Goin' for the bunny!
Kickin' up the dust!
Lure Coursing is one of the most popular sports enjoyed by Ridgeback and other sighthound enthusiasts. There are two separate groups in which sighthounds can compete - American Sighthound Fanciers Association (ASFA) and AKC. The premise of the sport is the same, including the way the dogs are judged, the awards and point systems are slightly different.
In both, the dogs must be at least one year old before they can compete and the only disqualification for Ridgebacks is ridgelessness. Bitches in season are also not allowed to compete and all are tested prior to the start of the trial.
In AKC competition, dogs must first successfully complete a Qualifying run..."QC" where they run with one other dog to ensure they are following the lure and not coursing the other dog or interfering with it in any way. Once certified, they are able to compete in the trial. Additionally, as a way to start or practice, a dog can complete two runs by itself on two separate days and in doing so, be awarded the AKC's Junior Courser (JC) title. In the Junior Courser test, a dog, running by itself, must follow the lure thru the course, show enthusiasm, good follow, speed, agility and not be distracted by anything else. In regular trials, there are a maximum of three dogs running in each set. Two races are run by each dog during the day and a combined score is used to award placement. The top dog in each breed can then go on to compete in Best in Field. To earn a Field Champion title, a dog must earn 15 points, including two major wins. The point schedule varies from region to region, but here in Florida it takes 5 Ridgebacks competing for a 3 point major.
In ASFA competition, dogs must first be certified by a judge in order to compete with others. The dog must successfully run the course, as outlined above, running with one other dog. The purpose of this is to ensure the dog will not interfere with or be distracted by another dog running at the same time. Once certification is attained, the dogs can then go on to compete. To earn an ASFA Field Champion title (FCh, which appears after the dog's registered name) a dog must earn 100 points, including 2 first place wins, or 1 first and 2 seconds. The point system is based on the number of dogs competing at that event and points are given to 1st thru 4th place.
For more information on these great sports, check out the AKC website - www.akc.org and the ASFA website - www.asfa.org