The Rip Van Wrinkler, XVII, Issue 1, February 2013

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Training Conversation

In 2013, let your motto be, as in Jimmy V, "Never Give Up".

Basenji Fern got her first QQ or Double Q, which is a hard thing to do.

Licensed to run –officially!!!
by Yvonne ‘t Mannetje

Giving out the trial licenses in the mid of the 2012 race and coursing season caused a big dip. Only licensed B’s were allowed to participate, and at that time our 3 B’s were the only ones. For an official oval race a minimum of 4 B’s are required and 2 for lure coursing. We worked hard assisting others to train and pass their test. For oval racing the dogs must run 1 lap alone, to see if the lure is followed. The next lap they have to run with at least 2 others, preferably one faster and one slower, and not from the dogs own pack. For lure coursing that is almost the same, except the dogs have to run 2 laps together with one other dog not from their own pack. For every test it is very important the Basenji is able to run with other Basenji’s without attacking or hindering them.
Ch’ami, Dana and Moyo were able to help out a lot to enable others to pass their test.

Rotterdam, Dana’s last race – photo Naära Tirion

We were having a good time until very suddenly of the 5th of August 2012 our sweet girl Dana was hit by a stroke. At first we were uncertain if she could survive. Being the super-girl she is, Dana fought her way back to a 95% recovery, supported by both our boys Ch’ami and Moyo. We could not be happier to still have her!!!!

No need to say we took a break from racing and lure-coursing to be able to focus on Dana’s recovery completely. Dana is not expected to ever race again. For us all that matters is that Dana is still with us, healthy and happy. She does like to watch the others run, and loves all the attention she gets from our friends. It is good the way it is. We all love Dana to pieces!!! Since she revived by all the attention, we carefully tried if we could bring her to a training to be able to let the boys run.
Dana was spoiled rotten over there, so that was not a problem. She loves to be there, be with the boys and watch them run. Luckily Dana doesn’t show any signs wanting to participate.
Her fav position is on Kees’shoulders where she has the best view at the race.

After her recovery we carefully planned the next race, avoiding stress for Dana. So we picked the lure-coursings in Rotterdam (national championships) and Amsterdam (Grand Prix). The lure coursings were fabulous. In Rotterdam Moyo was the 1st Basenji ever in Holland to win the “Holland coursing cup”.

Rotterdam Coursing – National Championship Ch’ami in red, Moyo in white- photo Edwin Kasteleijns

Kees and I love the coursing meets - meeting old friends and making new ones, learning more about the lure-coursing rules, all in a very relaxing atmosphere. The B’s loved the Grand Prix in Amsterdam most I think, because we spend the night at a hotel, which was big party time for them!!

Dana playing with her reflection in the mirror, Amsterdam hotel- photo Kees ‘t Mannetje

One of our personal highlights of last season was the Jubilee oval racing in Goes, which was partly run in artificial light, making it very exciting for the B’s. To show us you never know the outcome of a race beforehand, unexpectedly our 7 year old Ch’ami won this race from speedy Moyo.
There were some technical problems which caused the lure to stop. Moyo jumped right on the lure smiling “MINE, I caught it, finally. Ch’ami being the smartass he is, jumped at a chance to win the race. He just RAN and RAN leaving it up to Moyo to play with the lure. The operator saw an opportunity to pull the lure away from Moyo forcing him to chase it again. Not for long however, the lure stopped for the 2nd time, and so did Moyo, who was overexcited being able to catch this thing twice!! It was great to see the reaction of Ch’ami. He kept on running and running. The expression on his face showed clearly he knew he could win this one, and I’ve never seen him look happier. When the operator could restart the lure, Ch’ami was way ahead of Moyo and “running like he was chased by the devil” (*Dutch expression). Ch’ami came across the finish line 1st!!!

Ch’ami winning in Goes – photo Stijn Vandermeulen

He won a -very ugly?- honour-cover but yes, the first one ever won by a Basenji in Holland. We wanted to frame it, but once at home Moyo got a hold of it and well, you know ….. I think he’s a bad looser?

Just when we decided we wouldn’t participate in another oval racing in the 2012 season anymore, because of the lack of licensed Basenji’s, we were surprised by some really good news from our friends in Belgium. Very unexpectedly the Basenji’s were allowed to officially run there as well!! And so the 3 handsome lads (Gobu – Jaya – Ango) owned by Tom and Anne-Mie received their licenses.

To celebrate we participated in our 1st Basenji international oval-race in Beringen, Belgium. A full course with 6 B’s (Gobu – Jaya – Ango – Bas – Ch’ami – Moyo). We had a great weekend, plus excellent feed-back from the people who had never met our breed before. Bas won this race!

On our way to the start in Beringen- Photo Martien Robben

For us this was the end of the 2012 season. In retrospect we did everything in our power, but ended up with not as many B’s as we hoped for, and originally started with. For a dog to be able to participate in oval-racing and/or lure coursing the dog has to be in an excellent physical condition and they need a lot of staying power.

Moyo doing what he likes best in the world – running - photo Naära Tirion

Some of the owners took this very lightly and thus their B’s flunk the test. Which in its own isn’t a problem at all, because you can always try again next week. It just became a problem when the owners felt offended by this and quit. Some of the people we originally started out with are no longer part of the racing team. Then again some others took this all very seriously, they have really put lots of efforts into the training and now their B’s have licenses. Huge congrats to Razi and Gaia!!!

Razi (tri) and Gaia cannot wait their turn. - photo Everlien Vellekoop

As I write this, in Holland we only have 7 B’s with an oval racing license (Ch’ami, Dana, Moyo, Tillo, Bas, Razi and Gaia) and 5 with a lure coursing license (Ch’ami, Dana, Moyo, Tillo, Bas and Yebo). Some youngsters are training already, but won’t be able to participate till mid next season. In Belgium we have 3. In Germany a lot more. As written above we need at least 4 to run an official race.

So on a Saturday night, while cleaning up after dinner, I got an idea and started a new Facebook Group “Basenji Racing Team” with the goal to organize the racing B’s and their owners in Holland, Belgium and Germany. I asked Katrin Rzesnut to be co-moderator and she accepted with great enthusiasm. This FB group provides an easy platform to share the information regarding where the races or the coursings take place, who will join which race, what times are run, photos of the running B’s (I like that part best!) and share information. Since then we also had requests from people in Scandinavia, Poland, plus the East part of Europe to become a member which we like a lot.
The group is now open for every Basenji owner with an interest and/or license to run (oval and/or lure coursing).
The group address is:
You can apply for membership there.

Then, out of the blue, against all odds, we got the news from the Raad van Beheer: our licenses are no longer temporarily; we now have OFFICIAL licenses and can compete in every country where Basenji’s are allowed on the race track.


I hope to keep the Rip Van Wrinkle members updated during the coming season.

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