CWA Description


The Continental Whippet Alliance (CWA) was established in 1990. It primary mission is to promote, protect and preserve purebred Whippet racing and to provide a friendly and enjoyable environment for sportsmanlike competition. It is the objective of the CWA to play a role in the preservation of the Whippet's athletic ability, sporting instincts and functional breed characteristics; to foster future generations of fit, versatile individuals that are true to the Whippet Breed Standard.

What distinguishes the CWA from other organizations sponsoring racing or coursing events in the U.S. and Canada is its emphasis on dual-purpose objectives. Each CWA event includes a Conformation Match as well as 200-yard straight racing. At the conclusion of the Race Meet, the top finishers of each starting grade (A, B, C, D, FTE & Puppy) together with eligible supplemental entries (those satisfactorily completing the Race Meet) compete in a Conformation Match to recognize the Whippet's physical attributes in addition to their already proven athletic ability.

To be eligible for CWA activities, a Whippet must meet eligibility requirements to receive a CWA Registration Number. The CWA is patterned after the British Whippet Club Racing Association's system of registration. Application is made on a Registration Form and sent to the CWA Registrar. In addition to possessing an AKC, CKC or other acceptable registration, the Whippet must also have four generations of acceptable ancestry. If within four generations there is a dog, or owner of a dog, that has been banned by a purebred racing association, or there is a non-pedigree or crossbred dog, it is ineligible to receive a CWA number. All 30 dogs appearing in the required four-generation pedigree must be purebred. In addition, the Whippet must not possess either a Whippet Breed disqualification or an AKC disqualification (deafness, monorchidism, etc). However, spay/neutered Whippets are eligible to compete in both CWA racing and CWA Conformation Match competition.

The CWA is comprised of affiliated Clubs/Groups that must conduct a minimum of one annual event (combined race meet and conformation match). Each Club/Group appoints two members to serve on the CWA Board of Directors to assist in election of Officers, eligibility criteria, rule changes, appointment of special committees, etc.

During its twelve years of activity (1991-2002) over 650 Whippets were registered in the CWA and twelve different Clubs/Groups hosted 216 events in British Columbia, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. In 2002, a record 31 race meets were conducted nationwide. Over 190 different Whippet breeders/owners and dog experts served as Conformation Match judges.

The CWA awards five titles to deserving Whippets:

Title of Racing Proficiency (TRP) -recognizes Whippets demonstrating a basic level of proficiency in racing.

Award of Racing Excellence (ARX) - recognizes Whippets demonstrating a high level of performance and speed in racing.

Superior Racing Award (SRA) - recognizes Whippets with exceptional racing ability demonstrated over a number of years (accumulation of 75 national ARX points).

Dual Purpose Champion (DPC) - recognizes those unique individuals who have earned either the TRP plus achieved notable success in conformation competition by earning an AKC or CKC Bench Championship or by winning five (5) CWA conformation matches (spayed/neutered dogs are eligible).

Dual Purpose Champion Excellent (DPCX) - the highest award attainable in the CWA; it recognizes those unique individuals who have earned ARX, plus achieved notable success in conformation competition by earning an AKC or CKC Bench Championship or by winning five (5) CWA conformation matches (spayed/neutered dogs are eligible).

During its first twelve years of competition, the CWA has awarded 181 TRPs, 71 ARXs, 6 SRAs, 63 DPCs and 19 DPCXs. All five CWA titles satisfy the American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) pre-qualification requirement for lure coursing. In addition the American Whippet Club recognizes the ARX title for eligibility in the Racing Class at National Specialties.

CWA events are usually scheduled as Saturday-Sunday doubleheaders that provide the opportunity to earn double points. Traditionally, the host Club(s) sponsor potluck picnics, which encourages participants to gather in a casual social setting. Annual CWA Fun Matches, Eye Clinics, Tattoo Clinics, animal communicator sessionsand canine massage therapy have also been conducted in conjunction with CWA events. An annual CWA photo contest was begun in 2001.

A typical CWA event begins on Saturday morning with measuring and inspection of each Whippet for breed and AKC disqualification. A minimum of ten (10) adult starters is required to qualify as an official CWA event. After inspection, dogs are assigned to races by adult Grades A, B, C and D. Starting grades are based on past performance; with grade A being the fastest and grade D being the slowest. First time entered (FTE) dogs begin in grade D or appropriate grade from a recognized racing organization. Puppies only compete with puppies and must be over 8 months and under 14 months of age. The record CWA entry is 54 adult starters.

While racing, Whippets wear muzzles and identifying blankets. Starting from scratch out of a six-stall starting box, adults compete over the 200-yard straight distance; puppies 150 yards. Adults run four programs; puppies three. Each dog, based on their finish in each program, earns race points. After four programs, points are tallied and the Whippet with the highest point total is declared first, next highest second and so forth down to the last place finisher. The Race Secretary then determines eligibility for the Conformation Match. The top two finishers in each grade (A, B, C, D & FTE), Best of Opposite Sex and High Point and Best of Opposite Sex puppies are automatically eligible. Supplemental Match entries may be made only for Whippets that have satisfactorily completed all race programs. The record CWA Conformation Match entry is 20 Whippets.

The conformation Judge selects 1st through 4th place, regardless of sex, based upon conformance to the Whippet Standard for the Breed. Conformation Match wins count toward requirements for the CWA Dual Purpose Championship (DPC) and Dual Purpose Championship Excellent (DPCX) Titles. Following the conclusion of the conformation judging, trophies are awarded and the social activities begin.

Information on membership, Schedule of Events, CWA Newsletter Line & Lure, copies of the Rules, etc are available from Doug Arthur, CWA Secretary, 12035 W Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53224-1417 (phone 414-355-4776, fax 414-355-4446, or marial

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