Beagle racing day – the also rans

It has been a busy day, and wonderfully sunny. We went to watch the start of the raft races on the canal near the centre of town this morning. They were last held about twenty years ago but now the canal restoration is so advanced it was decided that it was time to start them again, raising money for charity and the Canal Trust itself which is responsible for the canal.

We had friends who were involved in one of the teams which had to build a raft and then paddle up the canal for about half a mile against the clock. We didn't see Camilla but did enjoy the fun atmosphere at the start line held in the newly rebuilt Wallbridge lock. Sadly we had to leave quite quickly as I had to drive Helena to an event at Cirencester Agricultural College where she had a stall for selling her cards. But I've added a shot oin the 'Extra photos' of one of the rafts setting off and being splashed by a competitor for good measure. The entrants were from the local pub, The Clothier's Arms.

We arrived early and  the event, an afternoon of Beagle racing, was being set up. I dropped Helena and returned to Stroud for a couple of hours. I am sure she will write about the day as she really enjoyed herself. I now wish I had stayed to witness the dogs being raced down a fifty metre course which had a series of low jumps best between enclosed mesh to stop the dogs running away.

By the time I got back the beagles were back in their pen in the van.  It seems that the college has a pack of beagles which were established for hunting and now that is outlawed they have few outlets for their energy.  The people looking after the dogs arrange these races as an opportunity for them to exercise and to raise money for their upkeep.

They looked rather mournful in their cage in the van but probably only because they would have like dot have been running around the fields. I have added an 'Extra photo' of one of the dogs, as they are very beautiful. But soon after I returned the organisers of the event arranged for a human race on the same course the dogs ran on. So I blipped them just after they had jumped the first hurdle with abut six to go.

Finally there was a race for other dogs belonging to visitors, who I think were mostly involved with the college. The Irish Wolfhound, which of course won easily, belonged to the organiser of the races. I've also added  a shot of it in action on the course to the 'Extra photos'.

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