There is a new initiative to have a concise sighthound ranking in Europe and the website can be found here.
While I see this as an admirable and quite ambitious initiative, for me this represents the dog owners need to excel over others. In sighthound racing this is quite normal, where the dog is mainly the tool to achievement – in greyhound racing especially.
For me the lure-coursing has a different meaning: the competition is just a side product of the main thing, to see the dogs run and do what they have been originally bred for.
The more I think of it, the competition part is what makes it difficult to enjoy the actual lure-coursing event: if you visit a lure-coursing training or an informal event the overall feel of the event is completely different from an official lure-coursing competition or event. The people are more relaxed, fun and not too confined in their own scheming (and planning the dog’s performance beforehand). However, in certain breeds of sighthounds the competition mentality is more apparent than in others and certain breeds have been created only for racing (take greyhound or whippet as an example of this).
But for Irish Wolfhound… Irish Wolfhound is a poor tool for a competitive minded people. Or a perfect one, for there is so little competition in national level that with just a few additional walkies a week you can ‘compete’ with a high level of success.
I’ve seen a question concerning this. What is a win over 3 competitors worth comparing the win over 30 or 50? My counter question is simple:
What does the dog understand about the winning or why is he celebrated one time and shunned the other after a completed trial?
Never the less, the initiative is admirable and I wish all the success to it! As long as it doesn’t become the owners’ bragging ground and/or sole basis for breeding.
The dog’s health and longevity should come first.