“I hope you children you all enjoy today, and I hope you will get as much fun from coursing and coursing people as I have done.”Charlie Wilby, at a Newmarket coursing meeting for local children
Author Charlie Blanning and race horse trainer Sir Mark Prescott have certainly encountered the “greatest” in Greyhound coursing. Their shared experiences in coursing would begin in 1977. At the time, Charlie served as the coursing correspondent for The Field, a country sports magazine.
Over the years, they would bear witness to some of the most famous Greyhounds in history. Dashing Oak. Gallant. They would also encounter some of coursing’s most memorable and infamous characters. Bob Burton. Michael O’Donovan. Lilah Shennen.
Charlie Wilby is one such individual. He was a Norfolk butcher known for sharing cuts of meat with coursing meeting staff. During one coursing meeting, he shared his love of the sport with local children. Paraphrasing Sir Mark — Charlie represented a dying breed of local countrymen who had a love of animals and appreciation for the sport.
In this episode, host John Parker explores the “greatest” in coursing with Charlie and Sir Mark. It’s a conversation replete with superlatives from the sport, from the Greyhound to the trainer to the hare.