Copa de las Naciones 2010

We wanted to delay the approaching winter for a while with holidays in Spain. Therefore, it appeared to be a good idea to visit the new competition of the Club Nacional del Galgo Español (CNGE), the "Copa de las Naciones". Participants from various countries were invited to measure their dogs on real Iberian hares, something that is forbidden in the most European countries. On our way to Spain, of course, we made several intermediate stops, the first in Switzerland, to visit Sandra and Eric (kennel "del Viento").

Toledano, already 13 years old,
but still fit.
"Jazz" keeps him busy.

Then, of course, we made a stop at Roderick's home in the South of France, not least to work together on our English book project.

Roderick, correcting our text.
Bandido d'el collina of Perruska
Also our...
...had a lot
of fun!

In Spain, on the way to Toledo, we met Edda and Christian (, to jointly continue our journey. Since we were in no hurry, there was still time to enjoy some of the beautiful autumn landscapes.

A nice place, located directly at a lake.
Thomas with Galgos on expedition.
Colourful leaves, wherever you are.
Meeting of participants of the "Copa de las Naciones" on the evening before.

The "Copa de las Naciones" took place in a fenced hunting area in Rielves. The introduction of the participants was solemnly celebrated with national anthems and flags. In order to strengthen the participants, a typical dish, Migas, which are made from bread crumbs and meat, was served. But for us just to look at :-)

Atalaya (bred in Italy by Elisa Boscolo, living in Spain) started for Italy, because Socrates, who was originaly entered had been injured shortly before by a shepherd.
Narooma Bella Flamenca
from France.
Fito de la dehesa extremeña from Spain.

Unfortunately, on the evening and during the night before the event, there were heavy rain-falls, so that the ground, the gravel roads and the field were covered with a sticky mud. Therefore, the access to the hunting-area by a camping-car was not possible and we left them with a slightly uneasy feeling on the side of the road, but there was always someone to take care for the Galgos. Then we went on foot to the distant coto, we had to cross raging rivers and soon had, because of the sticky mud, "platform shoes".

Actually, the strenuous crossing was not necessary...
...because there was a little bridge, not too far away.
Deep sticky mud...
...let us "grow" several centimetres.

Holland and France were the first countries to start. There was a little difficulty, because some dogs didn't know how to walk in the Trailla, but the Spaniards managed this calmly by letting the owner walk at the side of his dog.

Don Juan of little Milwaukee and Bartavelle à la Cour Du Roi Boulou.
Both hunting.
Ingrid and the caught hare.

There was quite a big amount of hares on the hunting-ground, but probably due to the mud between the paws, the hares were rather slow. The number of invalid runs was rather high, invalid because of a large number of hares killed after a short run. The valid runs were also mostly just above the minimum duration of 55 seconds. So, some dogs were obliged to start very often. For example the winner Bartavelle started 5 times and her opponent in the final, Narooma Bella Flamenca, also from France, had to run 8 races on that day. The effort for all participants was not only running after the hare but also walking across the field for hours, because every dog that won a run had to stay in the queue to be available for another start.

Estrella Galgo de Fuego and Rayma Claret (Uschi's brother).
Rayma Claret
Elisa de la Dehesa Extremeña (l.) for Portugal and Narooma Bella Flamenca for France.
Here is a...
The judge shows "yellow" which means, the run was too short.
The winner Bartavelle
from France.
The photographer Jacinto ("Jaci").
Four countries on the same photo ;-)
On each of these three photos...
...we have hidden... (living) hare ;-)

On the same day, the CNGE started its own championship, where 32 Galgos were entered. These dogs had to be qualified on special exhibitions (Concursos) where they had to be on one of the first places. So, we could already on the first day see some very beautiful and typical Galgos from the club, for example Mastina:

In the afternoon, we went back to the camping-car, really exhausted. For this reason, we missed the award ceremony. Due to the slow hares, we took a lot of photos where the dogs were relatively close to the hare, but the light was not perfect. So we hoped for the next day, when more Galgos of the CNGE were going to run. This will be reported in part two...