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Carlisle | by Conor Lawless
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Carlisle

2013 International hound trail at Sewingshields. Hound trailing involves racing dogs trained to follow a scent of paraffin and aniseed over an 8 mile cross country track. It includes hills and obstacles like walls and fences, but takes the hounds less than half an hour. There is quite a racket at the start as the hounds bay with anticipation for the race. Also quite noisy at the end as the owners roar and whistle to their dogs to encourage them over the line. You can watch the race at several vantage points, especially with binoculars. Bookies take bets up until about 5 mins from the end, however I found it difficult to identify the dogs during the race as they have no numbers. The dogs are specially bred for stamina and an ability to jump. They're trained regularly and follow a strict diet, like human athletes and so are thin and wiry for racing. Many of them are shaved to help them keep cool during the race. They certainly seem to have a good time.

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Taken on June 29, 2013