The idea for the Grande Prix Challenge Cup was conceived after
attending the Grand National in Denver, Colorado. I felt that there
should be a big trial on the East Coast similar to the Grande
National. The original idea was to have a trial with nice trophies
and two days of competition to find an overall winner. Unlike the
Grand National, there would be ASFA points available both days, and
only the Grande Prix Best in Field would not be ASGA sanctioned. Ed
and Valerie Rees helped set up the first two Grande Prix Challenge
We asked owners of famous and good coursing hounds to donate
trophies in honor of their hounds. The Best of Breed Trophy for each
day was a medallion of a head study of a famous hound of that breed.
We then solicited donations for a trophy to be presented to each
breed over-all winner for the two days. These were designated the
“Breed Challenge Cups” and were silver champagne coolers engraved
with the name of the hound in whose honor it was donated. The hounds
represented on the cups are listed below:
HOUND – “MICHY MAY” (Ahmir’s Silence, LCM II, Am. Can. CD),
Challenge Cup for Afghan Hounds, donated by Phyllis Roe. Michy was
the first LCM, Best of Breed hurdle racer in 1975, one of the Top
Ten lure coursers for three years and known for her 180’s and
– “BETTE” (Bublak’s Devine Bette, FCh), Challenge Cup for basenjis,
donated by Mary DeWhitt. Bette was the first Basenji Field Champion
and the first Basenji Best in Field.
– “PYERUN” Challenge Cup for Borzoi, donated by Ariel Duncan for
Caspian Prince Pyerun, CD, LCM III, Can. FCh. Pyerun was the first
Borzoi LCM and the #1 Borzoi in 1977. He earned the name “alligator”
in Florida for his ability to capture the lure.
– “PANDAHARI PAT” LCM Challenge Cup for Greyhounds, donated by
Chester and Betty Hickok and Pandahari’s Hounds for Pandahari’s
Perfecta Pat, FCh, who has four Best in Fields and numerous Best of
Breeds and hopes for a breed Championship.
HOUND – “FLYER” Challenge Cup for Ibizan Hounds, donated by Dean
Wright and the Hounds of Treybeau. Flyer was the first Ibizan LCM
and #1 lure courser for two years. He won the 1977 Grand National.
WOLFHOUND – MAKO” Challenge Cup for Irish Wolfhounds, donated by
Joseph Grillo in honor of Seawolf’d Mako McQueen, CD, FCh, winner of
Best of Breed at the first International Invitational.
HOUND – “MISTER’ (PHCA Ch Beltara’s Mister Future, LCM),
Challenge Cup for Pharaoh Hounds, donated by Ed and Val Rees and
Val-Ed’s House of Pharaohs. Mister was the first Pharaoh Field
Champion and the breed’s first Dual Champion.
- KAHTAHDIN Challenge Cup for Salukis, donated by Janis
Copenhaver for the great lure coursing Salukis of Kahtahdin past,
present and future.
DEERHOUND – “FLING” Challenge Cup for Scottish Deerhounds,
donated by Howard and Jane Mayo for Fairyfort’s Highland Fling, LCM,
Best in Field winner at the first International Invitational and #1
Scottish Deerhound in 9177 and 1978.
– “RALPH THE WHIPPET” Challenge Cup for Whippets, donated by
Virginia Kimberly for Ch Flippet’s Appraxin Marshall, LCM IV.
Photos from the 1st
1st Photo - Mecca Lando
2nd Photo - Trina
Bianchi, Dean Wright, Gary Forrester, Marietta Forrester barely
THE GRANDE PRIX CHALLENGE
The winner of Best in Field, which is an elimination run of the
challenge cup winners, receives the “BANDIT” Grande Pix
Challenge Trophy. This is a 16-inch silver plated Revere bowl by
Poole, donated by Gary and Marietta Forrester and the Hounds of
Marah for Tamora’s Image of Ali, CD, LCM VIII, CFCh,TT. “Bandit” was
the first great coursing hound in our region. He was the #1
sighthound in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
To win the “Bandit” Grande Prix Challenge Trophy, the Challenge Cup
winners for each breed compete in a Best in Field run-off consisting
of three courses, each having three hounds. (If there are ten breeds
represented, the Basenji competes in the third course and one hound
in that course runs without a blanket.) The judges for this run-off
are all the judges for the weekend. Hounds are placed 1 thru 3 by
each judge. The hounds in each course with the lowest total points
is the winner of that run and comes back to compete against other
course winners for the Bandit Grande Prix Challenge Trophy, one of
the most prestigious honors in the sport of lure coursing.
The first Grande Prix Challenge event was held in Somerville, New
Jersey in 1978. We ran two days, on two fields, with four different
courses. One course was set up for speed, one for agility and two
courses combined speed and agility. The rules for the Grande Prix
have remained virtually unchanged for the 11 years that is has been
The medallions, originally done each year by Bonnie Dalzell of a
head study of each breed and inscribed on the reverse with the name
of the hound, have been replaced by medallions engraved with BOB,
GRANDE PRIX CHALLENGE CUP, naming the event at which they were won.
These medallions are presented to each Best of Breed winner.
The silver champagne coolers are Breed Challenge Cups and are
retired by any owner who wins the same one three times. So far
everyone that has retired a challenge cup has donated one for the
following years. Each new cup has all the winners engraved on it, as
did the retired one.
The host club has changed through the years. It stated out with the
Ibizan Hound Club of the United States and the Pharaoh Hound Club of
America, and then went to the Upper Chesapeake Bay Saluki Club which
has hosted it to the present time. The location has moved from
Somerville, New Jersey to York, Pennsylvania. The courses are no
longer set up to show just speed or just agility, but are all-around
courses. The month has changed also from October to the Thanksgiving
weekend in November.
The rules for winning a Breed Challenge Cup
have changed over the years. In the beginning, three dogs of each
breed competed for it based on a complicated point system. Today,
the Breed Challenge Cup winner is determined by the Best of Breed
winner from each day competing with the hound that has the highest
number of combined placements for the two days. Placements points
being 1 for first, and ascending in value through the placements for
the day. The hounds compete in one run-off, judged by every judge
that judged for the weekend. The judges place three hounds 1-first,
2-second, and 3-third. The numbers from all the judges are added
together for each dog and the hound with the lowest total number is
that breeds Challenge Cup winner. A hound must compete both
days to be eligible to win these cups. A hound
that wins Best of Breed both days is automatically declared that
breeds Challenge Cup winner.