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Judges for One Dog in Category
Posted on 08/05/2013 in Full Circle.

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Judges for One Dog in Category
Recently, the topic of whether or not the handler of a one-dog cast could be assigned to judge their own hound came up on the UKC message forums. Without any further thought or referencing the rulebook, I responded that UKC policy makes it mandatory that a non-hunting judge be assigned to any one-dog cast. Further discussions questioning my response lead me to reference the rulebook and, to my surprise, they were right. There is currently no such written rule.

While there might not be any concerns that most handlers would judge such a cast honestly, such practice creates a negative perception for many within the sport, especially when titles and other opportunities are on the line. Regardless, we have an opportunity to include it in the next rulebook changes that will go into effect in 2014.

Until then, we ask that all club officials take the initiative and assign a non-hunting judge to any and all one-dog cast(s). Be aware that there are things like NHBA and All Star points on the line, and by assigning a non-hunting judge, it will eliminate question and concerns from competitors.

The next question that comes up is, what if we don’t have anyone available to judge? Obviously there are several options, one being and we would surely hope that a club officer or member would step up and judge the cast even if it means withdrawing their own entry from the hunt. Otherwise, not having anyone available creates a separate issue in that the club does not have adequate personnel to host an event.

Substitutions at World Championship
Q: If the dog I entered in the Hunting Beagle World Championship comes in heat, can I substitute another dog for that dog?
A: Yes, and no. The rules for the World Championship state that you can substitute any dog that is sick, injured, in heat or dead, with a dog in the same owner’s name. The rules further state that only dogs that qualified at a World Qualifying Event for that year are eligible to compete in the championship. So, yes, you can substitute any dog that is permanently registered in your name (or co-owned) so long as it is also qualified.

Cast Winner Did Not Sign Scorecard
Q: There are two Hunting Beagle Champion casts. Both of the casts had a plus point cast winner. The owner of the dog that had high score in the winning cast forgot to sign the scorecard, and the dog was scratched. Should plus point cast winner from other cast get the win in this hunt?
A: Not necessarily. If the cast winner is scratched for any reason, it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the cast is scratched. In this situation, the cast winner must be scratched for not signing the scorecard. That makes the second place dog in the cast the cast winner, assuming that they signed the scorecard. Their score is what should be considered for placement in the event. If that score is higher than the other cast’s, then they would be the winner.

Time Period Allotted for Separated Cast
Q: The Master of Hounds checklist says that if the cast becomes separated on the way to the field or during the hunt, it is the responsibility of all cast members to return to the Master of Hounds at the host club. Any cast members not returning to the Master of Hounds will be scratched. If we return to the Master of Hounds, how long are they supposed to wait until they scratch people that do not return?
A: A reasonable amount of time. I realize that is vague, but it is the correct answer. The official must consider how far the casts were sent, and a time period that is considered reasonable to return to the clubhouse.

The official must also take into consideration what the deadline to return scorecards is and if it is possible for the returning members to complete their hunting time and get back to the club.

Rule 6(h) uses the term “delaying the cast” and that after 30 minutes the dog would be scratched. This rule applies to a separate issue relative to a situation “after time out has been called during the course of the hunt”. The rule does not apply as a time period allotted for separated cast members to return to the official.