Tricky Tykes Terrier Racing
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Cilyblaidd Manor
Nr. Lampeter
SA40 9QL

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M: 07702 090906

You might expect that as one of the presenters of the most famous of Terrier Racing Teams (at least in the U.K.), I should be able to write page after page on the History of this Country pursuit which we go around demonstrating.
Well, hopefully as this web site grows, I will be able to fill a few pages. At the time of writing this however, I can look back over very many years in which I have browsed through countless numbers of ‘doggy’ books, and seldom have I seen more than a passing reference to the sport. I have now resolved to research the subject fully. Watch this space!
There is little doubt that like so many sports, Terrier Racing probably started because a group of people tried it out just for fun, and the idea caught on and developed. When I am presenting our Terrier Racing demonstrations it is a sad fact that the majority of our audience knows practically nothing about what really goes on in the countryside. What little they do know is probably confined to an image of people toiling the land or herding cattle or sheep. The only thoughts likely to enter their minds as far as dogs are concerned are probably pictures of hounds tearing after a fox or deer, or of a well trained collie bringing in the flocks or herds, or maybe of some privileged member of the landed gentry with a gun dog at his heel.
What is unlikely to be known to many of them is that on almost every farm in the land there is going to be a terrier lurking. Farmers are extremely hard working folk Whether they grow crops, or have crops on their farms for the feeding of their cattle or sheep, the very last thing they want is for their stocks of grain to be damaged or contaminated by rats or other vermin. (Did you know that it is estimated that there are around 60 million rats in the UK? Almost one for every human!). Those stocks have cost them a lot, either in hard work or hard cash. Neither do those same farmers want rabbits devouring the grass they have grown. One rabbit can eat as much as one pound of grass in a day.
Even today, the tenacious little terrier with its killer instinct, is one of the best means of dealing with the problem. Go back about a hundred years, which is around the time when Terrier Racing is generally reckoned to have started, and there is little doubt that the terrier was the mainstay in vermin control. Refined rat poisons weren’t around, and the poisons that were available were extremely dangerous to handle and to have around the place. Traps could of course be used, but they had to be set and laid, and needed to be in just the right place, and the rat is an extremely intelligent creature and would soon learn to avoid them. It has also recently been shown that rats have a system similar to that used in ancient times by the nobility who would often have a food taster to sample their meals to avoid the risk of being assassinated. Introduce a new and apparently tasty morsel amongst rats, and only one of them will sample it. If he survives, the others will dig in – if not, the others won’t touch it. Something was needed that could out-smart the rats. The terrier was the answer; the perfect killing machine. Lying in the barn apparently fast asleep, the terriers instincts were so finely tuned that the slightest sound would bring it instantly to full alert. Nose eyes and ears of the terrier would be waiting for just one thing, something that moved! Terriers work on the simple basic principle ‘if it moves – chase it’!

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