Westy Whizzer-Champion Greyhound of the Sixties

Westy Whizzer was a champion greyhound of the 1960s out of the great sire Tell You Why and the dam, Kinto Nebo. Owned by the late George Nihart and running for the C. C. “Swede” Wilson Kennel, Westy Whizzer was one of the great greyhounds that my father used to speak of. Before there was a dog track in Connecticut, my dad would have to travel from eastern Connecticut to Taunton and Raynham, a pair of pari-mutuel tracks in southeastern Massachusetts, to see the likes of Westy Whizzer. He would assure me that nobody would see a dog like Westy Whizzer again, one so adored by his fans that he was actually given a party on his fourth birthday, where many of them wept.

Whelped in October of 1962, Westy Whizzer would eventually be named to three consecutive All-American teams-in 1964,’65, and ’66. In 1964, at about two years old, Westy Whizzer won the Raynham Juvenile, a race that showcased all the best pups in the region. His trainer, “Swede” Wilson, said of Westy Whizzer that race, “That night, he learned to come out of the box. Westy Whizzer never came out right before that, but after that night, right up until he retired, he knew just what he was doing.” Westy Whizzer would go on to sweep a match-race series and add the Taunton Gold Collar Stakes to his list of 1964 victories.

Westy Whizzer had an incredible year in 1965. Only the fabulous Miss Whirl had more wins in the nation than Westy Whizzer, who put his nose first over the line on 34 separate occasions. At Raynham, Westy Whizzer won 13 of his 17 outings, and claimed the $25,000 Raynham Derby, run over the three-eighths of a mile course. In a time when the best dogs in the country would travel around from track to track to compete, Westy Whizzer was the most feared four-legged competitor. Westy Whizzer would win an astounding 49 times in 1966, running at such high profile venues as Mile High in Colorado, Palm Beach in Florida, and of course Taunton and Raynham. It was at Taunton that he achieved notoriety for winning ten straight races, not that unusual until you factor in that Westy Whizzer won during this skein from all eight boxes!

On May 28th, 1966, Westy Whizzer, more at home on the 1,650 foot five-sixteenths of a mile sprint course, broke the Raynham three-eighths record. Westy Whizzer was clocked at 37.55 seconds over the 1,980 foot distance, as he showed his versatility and stamina were second to none. Westy Whizzer retired late in 1966, but not before winning more races than any male greyhound in history to that point, a total of 107. His $67,000 in purses won would translate today to probably more than $300,000! The stud career of Westy Whizzer was no less impressive than what he could do on the racing oval. One of the many litters that Westy Whizzer sired became known as the “Whiz Kids”, a group of twelve greyhounds, eleven of them males, which won almost 300 races between them, all over the country. Westy Whizzer was the father of four All-Americans, a Rural Rube Award winner in Rebel Charlie, and a Flashy Sir Award winner in Sand Cut. He produced such greats as Target, Carry On, Whizzer Ben, and Big Whizzer, a champion that would produce two of the sport’s greatest stars, Downing and Blazing Red.

Westy Whizzer was treated like royalty everywhere he went, but it was at Taunton that he was most beloved. On October 29th, 1966, Taunton Dog Track gave Westy Whizzer a birthday party.Two days later, Westy Whizzer would tie Big Gossip’s American record of 103 wins. The following excerpt is from “The Coursing News”, written by a fellow named Howard Roy.

‘ It came up cold and raw for Westy Whizzer’s birthday party, and a churning win swirled the dust and thousands of $2 losing tickets and paper beer cups around the blacktop apron that runs between the grandstand and the track. The twelve race program for the night was over, but thousands of people remained in the grandstand and on the apron and along the rail by the finish line to see Westy Whizzer. The uniformed attendants wheeled up a big seven foot tall birthday cake, baked by Earnest Montillo of Quincy, Massachusetts for Westy Whizzer. This same man had baked cakes for the late President Kennedy, European royalty, and Hollywood stars. Joe Linsey, the president of the track, came out and had some nice things to say about Westy Whizzer, the “Swede’, and George Nihart. And then Westy Whizzer was lead out onto the track wearing a bright metallic “gold” blanket in place of the usual plain cloth pad with the number on it. Westy Whizzer looked around a couple of times to see who he was going to have to beat that night and then tugged at the leash that “Swede” Wilson held.’

‘And then, just for a few rare seconds, the crowd that had been kidding and clapping went silent. For just an instant, the win-lust and the greed and the meanness disappeared and the wind and the cold, just a little before midnight, there was a kind of fleeting, silent, unspoken tribute to an indefinable thing called classâÂ?¦. something you cannot put into words, but once you’ve seen it , you will never forget it.’

Unbeknown st to Mr. Roy, he had been able to put it into words. Westy Whizzer died on October 27th, 1977 in Abilene, Kansas, just two days before his sixteenth birthday. Westy Whizzer was elected to the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1983.

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