Russell Racing at NBC's Today Show
Bob Franklin to the Yankee Network Newsletter, Jan 2004
On January 2, 2004
we were invited to put on a demonstration JRT racing at NBC's Today
Show. What an experience we had! Five of the nine participants were
Yankee Jack Russell Terrier Network members - Bob and Genie Franklin,
Ann Shepard, Michael Beach and Karen Vernon. We were joined by Doug
and Sue Tack
and Doug and Noreen Loranger whom many of you know.
|L-R back row
Doug Loranger, Bob Franklin with Sassy, Genie Franklin with Cain,
Karen Vernon, Doug Tack with Holland - Front row L-R Noreen Loranger
with Calico, Erin Tack, Sue Tack with Hale and Gregory Tack. In
the background is the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree (which incidently
came from Manchester, CT only about 10 miles from where we live.)
After spending a
very short night in the Hilton Hotel, Bob and Genie were at the NBC
site by 5:30am helping set up the race track equipment because they
opted to use Bob's start box, hurdles, finish barrier, lure puller and
colored clown collars. We got to run a few practice races while the
NBC camera crew figured out the best angles for pictures, but at 7:00am
when the show started, the waiting began.
We were able to
watch all of the outside filming and could hear and see most of the
Today Show because there were speakers and TV monitors everywhere. We
were thrilled to see up close Willard Scott and the other NBC personalities
and we even got a photo of Genie mugging it up with Willard. Also, most
of the group posed for a photo with the Rockefeller Plaza tree in the
background. Several of us spent some time "working the crowd"
just like Willard Scott does but with our terriers which was fun. Genie
was particularly good at this.
About 9:45am we
were finally on. The terriers were announced one at a time and then
loaded. We had Sassy, Holland, Calico, Hale, Bramble and Cain - terrier
names most of you will recognize. The carpeted track was only about
30 yards long so it was all in the start. Holland and Bramble came out
together, but Holland misjudged and grazed the 2nd hurdle so Bramble
won with Sassy a close 2nd. But, all the terriers arrived at the finish
at once so the foam barrier was totally blown out. The crowd loved it.
of us walked through Rockefeller Plaza and down 5th Avenue and had an
early lunch. It seemed like we had been up forever but it wasn't even
noon yet. The drive home felt like it took forever and both Genie and
Bob were in bed way early that night. Our email fairly well lit up that
afternoon and the next day with folks telling us how much fun they had
had watching our VERY SHORT time in the NBC spotlight.