Lure coursing Field trials are a dog sport that involves the dog chasing a mechanically operated lure. In the dog world coursing is defined as the pursuit of game by dogs (hunting with dogs basically). In Lure Coursing Trials they try to simulate live coursing. This includes creating a course that has multiple twists and turns and may include obstacles and jumps. According to the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) the dogs race solely, in pairs, or in trios. They are judged based on their speed, agility, enthusiasm, endurance, and how well they follow the lure.
It is typically a competition for purebred hounds of all types, but purebred sighthounds (like a Whippet, for example) specifically excel in this kind of competition. There are some variations as to the naming convention for these trials, as the CKC prefers to call them the Lure Coursing Field Trials, while the AKC prefers Lure Coursing Trials and the Kennel Club (UK) just goes with Lure Coursing.
Typically dogs must be at least a year old to compete. This is probably because running and the turns can be hard on a young pups joints. Too much strain can lead to joint problems later in life. They also must be certified to participate, which can include doing a test along side a similar breed and also being registered with the National Kennel Club.
The breeds that can participate in a CKC Lure Coursing Trials are:
Afghan Hounds, Azawakhs, Basenjis, Borzois, Deerhounds (Scottish), Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis and Whippets.
Additional Rules and Regulation Info
There are many rules and regulations designed to clearly define who, where, what, and how competitions will be run. One of the important roles in lure coursing field trials is that of the huntmaster.
This person has many responsibilities in the trials that help to keep things organized (like ensuring the right dogs are participating in the right course, for example). They are also responsible for signaling the beginning of the race by declaring “Tally-Ho” which means start. They also say “retrieve your hounds” when the race is over. They also check the course before and after each race to ensure everything is in proper order. They have many responsibilities to ensure the race is fair and completed properly.
If you are not participating in a CKC trial you should always check the rules and regulations, as different Kennel Clubs can have different rules about which breeds are allowed to compete and how they compete. This is partly because the different clubs throughout the world register different breeds and can have differing breed standards. It is also simply because each country and their Kennel Club set their own rules and regulations and so they naturally could differ even if the event is basically the same.
National & International Competitions
The Canadian Kennel Club Lure Coursing Field Trial Events
Who Can Participate: Registered purebred’s of the following hound breeds: Afghan Hounds, Azawakhs, Basenjis, Borzois, Deerhounds (Scottish), Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis and Whippets.
The American Kennel Club Lure Coursing Trial Events
Who Can Participate: Purebred hound’s
If you want to start attending shows and competing with your breed, be sure to check out the AKC event calendar https://www.apps.akc.org/apps/event_calendar/ to find local events if you are in America.