Gauteng TOP TEN CHALLENGE results – 21 Sep 2014

This morning the ten beagles in Gauteng with the highest scores over the season competed in the Top Ten Challenge. Throughout the season the pack usually runs 5 lines of approximately 1.3km per line on a morning… the Top Ten Challenge pushes the ten beagles with ONE line of between 6-8km!

As mentioned in a previous post, the 2014 Top Ten consisted of: Biff, Calleigh, Fonzi, Horatio, Hougie, Mousse, SnoopyD, SnoopyN and Teddy… However we decided to change things up a bit this year, and invited the beagles who had previously FINISHED their Top Ten lines in the last 3 years… this added to the mix: Marmalade, Roger, Seamus, ZoeC and ZoeR… bringing the total to 15 beagles. The reason for this was to encourage first time runners to run as the pack was bigger and included beagles that have previously run such a long distance.


After a bit of rain and even hail the night before, the morning dawned clear and cool…


One last check on the poll on the website revealed that Bono seemed to be the fan favourite with 66% of the votes!



Unfortunately Horatio was not well, so he and Calleigh did not make it to Top Ten and sat this year out… bringing our Top Ten to eight… and our competing 15 down to 13…


Below, are the 8 of the Top Ten beagles…

Mousse, Bono, Teddy, Fonzi, SnoopyD, SnoopyN, Hougie and Biff

01top ten


Then the extra 5 competitors joined in for a chaoticgroup photo…

Marmalade, Mousse, Bono, Seamus, Teddy, Fonzi, SnoopyD, SnoopyN, Hougie, Biff, Roger, ZoeC and ZoeR



Once the guys on the bikes had scented the competing beagles and set off into the mountains, the long wait started! The 13 competing beagles waited in anticipation while the bikes laid the 7.3km line… It took the bikes just under an hour to lay the line over the rocky mountains and valleys



In the mean time, Hougie and Biff entertained us with some smack talk…



Teddy made sure he was hydrated and ready to go…



Roger and SnoopyD sang us the song of their people, with Biff gave some backing vocals…



ZoeR (recently back from Agility World Champs in Luxembourg!!!) got a pep talk and cuddles…




Fonzi got some love and extra encouragement… Fonzi’s mom and dad are currently holidaying in Greece (they obviously didn’t hold much hope for Fonzi making Top Ten… but luckily Fonzi has a couple of supporters who brought him to the hunt without his parents and released him and looked after him)




Once the bikes were back, the beagles lined up and the air was thick with excitement!



three….. twooooo…….



ONE and they’re OFF!! This is what they’ve been wanting ALL morning!



The pack raced off, baying their little lungs out!




After about 25 minutes, we saw a flash of orange at the foot of the mountains… there were two dogs out there wearing lumo orange bibs, but we couldn’t QUITE make out who it was………. so we waited…..



40 minutes after the pack had been released, we were so excited to see 4 year old FONZI bounding for the finish line! Streaks ahead of anyone else and smiling from ear to ear!!!

What an awesome sight!



About 7 minutes later, we saw another flash of orange bib in the long grass… this could only mean one thing… Bono!! Bono’s parents and his breeder were grinning from ear to ear and so thrilled to see thier 14 month old boy come trotting in!

Bono’s parents have 3 other beagles, and have been hunting for 7 years, and have made Top Ten 5 times before with their eldest dogs… but this is the very FIRST time they have had a beagle finish the line! WHat an awesome feeling it must’ve been!



A short while after Bono came in, we saw 3 white tails in the grass and knew this was going to be a CLOSE finish… over the line we had SNOOPY-N in 3rd, just ahead of SEAMUS in 4th, and BIFF catching up in 5th position!



Very shortly after some more movement and we saw MOUSSE come bounding in – awfully proud of himself and finishing in 6th place



another flash of blue, and the third Blou Bul, HOUGIE raced in to take 7th place in his first Top Ten line!




In the mean time, a few beagles had in fact come back, and not stayed on the line… Roger, Marmelade, Teddy and SnoopyD … which meant that the two little Zoe’s were still out there… ZoeC and ZoeR… we hadn’t seen any movement in a while but waited patiently nonetheless.


After what felt like quite a while, someone saw ZoeC about 500m from the end of the line ….. but wait… she was distracted by a bird!!! Very very unfortunately she took off at full sprint after the bird in the wrong direction, and sadly did not complete the full line along the scent – what a pity!


That left one… little ZoeR who was a finisher from a previous year… It had been over an hour since the pack had been released and we hadn’t caught sight of her once. Wait wait wait…. where could she be!? Out there, all alone… was she still coming, had she turned back, was she perhaps caught somewhere…?


And then… and HOUR and FIFTEEN minutes after the release, someone spotted a blue bib in the grass, and little ZoeR came trotting through the grass and over the finish line… completely exhausted! Her bib was ripped, so we can only assume she had in fact gotten caught on something! What a little champ! To run all that way, for so long, all by herself!



All the 13 beagles were accounted for and had been cuddled and watered!



Once again, a really HUGE congratulations to FONZI – the TOP TEN CHAMP two years in a row!



And this brings 2014 hunting season to a close. As always a HUGE thank you to everyone involved in making these mornings such fun… and well organised! We’ve had a whopper of a season and met some fantastic new beagles and their people!

Now to look forward to the Beagle Ball & Prizegiving!


We’ll see you all at Walkhaven once a month for an open social





6 Responses to “ Gauteng TOP TEN CHALLENGE results – 21 Sep 2014 ”

  1. Helen Howes says:

    Awesome article on the Top Ten – written commentary and action photos captured all the excitement of the morning!

  2. Jenna says:

    Great article Tanya. I’m sure you enjoyed putting it together as much as i enjoyed reading it.

    I see what you meant about all the floppy pink tongues, TOO CUTE!!! :)

    alas I think the only way my boy would ever be able to compete in the line of all lines is if we included the MVB nominations to run :) hehe;)

    Look forward to seeing who was really top dog/bitch this year at the beagle ball :)

  3. kerry says:

    Well done Fonzi! Ocean and Gucci chose you and were very excited u won!
    Well done to all the other winners. Looked like lots of fun :)

  4. JANE says:

    We used 4 tins of pilchards, 3 tins of tuna & 5 bags as the rocks were destroying the scent bags!!!

    Great write up Tanya think it really is a great representation of the day.

  5. Hester says:

    What a wonderful write-up and congratulations to everybody involved. Seems fun was had by all !

  6. Thanks for the photos and commentary it felt like I ve been there. Congrats to everybody. Maybe one day I will be able to attend a hunt

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