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Meet Pat Bennett of Wicked Coursing in Central

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pat Bennett.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I first saw the dog chase sport called “lure coursing” in 2005 when I attended an event in Del Mar called Wags for Wishes. My puppy was with me and just lost her mind over the activity so I decided to join a club. However at that time there were no clubs for a dog that wasn’t a sight hound – dogs like whippets, greyhounds, borzoi, etc. – and I was told my dog wouldn’t run anyway. I laughed in their faces and started my own club, Luratics, the first of its kind in the country. The following year, Wags (which was a signature event of the Make-A-Wish Foundation) came to me and asked if I’d run the lure coursing event for the 2006 season. I did and also for the following 5 years. Luratics has been running ever since and is still active today. We’ve run literally thousands of dogs and made both them and their pet parents wildly happy!

I started Wicked Coursing, which is the equipment manufacturing division, in 2007 because the existing equipment on the market had serious design flaws and kept failing in the field. I first refined and redesigned the field machines, developed the world’s smallest coursing systems for home use, then designed state-of-the-art systems that far surpassed anything in use – a position which we still hold. Our equipment is now the industry standard for dog events and the first choice of zoos everywhere. Wicked Coursing is now an international business with customers all over the world including zoos, game preserves and breeding facilities, as well as dog clubs and individual households.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There were many struggles and setbacks along the way and the company has survived poor equipment from other companies that burned up in the middle of events, the financial meltdown in 2008, bankruptcy, loss of employees, changes in supplies when everything is tooled for a particular unit…it’s been quite a roller coaster ride. However, I’m not one to quit and Wicked Coursing is strong and very viable. We are now the world leader in our market and poised to launch three new and exciting product lines.

Luratics, as a self-funded dog sporting club, has had its share of challenges, most of which stem from the early days using someone else’s equipment. Once I started manufacturing my own line, our events smoothed out and are a San Diego icon in the spring and summer. Our events run from May-September, are open to the public and all dogs are welcome to come out and run with us; no experience is necessary.  You can find our schedule, location, rates, rules, and fun pictures posted on our website at www.luratics.com.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Wicked Coursing manufactures lure coursing equipment for use in dog sports and predator enrichment. Our event division, Luratics, uses this superb equipment at all its lure coursing events. Lure coursing is at its most basic description an activity in which a dog chases a plastic bag on a string and runs as fast as s/he wants. The animal application is only one for which I’ve developed a market, and Wicked Coursing has an exceptionally good reputation around the world. That reputation is based on phenomenal quality and unparalleled customer service. We only use the very best components and because of that our equipment rarely has any failures.

I’m proudest of my innovative equipment and the adaptability of it. I’m also proud of the fact that I was awarded the coveted National Association for the Self Employed 2011 National Achievement Award: a $20,000 grant plus ongoing business guidance and mentoring. It has been indispensable in the growth and health of this business.

What sets Wicked Coursing apart is its unflinching resolve to provide the absolute best equipment in the world and to follow through with that throughout all obstacles.

What were you like growing up?
I was always trying to figure out how things work – taking things apart, trying to reassemble them…didn’t always work, but I was determined! I was a happy kid and had a great home life with parents who were present and loving and allowed me the latitude to develop who I was. It’s a good thing because I was very determined…

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