There are two organizations that sanction coursing trials, the AKC and the ASFA. We owe the existence of coursing to a man named Lyle Gillette and a group of California sighthound fanciers from the early 1970's. These sighthound enthusiasts hunted jackrabbits in the open field, but this carried with it some dangers from obstacles such as barbed wire fencing. They wanted a safer, more controlled sport that would recreate the physical requirements of open field coursing, but still allow them to test the functional abilities of their sighthounds. They decided that chasing plastic bags on a course laid out to simulate escaping game was just the solution. In 1972, they started the American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) and invited other sighthound fanciers from across the nation to join the organization. The sport of lure coursing was born. The ASFA is still in existence today, sanctions nearly 300 trial per year, and is composed of member clubs that vote on amendments to their coursing rules and regulations at the Annual Convention of Delegates.
The AKC voted to offer and sanction lure coursing trials in July of 1991 and ran their first trial in September of 1992. Rhodesian Ridgebacks gained provisional status with ASFA in April of 1991 and were accepted to the AKC coursing program in August of 1992. The ASFA and AKC coursing programs are similar, with subtle differences in scoring and running rules, but the basic concept is the same. Hounds earn points towards a Field Championship title (FCh in ASFA and FC in AKC), as well as towards more advanced titles such as Lure Courser of Merit (LCM in ASFA) or Lure Courser Excellent (LCX in AKC). Both organizations also track points towards national rankings.
Most, but not all, coursing clubs hold both ASFA and AKC events and many judges are also licensed by both organizations. As far as your hound is concerned, there is no difference between the two coursing programs. Your hound gets to get out and run, have fun, and chase those elusive plastic bags. So whatever your preference, AKC or ASFA, check out the two sites below for more information on how to get started in coursing and for events in your area:
Check out AKC's latest video spotlighting the sport of lure coursing.
Top Ten RRCUS Lure Coursing stats began in 1993 when the RRCUS Board voted to offer a Top Ten Lure Coursing program at its 7/10/93 meeting (reference The Ridgeback, November/December 1993, p. 35). Ridgebacks gained provisional status with ASFA for the first time on April 27, 1991, but were not officially fully recognized until April 24, 1993. No titles were issued, nor were points recorded or published until that time. Ridgebacks were accepted by AKC for lure coursing on August 10, 1992 and the first lure coursing trials were Ridgebacks could participate were held in September of 1992.
Source: The Bowen system is used to calculate the standings for the RRCUS Combined report as follows: Open, Specials/Field Champion, & Veteran stakes will award the hounds placing first through fifth - one point for itself, plus one point for each hound it has defeated in that stake. The winner of the Best of Breed will be awarded one point for every starter in its breed (including itself). ASFA and AKC points earned are combined. ASFA records are obtained from its statistician and the AKC numbers are obtained from the AKC Top Dogs reports. The RRCUS year-end rankings are calculated annually. Thank you to past record keepers Jeff Nearhoof, Gail Cartter and Clayton Heathcock. Should you have any questions or comments on the below stats, please feel free to contact the current RRCUS Combined Coursing Statistician, Kathleen Richards at