History of the Hanover Lure Coursing Clubs
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The history of lure coursing in Hanover started with coursing at Dean Wright’s home/kennel Camp Treybeau in Hanover, PA. The idea started on Thanksgiving weekend 1976 at Gary and Marietta Forester's home where she, Dean and MaryAnn Retman were having Thanksgiving dinner. Gary was in California running Bandit his Afghan at the turkey run field trials Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The threesome discussed at that time that Gary & Marietta’s Afghan Bandit was 18 dogs behind the Afghan Frukie for #1 Afghan. So that day, in spite of not knowing how to make gravy for the turkey, they had a good dinner and started planning the field trial for new year's eve.
They thought the trial could be put on by the Ibizan Hound Club of the United States (IHCUS) since Dean was the President. They thought they could do a trial for Ibizans and Afghans only but ASFA would not permit it. ASFA would only allow for Afghans or all breeds. So they decided to have an all breed trial and got underway with the planning.
Kathy O'Brien and Lee Hayes were the two that judged Afghans on December 31, 1976 the day of the trial. Bandit and Frukie were tied after the Prelims. Bandit had a really nice second run and ended up winning Best of Breed Afghan. Another thing that became apparent about a week before the trial is that when the stats were added, it was found that Frukie was really 17 points behind Bandit for dogs defeated so the trial that they planned, thinking it was going to help Bandit, was really going to help Frukie. And Peter Lowe was coming from Colorado with Frukie to compete.
The entry was somewhere around 90 dogs. Other clubs at that time were averaging 50-60 dogs per trial and having a hard time finishing. They figured out that one of the problems was the string jumping off at the corner pullies and the rules at the time stated if the course did not complete, you had to come back and start over again from the beginning. That took a lot of time so they thought about that and decided to use a fishing reel that could run the string through and it would never jump off of the pulley because even if dogs caught it with their legs, it was going to stay on the fishing reel. They took the fishing reel and took bondo and bonded it to a big piece of plywood, drilled holes, nailed that down to the ground. The only big problem was that a couple of times, dogs hit the fishing reel with their feet and set the drag on it and so for the rest of that course, you would hear tick, tick, tick as the drag was unfolding on the string going around the pulley. That worked really well and was used for a while. Then they started using some bicycle hubs for the string to go around. The continuous loop just came out and the Hanover Clubs have never used anything but a continuous loop.
The interesting thing about that trial was Best in Field (BIF) was run just as the sun was setting. Following BIF, everyone came inside as it was getting dark. Everyone warmed up, ribbons were awarded and upon finishing up ribbons, it was discovered there was a tie for BIF between Tekla the Greyhound and Bandit the Afghan. Since the course was still out, not having been taken up yet, the next day at 12 o'clock the last run of the trial commenced. Bandit and Tekla ran to break the tie for BIF. Unfortunately, Bandit slipped on ice down at the far corner and Tekla won BIF that day. And that's probably the first and only trial that started in one year and finished the next year. And that was the beginning of the Hanover Lure Coursing Clubs.
In order to keep their dogs in shape, the idea of a trial in February was conceived. So somewhere around the 19th of February, a two day trial was held at the same place, by the same sponsoring club, IHCUS. This small group of enthusiasts finished those two days with an entry of between 60 and 70. Everything went well, but as they finished up, it became apparent that putting on a field trial was a huge amount of work for everyone. On this particular weekend, Kathy O’Brien (an Afghan breeder that moved here from CA and had done Lure coursing out there with Lyle Gillette and knew much more about running a trial) was helping with all the details. Completing the weekend with all the complexity involved, they decided that putting on a two day trial was so hard, that was going to be the last two day trial they would ever hold. And that was in February 1977.
By the time March rolled around, plans for a three day trial for Memorial Day weekend were underway. The idea was for three days at Camp Treybeau, again put on by the IHCUS. Dean was still President at that time. For backing the event, IHCUS received $2 per dog for every dog that ran in the trial. ASFA also received a per capital amount, which back then was probably less than $2. After payments to IHCUS and to ASFA, whatever was left over in profit was put towards the next trial.
In the summer of that year, a trial was held the weekend of July 23-24. Deans birthday was the 25th and they had a trial and a crab feast and a wet t-shirt contest. A trial is still held on the third weekend in July each year, continuing the tradition to this day. The crab feast and the wet t-shirt contest are no longer part of the weekend.
Next on the schedule that year was a three day trial for Labor Day, then nothing until December 31st. The New Years Eve trial was labeled the "Treybeau Follies." Nan Kilgore-Koppel did all the art work for the premium list. And so the second Treybeau Follies was held December 31, 1977. From then through the end of 1979, trials were held on those weekends at Dean’s property.
Starting in 1980, trials were held at Camp Treybeau under the auspices of the Upper Chesapeake Bay Saluki Club, which was an existing club formed by Janice Copenhaver quite a few years before.
Grand Prix History
Ed Reese and Dean Wright went to the ASFA Grand National in 1978 held in Colorado. On the drive back they came up with the rules for the Grande Prix, a trial similar to the Grand National, to be held in our region. The dogs had to compete two days. Eligible dogs at the end of two days ran for a big trophy. The first year for the Grand Prix was probably 1978, and that was hosted by Ed Reese and the Pharaoh Hound Club of America and Dean Wright and the IHCUS.
The first Grand Prix was held in October that year in Somerville, NJ. Two fields were used, divided by a big ditch and some trees. One field was set up as a speed course and the other field was designed for agility. The Hounds that ran on the speed course for preliminaries ran on the agility course for the finals, and vice versa. So instead of running all the dogs from one field on that field that day, they switched them from one field to the other so that in one day, they ran two different fields and two different courses rather than just run the field reversed. That worked out really well and there was a nice entry for that weekend.
Perpetual trophies were solicited from the people that were very active in lure coursing at the time. For Afghans, it was Phyllis Roe for the Afghan Michy May. In Borzoi, Pyerun was the top dog at the time, world famous, and Ariel Duncan offered a trophy in his name. For Ibizan Hounds, Dean Wright offered a trophy for Flyer. The Mayos’ donated for Scottish Deerhounds for their dog Fling. Whippet Trophy was for "Ralph the Whippet" from Florida belonging to Virginia Kimberleigh. The one for Greyhounds was for Tekla and the one for Salukis was for one of Chester Hickok's Salukis.
In any case, there was a trophy for every breed and that was the first year they were awarded. Some trophies are still around. Those won three times by the same person were retired. When first introduced, it was called the Grand Prix and Marietta and Gary Forrester donated the Bandit Grand Prix Challenge Cup trophy. Later, Dean donated a trophy for The Hounds of Treybeau and that trophy is still being awarded today. When the original trophies were retired, the person retiring them then donated a new trophy. Trophies were renamed but continued to carry the history from the original trophy.
Anyway, that brought us up to the mid 80s with the UCBSC still active, still putting on trials. Some members from the clubs at Vale Vue started another club, Tortoise & Hare Lure Coursers (THLC) in West Chester, PA. The purpose of that club really was to nominate and elect a slate of officers from the east coast for the ASFA board. Ann Filetti started that club when she was disenchanted with the way the current officers were running ASFA. She recruited the "crème de la crème" in lure coursing to support her cause. She was the first person from the east coast to be on the Board for ASFA. Once she resigned from the Board, she decided she would recruit a slate from the east coast and have it elected. However, she was the only one in the original membership that had that intention in mind. The members of this new club had no interest in ASFA leadership at that time. The club became kind of inactive and they had a meeting somewhere along the line to disband the club, what to do with the treasury and all. However at that meeting, Dean Wright was elected President and they decided not to disband, but to try and work and make it more active. That was the second club that came into Hanover.
In the mid to late 80s, a litter of Ibizan Hound puppies was whelped at a CHAMP trial near Fredericksburg VA. This litter was by Fire and out of Penny. Friends that were coursing West Chester, PA at Vale Vue Kennels, the home of Bob and Norma Sellers, Tortoise & Hare Lure Coursers in this area got puppies from the litter. Casey went to Lori Coulson. Pat & Larry Flynn got a puppy from that litter. Tom Shuman got a puppy from that litter. Dean kept two puppies. And so because of all of these members of THLC having Ibizan Hound puppies, and not knowing very much about them, they decided to start the Mason Dixon Ibizan Hound Club (MDIHC). The purpose was so they could all learn more about the breed. And that's how the 3rd club came about. MDIHC does a Sighthound Spree every year which combines conformation with lure coursing and integrates the original purposes of the club.
First Trial: a Saluki Specialty on 8/10/1980, first AB Trial on 12/27/1980
Affiliate Date: 6/9/1980
Membership Date: 3/17/1981
First Trial: 10/26/1980
First Trial: 6/18/1988