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Kirby Overcash

AKC Fastest Dogs’ competitor, Saluki “Trevor” (Trevor of Iran at Sirius) wasn’t always running around his home of Maiden, NC. In fact, before he became the No. 1 Saluki across many aspects of Fast CAT, he lived in the Middle East, where Salukis originated.

This speedy dog, now owned and handled by Kirby Overcash, is taking the 2024 AKC Fastest Dogs USA competition by storm, hoping to add to his accolades in the sport. Trevor went from a completely different life in another country to excelling in Fast CAT, all for the love of the lure.

Brought in by the Saluki Community

Trevor was born in a village in South Eastern Iran, and bought by an Iranian woman who moved to the United States with him. They lived in the U.S. for three years, until a sudden crisis impacted her family. She needed to find another place for Trevor to stay while things got sorted out.

Calls went out to various Saluki contacts worldwide. Were any experienced Salukis owners willing to foster this dog? How would he adjust? Overcash, who was already a Saluki owner, heard of Trevor’s dilemma. “I was contacted by a friend, who is a Saluki breeder and importer of Salukis born in their regions of origin,” he recalls. Overcash agreed to help out. He didn’t know it at the time, but his life was about to change.

Overcash was immediately struck by how friendly Trevor was, and how well he adjusted to life with Overcash’s other Salukis. Overcash took him to some lure coursing competitions with his other dogs. It was then that Trevor’s calm demeanor evaporated. “When he saw the lure in motion for the first time, he went crazy!” Overcash recalls. Trevor ran to the end of his leash and jumped backwards over and over again. Overcash wondered how he’d stack up in competition. But there was a problem: Trevor was from the desert, with no pedigree, unknown parentage, and no AKC papers. He couldn’t run in AKC competitions because he wasn’t AKC-registered. Besides, Overcash didn’t own him.

Shokoofeh Rezazedeh and Kirby Overcash

Getting Trevor Registered

But fate soon intervened. Trevor’s former owner asked Overcash if he wanted to keep Trevor permanently, and Overcash quickly agreed. He also knew that AKC has a specific route by which Salukis born in their countries of origin can be registered. For Salukis, it requires first seeking registration with the Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis (SPDBS). This entails having experienced breeders certify that the dog looks like a purebred Saluki, plus having DNA typing. That paperwork is then sent to the AKC for final review. If approved, the dog is eligible to compete in all AKC events, except for conformation.

Trevor passed with flying colors and officially became a Generation 0 Saluki. “Gen 0” means he’s straight from the Middle East. Any puppies he might sire would then be Gen 1, and their puppies Gen 2, as long as they’re bred to AKC-registered Salukis each generation. When they reach Gen 3, they’re considered full-fledged AKC Salukis and can compete in every AKC sport, including conformation.

Off to the Races

Though it took awhile for Trevor to be able to complete, Overcash wasted no time getting him involved. But would Trevor be as good as his excitement promised? Overcash tentatively entered him in a straight race sponsored by the Large Gazehound Racing Association (LGRA), which is similar to AKC Fast CAT but twice as long, with several dogs all running together. On his first try, Trevor streaked past the competition, finishing the race in first place.

And he kept on doing it. For 20 race meets, Trevor met all competition and was never once defeated. He finished the year as the No.1 LGRA Saluki.

So Trevor could run in a straight line, and fast. But could he repeat that on a longer oval track? Overcash entered him in a National Oval Track Racing Association (NOTRA) race. He won that one, then many others. Again, he finished the year undefeated and earned the position of No.1 NOTRA Saluki. Trevor also competed in the National Championship Race Meets and won both the LGRA and NOTRA racing championships for Salukis.

Finally Time for Fast CAT

In April 2023, Trevor competed in his very first Fast CAT event. Trevor’s record proved he was fast, but could he accelerate quickly enough to succeed at the much shorter 100-yard Fast CAT course? On his very first run, he blazed down the track, and his speed showed that the short distance was no problem. In just three tries, Trevor eclipsed the speeds of other Salukis, and quickly made a name for himself. In 2023, he was not only the No.1 Fast CAT Saluki, with an average speed of 33.5 miles per hour, but also the the lifetime-fastest Fast CAT Saluki.

Billy Brady

Right out of the gate, Trevor showed that he meant business, but he was just getting started. He tried lure coursing, which is a much longer run with twists, turns, and sometimes hills. Some dogs who do well in straight-sprint sports find that lure coursing isn’t for them, but Trevor’s past NOTRA experience made him well prepared. In typical Trevor style, he quickly won 15 Best of Breeds and six Best in Fields between AKC and American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) trials, finishing the year as No.1 AKC lure coursing Saluki.

Trevor Keeps Running

A week before the 2024 AKC Fastest Dogs USA competition, Trevor was busy competing in the Open Field championship for open field coursing. While other dogs may prep for Fastest Dogs USA by getting a massage, or galloping around the dog park, Trevor hiked for miles, running through rough brush, twisting and turning, dodging cacti and barbed wire, all in a mile-plus pursuit. After that, the Fastest Dogs competition should be a walk in the park.

Trevor’s still young in Saluki years, and will continue to run because it’s what he’s passionate about. Some Saluki breeders have been so impressed with his speed and looks that Trevor may have something else to get excited about. There’s already been talk of Trevor future puppies, and who knows, maybe one day, one will beat Trevor’s records. Trevor’s already set the bar high in a short time, and he’s already become a champion in every way that he can.

At Fastest Dogs USA, an AKC and ESPN production, the country’s speediest canines gather for the fifth annual, invitation-only event. Dogs of all breeds participate year-long, around the country, in AKC Fast Coursing Ability Tests (Fast CAT) – the 100-yard dash for dogs.