Hound Trailing takes place up and down the local countryside most weekends from March through to October. In some of its most out of the way places you may see parked cars, crowds gathering – screaming, and blowing whistles, peering through binoculars, shaking small buckets and generally acting in what would appear to be a crazy manner. If you hang on for a moment then all will be revealed, as you will probably see a trail of hounds come racing down the hills at speed, clearing dry stone walls, fences, and dykes and any other obstacle in their path to get to the finishing line where their owners will produce a bucket of food as a reward for completing the course.
These hounds have travelled in the region of 8 miles across some hard terrain, following a scent of aniseed, which has been laid down for them to follow as a trail. The trail hound is the ultimate athlete of the canine world and will stop at nothing to get to the finish. They are as fast as they come and can complete the course in less than 30 minutes.
Owners often have a flutter on the outcome or they may run their hound just for training or fun, or they may be collecting points for the coveted title of champion.
An average meeting would be four or five races featuring various classes of hound, from puppies, maidens, seniors, veterans. The season starts on March 1st l and runs through till October 31st with 3 or 4 trails a week.
The Borders Hound Trailing Association has 150 very generous members who self support the group, and over each season raise thousands of pounds for charities and voluntary organisations; local communities, schools, churches, village halls, charities, air ambulance and the Cumberland Hospital – at every event.
Spectators are very welcome – dress warmly and bring your binoculars. There are usually warm drinks and snacks available. For the next event look at the fixtures list on this site. ked0 Medium Sha