The main event at any Lurcher show today is the showing. This is the main source of revenue for most Lurcher clubs. Showing is probably one of the most controversial issues in the Lurcher world. In effect the showing of Lurchers is a beauty competition run along the same lines as any other dog show. However, the judge has to take into consideration a Lurchers potential ability. At the end of the day there is no breed standard for the Lurcher and if left to the NL&RC there never will be one. It is left to the judge on the day to reach his or her decision as to which dog before him or her shall be the winner. The most we hope to achieve is a standard of judging that is consistent, with judges affording each entry with the same amount of time and examination. As well as Lurcher classes, at many of our shows we have both Terrier and Ferret showing and racing classes, ask on the day for availability.The Lurcher showing classes are segregated into sex, size, and coat texture, each of the class winners competing for the overall championship. All champions from NL&RC shows are entered into the NL&RC Champion of Champions Show held at the Chatsworth Country Fair in September of each year, one of the most sought after titles in the Lurcher showing Calendar.
Straight Racing is exactly what it sounds like, a number of Lurchers running together after a mechanical lure in a straight line. The dogs each wear different coloured collars, and are usually segregated into different sizes and coat textures for example under 21 inch rough coat, under 21 inch smooth coated. The racing can take place over any distance, however, a one hundred metre sprint is usually the shortest distance covered especially if there are large dogs involved. In a clean race the first dog over the winning line is judged to be the winner. It is always important to leave a good distance after the finishing line in order for the dogs to avoid impact injury. Lurchers can run in excess of 20 miles per hour and some weigh in excess of 90lbs so safety is a paramount consideration in any running event. Where possible netting is used along either side of the track, if this is not possible the track is roped off. Straight racing is an event, which can be entered by both pet and working Lurchers, it's fun to enter and entertaining to watch.
Hurdle Racing involves two Lurchers competing against each other, running after a mechanical lure in straight line with jumps. The dogs each wear either a red or a white collar. Hurdling can take place over any distance, however, a one hundred metre sprint is usually the average distance used. In a clean race the first dog over the winning line is judged to be the winner. Every Lurcher entered is expected to attempt to jump every hurdle however, a dog is penalised for not clearing a jump. The jumps are designed from soft pliable material so as not to cause injury. Once again it is always important to leave a good distance after the finishing line for the dogs to avoid injury. Netting is used up either side of the track to encourage the dogs to jump the hurdles. Hurdles racing can be great fun to watch, you often see some real characters, some go under every jump, some run through every jump. It really is a great event both to enter and watch.
Long jump is a solo event, the Lurcher runs after a mechanical lure in straight line, with the obstacle of a long jump on the course! No collar is worn as the dogs are running alone. Long jump can take place over any distance, however, a fifty metre length is usually the average distance used, this allows for a run up, the jump and a run out. The lure is dragged under the jump, which consists of suspended poles. The dog has to clear the jump without knocking a pole from its rest. The jump is extended at the discretion of the judge. The jump usually starts around 12 feet and can extend to over 20 feet. The winning dog is the one, which jumps the greatest distance cleanly. Netting is used up either side of the track to encourage the dogs to jump the Long jump. The long jump can be great fun to watch, and again some real characters enter to give the crowd a good laugh, this event really is a fab event for pet and working Lurchers.
Obedience is an event which, involves great skill and good partnership between the Lurcher and its owner. Of course, all can enter the event as the NL&RC have devised two classes to allow for a mixed abilities from total beginners to advanced entrants. The obedience involves a Lurcher and its owner participating in a number of set tests devised by the coordinator at both the novice and advanced level.The novice competition is designed to encourage beginners to participate and develop the skills needed to work their dog in the field.The advanced competition is designed to find the ultimate working partnership between Lurcher and handler. Again, qualifying competitions are held throughout the country during the summer months, culminating in the final event at Chatsworth Country Fair in September. The top four places from the advanced competition qualify for the field trials. The field trails test the partnership between the dog and handler to ultimate limits. The event takes place over a weekend where the dogs are worked on the different aspects of Lurcher work, which includes: lamping, ferreting, bushing and hunting up.The Obedience event is one of the most testing competitions for both dog and handler. Many beginners are easily put off just through the word obedience. It's important to understand that the novice event is ideal for the nervous, and absolute beginners, its well worth entering just for fun as you never know, you just might enjoy it!
We also run fun 'Have-a-Go' Obedience tests at some of our events. These are fun tests for people who may find the harder tests a bit daunting.
Simulated coursing is 2 dogs chasing the mechanical lure around a course. Each dog wears a different coloured collar and classes are usually segregated depending on different sizes of dogs. The dog that wins is the dog that runs the truest course. 2002 saw the first year of the NL&RC simulated coursing championship. Sponsored by premier caravans of County Durham, qualifying competitions have been held throughout the country and was culminated in the champion of champions competition held at Holkham Country Fair Norfolk on 21st September 2002. The NL&RC simulated coursing championship aims to be an annual event however, the venue may change.
The Field Agility is kindly run by Jim Greenwood of J & J Greenwood and is a mix of agility and obedience designed to reflect the traditional tasks and control that are asked of the Lurcher, whilst demonstrating the sheer beauty of movement and their athletic prowess.You will be asked to get your dog to negotiate a series of obstacles and tasks in a set order including jumps and a small tunnel made from straw bales, hurdle jump and long jump, walking your dog to heel, getting your dog to stay in position, retrieve an object, and recall quickly.The rules are simple -complete the course in the fastest time you can.
Entries are accepted in 5 categories; Under 22", 22"-26" Over 26", NL&RC members, and 'Other' (being any other breed/type of dog). Rosettes are awarded to 3rd Place in each category, with the Champion and reserve trophies going to the overall fastest times of the day. Points/time faults will be deducted for tasks omitted or excessive handling (i.e dog on the lead thoughout) although it is quite acceptable to compete on that basis if you've never done it before and want to give it a try. The whole event is very informal, aiming to interest your dog in something a bit different, but more importantly to get you to have fun with your dog.