In the open field events there are two organizations; NOFCA and NACA.
NOFCA is the National Open Field Coursing Association evolved from the original organization The Pacific Sight Hound Field Advisory Committee formed by Phyl and Lyle Gillette in the early 60's.
NACA is a breakaway organization from NOFCA based mainly in the intermountain area.
Both organizations use similar rules and judges. For a dog to earn the title of Coursing Champion (cc) he must earn 100 points.Ten of these points must be at a mixed hunt running against all sighthound breeds and ten must be breed points running against only his own breed at a breed hunt. He must also be awarded a kill credit by one of two means. A UK (unassisted kill) catching the rabbit by himself or 2 AK (assisted kill) catching the rabbit with the help of another dog. The judge makes the decision on this credit.
Another title awarded is the Courser of Merit. This is awarded to the the dog earning 100 points at breed hunts against his own breed.
Additional awards are lifetime awards--the 500 mixed point award, 500 breed point award, and the 1000 point award. Points are earned by defeating a number of other dogs entered in the hunt. First place is four times the number of dogs (up to 10 maximum of 40 points may be earned at one hunt), second place is three times the number of dogs up to ten. Third place is two times number of dogs up to ten, and fourth place is one time the number of dogs up to ten. Fifth place is one half times the number of dogs up to ten. In the case of a tie, the points are split between the two dogs or three dogs or more depending on the number of dogs in the tie. Thus, if there is a tie for 2nd place it would look like this if there were 20 dogs entered: 1-40 points tie for 2 and 3 each would get twenty-five points and 4-10 points and 5-5 points. At NOFCA sponsored hunts the top winning dog in each breed earns 5 points towards his cm or 500 breed point award.
Of all the events for Borzoi, I feel that open field coursing titles are the most difficult to earn. The events are not unlike Olympic events for sighthounds. They must be in top shape and quite skilled on the wiles of the jackrabbit (the only game allowed in open field events, cottontail and other rabbits are not run) and they must be able to compete against the other sighthounds. They are not judged by how well they run for their breed but how well they beat all the other competition regardless of breed.
Judges use guidelines of points for their scores. They are based upon speed, stamina, agility, desire, and an added bonus if the quarry is taken. Each dog is run once against two other dogs. The winner of each of these courses drawn is then advanced to a new draw against two other winners of the first go around. Then the scores of each of the dogs in the second draw are added together with their first draw score and the winners are determined.
The game is pushed up by the gallery walking in the fields slightly behind the three drawn hunting dogs. A hunt master walking beside the hunters quickly determines if the hare is adult, sound, and not injured or impaired, then calls the Talley Ho ideally within about 50 yards of the hunters. The three hunting hounds are released by their owners as quickly as possible. Any owner who releases his hound before the Talley Ho is penalized by the judge depending upon the advantage gained by the early slip. The hunt is conducted in all kinds of weather (except when the courses can not be seen due to fog heavy rain or snow). Dogs must learn to run under all conditions mud, rain, snow traverse fences creeks and other natural obstacles. The Borzoi is a cool-headed hunter and is less likely be injured than some of the other sighthound breeds. He is not as tolerant of the warmer conditions and infinitely more tolerant of the cold than all the other breeds. Each hunt begins ideally as early as possible and generally lasts most of the daylight hours. It takes time to find the rabbits. When walking in the fields under these average conditions the hunting party generally covers 10 to 13 miles of walking. As to miles driven to compete in the hunt that really depends...
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