers and generally will avoid any injury to themselves.
(This course the string was off of the ground and this dog had it drag along the inside of his rear leg)
When people yell "CLEAR the line", you better move.
The reason is pretty clear in the above photos
The string doesn't look like much, but trust me when it is zinging by it will cut your leg like a deep paper cut
With the increase in popularity of this sport, we are seeing more and more untrained people
buy equipment and set up courses hoping to earn a quick buck. When you race your dogs it is paramount that
you race with a professionally affiliated club or association that has licenced Judges present and experienced operators,
who will approve a course's design and equipment, to best ensure the safety of your dog and you.
You only need to bring your Poodle and your entry form
However I have put together a few items to make you and your Poodle more comfortable
10' x 10' straight leg, Canopy will provide shade for you and your dog while you wait your turn
and also provides and area for your Poodle to cool down at away from the lure.
As of 2015 it is just NOT acceptable to leave your dog in your car under ANY circumstance
exercise pens or Xpens we use 2 of them underneath our 10'x10' canopy.
I attach the pen to the Canopy frame so the dogs can't pull it over
This gives them room to move around and also cool down, when I have more than one Poodle
however a wire cage, will also provide adequate ventilation for cooling down.
Director's style chairs are very comfortable and easy to carry
(Lure Operator is up on a ladder to see the full course)
Coursing will start in the early morning and the grass will be wet.
Bring boots or Crock shoes, and sandles for later when it warms up and the field dries
ALWAYS wear or bring a hat and sunglasses as you will be looking into the sun.
Wear or bring layers to shed as the day warms up.
I always have a pair of leather gloves as spring and fall it gets very cold in the field
Bring bug spray and sun screen, coolar with water and a bucket for your dog to drink from
WHO ARE THE OFFICIALS ? ME ??
4 - FOUL JUDGES
Are those people you see sitting on chairs out around the field
Foul judges are selected from among the competitors
Their job is to watch the dogs racing to ensure none of the dogs "foul"
For a dog to foul, a dog must both turn his head toward, and move toward another racer to foul.
If you are asked to be a Foul Judge, say "YES", then ask "what do I need to do"?
and the job will be explained
2 - FINISH JUDGES
Finish judges are selected from among the competitors
There should be two finish line judges, one on each side of the track.
At the end of each race, each judge should immediately write the order of finish
using either the colour, or number of the racing blankets, without conferring with each other or anyone else.
In addition, after the finish line, a dog may be disqualified for unwarranted aggression
or attacking another dog that in not in possession of the lure.
If you are asked to be a finish Judge, say "YES", then ask "what do I need to do"?
and the job will be explained
Come out and join us !
Poodle Racing Association of Canada
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Lure Coursing Aptitude Test you do not need any special equipment.
However for racing you will need a slip collar (either rings or snap release design),
4 racing blankets (green, white, blue, red) that fit your dog
A racing muzzle that properly fits your Poodle
Sight hounds use "Slip Leads" which consist of a thicker 2" collar (that can be padded)
to avoid injury of cutting into the throat and or any "correction" to any excited dogs that are straining against their collar
which also has a leash built right in. The Slip lead can have "rings" to weave the leash through or have a snap.
Either release mechanisms are designed to release the dog FAST and safely. Everyone has their preference.
4 racing blankets (white, green, blue, red) that fit your dog for CARA Racing
Racing Muzzle is very light weight and when racing, dogs don't even notice they are wearing it
All your racing equipment can be purchased at: Sirus Dog Supply on Facebook