Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Get that CAT Bourbon!

This weekend Bourbon participated in the Coursing Hounds of Iowa's Coursing Ability Tests (CATs). While Bourbon would LOVE to chase a real cat, he was instead chasing plastic bags attached to a lure line. Close though, right?!?

He is having a blast chasing those bags :). Photo: Leah Petesch

Lure coursing is a competition sport for sighthound breeds, however the CATs are open to all breeds. Lucky for Bourbon since he thinks he was born for this sport! The dogs chase a mechanically operated 'artificial' lure across a field, following a pattern that is meant to stimulate live coursing.

These were the courses Bourbon ran this weekend.

Let go Mom, I'm ready to RUN! Photo: Leah Petesch/Amy Turner

A typical lure course is between 600 and 1000 yards, but the CATs are 300 and 600 yards. Small dogs (under 12 inches at the withers) and brachycephalic dogs run 300 yards, while medium to large dogs run 600 yards. Bourbon really wished they were more like 1000 yards long because 600 didn't seem long enough for him :). And the fields don't have to be fenced in. The courses this weekend were at Waterworks Park in Des Moines and were not fenced. Talk about giving a girl a heart attack! Bourbon hasn't been off-leash in an unfenced area for several years (since he took off running with deer at Christian Forest Preserve and didn't come back for over an hour). But he did great this weekend, probably because he was so focused on the lure and he's getting old :).

Tally-Ho! And Bourbon is off! Photo: Leah Petesch/Amy Turner
Bourbon's crazy eyes! He is a lovable nutball!
Photo: Leah Petesch/Amy Turner

Bourbon passed both courses this weekend. To qualify (aka Pass) he had to run the 600 yard course in under 2 minutes (no problems there!), complete the course with enthusiasm (um, have you seen the pictures?!? I'd say we have enthusiasm), and stay focused on the lure (again no problems there!). So YAY, Bourbon passed another thing this month!! This boy is on a roll :). He got a ribbon for each qualifying CAT and he got two legs towards his CA (Coursing Ability) title.

Bourbon's FIRST ribbons. It only took him 8 years, LOL :).

Dogs that pass the CAT three times will earn a Coursing Ability (CA) title. Bourbon should have his after the next lure coursing event on May 5th! Check back to see if he achieves his title!! Ten passes and a dog earns a Coursing Ability Advanced (CAA) title, and 25 passes results in a Coursing Ability Excellent (CAX) title.

Bourbon doesn't really care about ribbons or titles (that's more of a Mom thing), he just wants to have fun. And FUN he does have :).

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