Omni Terrier Derby History
“If you have never seen it before, terrier racing is one of the great spectator sports.”   Peter Thomas - Racing Post


The Omni Terrier Derby, run on the actual Derby course as part of the annual Epsom Trainers Open Day, was a great success with over 40 barking lunatic terriers competing for the coveted prize.

Having powered his way through heats, quarter and semi-finals, Smudge simply blitzed the field.

By the time of the final, bookmaker Des Gleason, faced with hefty liabilities from the growing band of Smudge supporters, cried enough and packed up his “joint” in disgust.

Between mutterings of “it’s supposed to be for charity” he had the temerity to suggest that the event was fixed. I ask you, how could anybody possibly fix a terrier race?

2003 winner, Smudge, again blasted his way through the heats, semi-final and final to land the prize for the second year running and stake his claim as the canine Red Rum.

Smudge leaps to victory
Smudge leaps to victory

Articles over the preceding weeks in local newspapers together with plugs on Channel 4 Racing, helped draw a bumper turnout, both human and canine.

Victory went to Puzzle, a 10 year old Jack Russell, who beat the likes of Pebble, Spotty, and Cracker to claim the trophy.

The 2006 running again attracted a record entry with dozens of barking mad terriers vying for the prize.

Hot favourite Smudge was surprisingly beaten into third place in the final by old adversary Spotty, who fought off the late challenge of Masie to grab the spoils.

Spotty the 2006 Omni Terrier Derby Champion

All four finalists were smartly out of the traps but none faster than Spotty who held off the late challenge of relative novice Milou to win the prize for the second year with Smudge back in third and Pebble a gallant fourth.

Many observers felt that the very speedy Milou may well have won had he not been more interested in mounting Spotty.

Helen, Spotty & Pat

Helen Chamberlain presents Spotty's owner Pat Puiset with the winner's prize

A further highlight was provided by the delightful Helen Chamberlain, presenter of cult Sky TV show Soccer AM, who graciously agreed to present the coveted trophy to Spotty and runner up prizes.
The 6th Omni Terrier Derby had over 50 barking mad terriers battling through heats, quarter and semi finals to the grand final won by Poppy from Sage and Patch. Poppy and Patch are both working Jack Russells owned by Peter Hyde, who received the trophy from SoccerAM’s Helen Chamberlain.

As one might expect, with so many entrants, it was a recipe for chaos with the historic racecourse awash with barking mad terriers and their owners.

2009 start

Despite a few hiccups, after countless heats, quarter finals and semi-finals the grand final was won by Sage (runner up last year) from Minty with Milou third and 2008 winner Poppy in fourth place.

Competition was fierce with over 60 barking mad terriers running in 16 heats, quarter and semi finals.
The grand final was won by Ollie, owned by the understandably proud and delighted Kevin and Emma Llewellyn, with Sage a gallant second with the other finalists, Poppy and Dice, in close attendance.

2011: SAGE is the Flavourite!
Previous winners Smudge and Sage were back again this year to renew rivalry, with Sage, owned by William Haynes, battling his way through the heats, quarter and semi-finals to take the final in thrilling fashion from Frosties Lad and Milou.

After 16 heats plus quarter and semi finals the final was won by Widget, a Paterdale / Border Terrier cross, owned by Janice Dent.

In second place was Bullet, owned by Kevin and Emma, the only Rat Terrier in this country having been brought over from Kansas USA earlier this year.

In the 10 years of the races this is the first time that the final has been won by a breed other than a Jack Russell, firmly establishing the Omni Terrier Derby as an equal opportunities event!


This eleventh running of the Omni Terrier Derby is being hailed as the best yet by participants, spectators and organisers alike.
Over 50 terriers and quite a few other breeds (the Terrier Derby is an equal opportunities event) competed in 12 heats followed by 4 quarter finals, semi finals and the final which was won by Magnus, a Plummer Terrier owned by Kieran Daniels, from Hector in second.

Despite the number of barking mad pooches taking part, the day went extremely smoothly and a great time was had by all.

There was a record turn out in 2014 with over 70 dogs chasing a lure towed by a state of the art masterpiece using a car starter motor.

Following twelve previous successful runnings, London based print and display company, Omni Colour, were once again proud to sponsor the 2015 Terrier Derby, run alongside the actual Derby course at historic Epsom Racecourse.
Despite the rather dull weather, over 60 barking mad terriers took part.

The grand final was won by Lyra, a Parson Jack Russell Terrier, owned by Michelle Blackwell from Toddy, owned by Michelle's daughter Ryan, a gallant 2nd.

Lyra owned by Michelle Blackwell

There was a record turnout for the 14th Omni Terrier Derby, run at Epsom racecourse, with over 70 barking mad dogs competing for the coveted prize. The trophy was won, for the second year, by Lyra, owned by Michelle Blackwell, with Tigger, owned by Emma Llewellyn a gallant second.

There was also the ever popular best turned out dog competition, with prizes of his and hers doggy fascinators created by milliner Jessica Rae, won by Sara Ward's Bedlington Terrier Bertie and Olive, a Jack Russell owned by Louisa Dempster.

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