Audrey’s dogs are raring to go – By Anne Marie O’Brien
After the long lockdown, Audrey Burney is really looking forward to getting back racing in the next few weeks – but not as much as her dogs, who are raring to go.
“They’re getting a bit hyper!” joked the Hamiltonsbawn, Co. Armagh owner-trainer when she spoke to the Sporting Press this week. “I’m definitely looking forward to getting back racing.”
She has two race dogs at present, Coloured River and Rising Flash, a brood bitch Coloured Lily who has nine-month-old pups on the ground, and two retired runners.
The race dogs have had gallops during lockdown, but Audrey would like to see them get back around a track. “They are going for trials next Monday,” she said. “It’s been a bit scary when you can’t get them around a track, because the fields are so hard.”
Coloured River has been the star of the kennels in recent times. “He’s brilliant,” said Audrey. “When he went to Shelbourne Park, he didn’t like it much but he loves Dundalk.”
The Mar. ’16 Zero Ten dog has won 17 races from 40, including an open 550 on Dundalk International night, and has a great spirit. “He actually got bowled over one week and after we got him checked out, he came out the next week and won his race. He’s the best dog I’ve ever had.”
The other racer in the kennel, Rising Flash, is also a Zero Ten dog and is a year younger. He’s won seven contests including his most recent before lockdown so it’s to be hoped he resumes his racing career in the same successful vein.
Audrey works two days a week at her part-time job but devotes the rest of the time to her dogs and has been busy with her brood bitch Coloured Lily, who was an open-class racer before whelping her first litter last September to Laughil Blake. One pup has been sold to England but Audrey is holding on to the other three.
“She is a full sister of Coloured River but only had 22 races because she came in season every six months,” explained Audrey. She’s now retired from racing as she’s open class so it would be hard to get races for her – though she’s in great form and would probably be well capable of winning on the track.
Also looking forward to the return of racing is Audrey’s father John Pearson, who handed over the reins to her five years ago but keeps up an active interest in the sport. He’s the owner of one of her two retired dogs, Drumbee Shadow, who is now 11 years old. He ran 101 races, competing up to the age of six and a half.