Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pat C Rendevous

I had the privilege to be involved with the training of Pat C Rendevous. She broke the world record for the greatest number of wins in a row by a greyhound in 1994. This record had been held in the Guinness Book of Records for 20 years when she broke it. She raced at the Palm Beach Kennel Club which is a track for good dogs but not the best. Unfortunately another greyhound came along a year later and broke her record, but he raced at a very cheap track.

She won 37 consecutive races in a row. By far the best race was number 32. It was the finals of a Stake's Race which was held so that all the best dogs in the country could be brought in to race against her. That way she would be the undisputed champion. She came around the far turn about 5 lengths behind "She Drops Bombs" the lead dog. It looked like there was no way that she could win. With one step to go to the finish line it looked like she shot a rocket out of her ass. With her final stride she made up the whole length and more crossing the finish line and winning by a nose. It was the most incredible race that I had seen in my 13 years of greyhound racing and I guarantee you the will never be another finish like it.

I was not working in the kennel at the time of the stakes races. I worked there when she ran her first 3/8ths. race. I was picking up at the track that day. She ran 4th. When Johnny (the trainer) heard how she finished he lamented the fact that he had thought she would be a great 3/8ths. racer and he was going to pull her out of any more of them. I stopped him. The reason she ran fourth was because she was confused when she went by the finish line the first time and she pulled up. This is common with dogs in their first 3/8ths. race because they are used to stopping at this point. When all the other dogs kept going, she took off after them and caught them one by one and passed them. She went from last to 4th. and ran an incredible race for any greyhound. She never made that mistake again and went on to be a champion.

They were offerred $100,000 the night she broke the record. They did not take it.

I remember that Rhonda was impossible to walk. The girl that picked her up after races before me used to just throw her in the truck because she didn't want to fool with her. Rhonda was as stubborn as a mule. I forced her to walk after she ran because there are a whole host of problems that can happen if you don't. I was not mean to her. I walked her by using gentle tension on the lead and singing "Help Me Rhonda" to her while I did it. She resisted the whole way and slowly but surely we built up to where she was at least walking a minimum acceptable distance that was good for her after the race.

I am putting her record breaking race in my video section. For some reason videos don't show up in my blog.

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