We were first introduced to JRT racing following an AWTA den trial in 1995 or 1996. We took Barley to both and she adored the racing. Later we again encountered flat racing in the evenings after earthdog tests, run in the dust and completely unfenced in the farm driveway or behind the truck barn.
Our neighbors (Dachshund breeders) had a homebuilt lure machine and a beautifully made starting box. We started borrowing both for our Cairn picnics every year and eventually our neighbors said, "Heck your club uses them more than ours, go ahead and keep them on 'permanent loan.'" And so racing has become a regular annual event for our club.
After a failure of the old machine I purchased a new machine with a meter and spare solenoid so that we could run trouble-free for the foreseeable future. Although once when we ran out of juice I had to borrow the battery out of my wife's car
When an AKC field rep introduced the concept of the Coursing Ability Test to open up lure coursing in a small way to the non-coursing-eligible breeds, I was ecstatic. Most dogs love to run and this opened up the world of continuous-loop large-field coursing to our small, non-hound dogs. In short order we had CA (Coursing Ability) titles on everyone but Stella, who being a velcro dog would never go past the first corner â€” she would race out â€¦ decide she'd gone too far â€¦ and race right back to me. Touching but non-qualifying
Echo at 13 is a bit too old to keep racing, so we retired her at CA. Dundee and Granger (at 4 and 8 respectively) have plenty of miles left in them, so we continue to enter them as often as we can. Dundee and Granger have advanced to CAA (Coursing Ability Advanced) by qualifying 10 times and not long ago Dundee acquired the necessary 25 legs to earn a CAX (Coursing Ability Excellent). Now Granger is marching toward that goal.
A couple of weekends ago the local Afghan club put on a one-day test at the fairground adjacent to a Renaissance Fair so I took Granger over. There was a photographer on-site and sure enough, they had taken some photos of Granger's run. I can't adequately express how driven this boy is to run. He literally foams at the mouth waiting for his turn and his barking once he hears or sees the lure is loud and nonstop. Thank heavens the run wears him out enough to quiet him down. After running we had a nice walk through the Ren Fair, where he made many friends and was offered a turkey leg, which I declined on his behalf. Much to his disappointment.
Enjoy these photos and be sure to take your dog to a CAT event.
Finding CAT Events
If your google-fu is strong, you can find coursing clubs and their event pages which often give an idea of when and where events are typically held. To find events already approved by the AKC you can go straight to the source and search for AKC events directly to find CATs near you.