MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS AND/OR PRIVILEGES
A. Dues are payable on January lst. Any member who does not reinstate by
January lst or any member who resigns by notifying
the USBCHA (HA) Secretary of his intent in writing, will automatically
become a member in arrears.
B. Members will receive the HA Newsletter.
C. Members will have the right to vote on matters
brought before the membership.
Only members in good standing shall earn points to participate in the
National Open and Nursery class finals. To participate in the HA National
Finals one must also be a member in good standing of the American Border
Collie Association Registry.
E. Members will receive a current copy of the
F. Any Director may, at his discretion, collect
membership dues. It will be the responsibility of the collector to forward
monies to the HA office immediately.
G. By the act of paying membership dues, members
accept all rules contained herein and rules and/or policies hereafter
adopted by the Board of Directors (BOD).
H. By the act of paying membership dues, or entry
fees to HA sanctioned events participants waive all claims against the
trial management, or HA, for injuries he or she, or their property may
sustain in any HA sanctioned event.
I. The HA assumes no responsibility for injury or
damage to the person, property or animals of any owner, contestant or
assistant at a HA sanctioned event.
J. As a condition of membership, all
member-participants in HA sanctioned trials or HA approved special events,
effected in any manner whatsoever by a decision of the BOD or any person
or committee authorized by the BOD to handle disciplinary matters, hereby
releases the HA, their affiliated, related, or subsidiary companies, their
officers, directors, and employees, Hearing Committee members jointly and
severally, individually and in the official capacity, of and from any and
all claims, demands, damages, and causes of action whatsoever, in law or
equity, rising out of or in connection with any individual committees to
whom disciplinary matters may be authorized by the BOD or by a Hearing
K. All members shall receive a copy of minutes of
ALL meetings, including all BOD meetings / Conference Calls. This may be
done by direct mail, e-mail, Facsimile or by publishing them.
L. Facsimile transactions and email communications
are acceptable forms of communication provided such form of communication
can be confirmed by a "hard copy". (I.e.- a printed copy of
email or a return acknowledgment of received fax.)
M. All HA members are responsible for reading and
knowing the prevailing rules of the HA as well as those provided by
management of individual trials in which they participate. Failure to know
these rules is not an acceptable excuse.
N. Any member or non-member placed on suspension
shall not be permitted to compete in any trial during the period of his
suspension or event sanctioned by the HA. Any event that allows such
suspended individuals to enter the trial will not be sanctioned by the HA.
O. Members may file protest (see Section 3 for
P. For further rights, privileges and possible loss
of privileges see Section 4: Discipline.
Q. All handlers must be a current paid member of USBCHA before the handler’s
dog receives qualification points for the Finals,
R. No eye test is required at the National Finals.
2: SANCTIONING OF TRIALS
A. These rules and regulations apply only to HA
sanctioned trials and approved events.
B. New trial hosts, as well as existing hosts, must apply for sanctioning to the HA Secretary at least thirty (30) days prior to the trial entry opening date. They must specify the number of trials to be offered in each sanctioned class (e.g., 2 Open trials and 2 Nursery trials). If the HA Secretary deems it necessary, an Approval Trial Committee will review the request and either approve or disapprove. Errors or omissions by the trial host may be waived by the Trial Approval Committee and their decision will be final. All trial information must be published
prior thirty (30) days prior to the trial opening date on the USBCHA website for Upcoming Trials. Trial information should include trial name and dates, contact name, phone number, email or web site address, and location. Upon request, the HA may furnish local district mailing addresses to the trial host.
Subject: USBCHA trial management recommendations
The sport of sheep dog trailing in the US is growing at an
exponential rate. New trials are popping up all over the country and as
the sport grows we have many new folks involved and many 1st time trial
managers learning the ropes. The following is a list of livestock
management recommendations endorsed by the USBCHA to be used as a guide by
trial managers in order to facilitate a smooth running event.
The most important facet of any trial are the sheep. Their handling, care
during the trial, management in the set out and exhaust pen will make or
break the success of many runs. Availability of sheep is often a challenge
, esp. for trial managers in the eastern part of the country. If sheep
numbers are limited it is often the case that the sheep need to be re run
several times during the day in order to accommodate all the dogs entered.
There are limits to the number of times a sheep can be used in a trial.
This will be dictated by many factors including:
length of the outrun and course
of the sheep( dry ewes being more durable than lambs or recently weaned
is the conception that hair sheep and lighter breeds are more capable of
running several times during a day. This is only true to a point. Extreme
heat, large courses are just as tiring for fast moving " light "
hair sheep as they are to heavy wool breeds.
is recommended that any sheep not run more than 3 times during a single
trailing is a sport full of "luck of the draw" situations so it
falls to the trial manager to try, as best he can, to level the playing
field; to try to reduce the variations in draw, to make the groups of
sheep as uniform as possible.
care sheep receive in the set
out and exhaust pen is paramount.
are many possible designs for a set out system. Topography, available
equipment, visibility from the post, ease of sheep movement and set out
and available help will all influence the location and design.
The ideal set out has a couple of pens to hold the waiting sheep, a pen
large enough to hold 3 or 4 runs worth of sheep followed by 2 pens in
series, large enough to hold a run each. There will be shade, water and
hay feeders available. If the pens are designed well then one person will
be able to sort and release sheep to the set out person efficiently.
Properly designed pens do NOT require a dog to move sheep through them. If
the set out post is close enough then often one person can do all the work
at the top. The location of the set out post varies between classes and
should be far enough from the holding pens to eliminate the draw back to
the sheep in the pen. If topography allows it is beneficial to have the
set out post out of sight from the holding pen.
should also be a reject/ injured /return pen at the set out and exhaust.
This will be used for sheep that break back to the set out during the run
or at set out, for injured sheep or for sheep that are identified as unfit
during the trial. It saves sorting these sheep out continuously during the
trial, facilitates treatment, avoids accidentally using sheep that should
not be run. Any sheep abused by a dog during the trial should not be run
again regardless of whether it shows obvious injury or not. Sheep chased,
run off the field, crashed into fences, gripped and knocked down all
and water should be provided.
a sufficient number of sheep are available to run the entire day with
fresh sheep for each run then the sheep should split and the afternoons
sheep not brought to the set out till the middle of the day. This means
that no sheep will be held in the set out all day waiting to run.
the event that sheep are set from a stock trailer then they should have a
sufficient area in which to rest and feed between runs.
set out itself is often a major determining factor in the success of a
run. Sheep must be handled in a calm workman -like way both in the pens
and during the set out. Sheep that are roughed up, crowded, abused by a
dog in the pens, mishandled to load into the chutes and then fought with
on their way to the set out post are not "winning sheep" for the
handler standing at the post. Set out help is often selected from the
handlers attendant. A good rule of thumb is to limit the dog handlers at
the top to experienced handlers and dogs. The opportunity to set sheep is
NOT a venue for training or to take the edge off a " hot " dog.
While Novice handlers are often keen to set sheep at a trial it is not
always conducive to have inexperienced help in this job. Rather, have the
less experienced volunteers work in the pen, sorting and loading sheep
WITHOUT a dog. Given proper guidance and support it is a much better way
to use help and to aid in the education of the less experienced handlers.
Likewise a crew of kids in the set out pen may seem like a cheap
option but is often disastrous to the well being of the sheep. Less is
more when it comes to help at the top and properly designed pens and some
ground rules as to how the job will be done are necessary to have the job
go well and the help stay happy.
trials have enough budget to hire set out crews. Regardless if they are
paid or volunteer be sure to keep them well fed and watered, provide water
for dogs and horses and to keep in contact with radios.
good radios and plenty of batteries are a must.
pens must consider many of the same details as the set out. Water and hay
for sheep, room to rest, multiple pens to avoid re running sheep too soon.
The sheep in the exhaust should not be visible from the field. Cheap
plastic snow fencing is a popular choice to reduce visibility. The entrance to the exhaust should be designed as to
facilitate removal of sheep from the field quickly. Often a separate gate
for the handler and dog is included.
Plenty of fresh water for the dogs and sheep is a must.
possible sheep should be given the maximum amount of time to rest between
runs . This often is best served by having multiple pens in the exhaust
area. Sheep may then be held separately during the running so that the
earlier run sheep re run 1st , giving the later run sheep time to rest and
may be provided on the course for competing dogs if humidity, temperature,
elevation or a combination of conditions apply. Handlers may send the
competing dog to water at their discretion with no loss of points. Time
will not be stopped. The judge may call a run, with points held to that
point, if they deem the dog or sheep are in distress.
of marking crayons or spray at both ends of the field.
Basic first aid kit.
On call vet in local area
Protocol for dealing with injured sheep
are as many ways to put on a trial as there are trials and locations and
people involved. Our spectators, our sponsors and our fellow handlers need
to be confident that as trial managers we are doing all that is possible
to put on a quality event and as our sport gains in popularity it is our
responsibility as handlers and as stockmen to keep the welfare of our
charges in mind.
C. A three (3) dollar per dog sanctioning fee shall be charged for each dog entered in Open and Nursery competition at all sanctioned trials. The one (1) dollar increase will be specifically designated for the National Finals Committee in order to meet expenses. The funds are not considered a loan, and the USBCHA will continue to share in any profits associated with a current year National Finals.”
D. The three (3) dollar sanctioning fee, along with
the trial results form is to be mailed to the HA Secretary’s office not
later than twenty one (21) days after the trial. The HA Secretary will
notify the sanctioning committee if trial management fails to abide by
E. All sanctioned trials must conform to the rules
and regulations of the HA. Since both members and non-members who are
under suspension are not allowed to participate in any HA sanctioned
trials as either the owner of a dog, or as a handler, allowing a suspended
member to enter a trial means that the trial will automatically lose its
sanctioning. All trials requesting sanctioning will be kept notified of
suspended members or non-members of the association.
HA Secretary shall maintain a list of all sanctioned trials, and shall
publish on the USBCHA website the number of trials to be run in each
sanctioned class during the course of the overall trial.
G. On request, HA secretary will send judging sheets as long as
supply last. It is not essential that trial host use the HA judging
sheets. You may download judging sheets off Home page.
H. H. Eligibility for Sanction
(1) Trials sanctioned by other national or international organizations, including but not limited to the American Kennel Club, the American Herding Breed Association, and the Australian Shepherd Club of America, are ineligible for sanctioning by the USBCHA.
(2)Trials hosted or sponsored by, affiliated
with, or benefiting any organization which advocates or supports
conformation breeding or showing of Border Collies, and trials held in
conjunction with any event sanctioned or sponsored by such an
organization, are ineligible for sanctioning by the USBCHA.
I. Must have 10 entries in an Open class
to be a sanctioned class.
A. Protests under this section may be made by members in good standing
only. One must be a member in good standing PRIOR to the occurrence of the
alleged rule violation being protested.
B. Any member desiring to file a complaint regarding
any alleged violation of these rules may do so by submitting the complaint
to the HA President through HA Secretary’s office. Said letter shall be
accompanied by a fifty (50) dollar cashiers’ check payable to the USBCHA.
The complaint must be filed with the HA within fourteen (14) days of the
closing date of the trial involved. Upon receipt of said letter, the
complaint will be referred to the appropriate Hearing Committee for
investigation and consideration. If the Hearing Committee determines,
after investigation, that no further action is warranted, the complainant
will be notified and no further action will be taken. In this case the
fifty (50) dollar will not be returned to complainant. A majority decision
of the Hearing Committee will be binding.
C. If the Hearing Committee determines, after
investigation, that there are grounds for possible disciplinary action the
fifty (50) dollars will be returned to the complainant. The HA President
shall be notified and the matter will be scheduled for a hearing before
the HA BOD.
D. Any member may lodge a protest signed by him/her
against any contravention of any rule for trials, against any prize being
awarded, delivered or paid, or protest a judge’s decision upon
submission in complaint stating alleged errors made by judge or judges.
All conditions above must also be met. The Hearing Committee may also
require any member to whom a prize has been paid or delivered to return
the same. The member shall be bound to do so within the time fixed by the
E. Details of all protests under these rules and the
decisions reached by the Hearing Committee shall be reported to the
complete BOD by the HA Secretary.
F. No person shall make a derogatory remark, nor
take, nor threaten to take, adverse action against a HA trial sponsor, its
agents, volunteers or employees. Any person who violates this rule is
subject to disciplinary action and is also responsible to the HA for any
loss or damage caused by a violation of this rule.
G. A judge may present in writing, within seven (7)
days of the occurrence, any grievance he/she may have against contestants
or trial officials to the HA President or Director who will present the
grievance to the HA. Procedures established in the Protest Process section
will then be followed.
H. If any trial official or HA Officer/Director
witnesses a grievance against a judge, that individual must report it to
the HA immediately.
I. Videos may NOT
be used in review of runs when a complaint if filed.
A. Any member or non-member may be disciplined, placed on probation, fined
(not to exceed five hundred (500) dollars), or suspended from all HA
privileges (not to exceed one year) whenever it shall have been
established by a preponderance of the evidence that such member, or
nonmember, has been found to have violated the stated rule, or rules.
B. The HA President may appoint a special Hearing
Committee to conduct any disciplinary hearing. The committee shall have a
minimum of five (5) and a maximum of nine (9) members and a majority shall
constitute a quorum for hearing purposes. Members of the committee must be
HA members in good standing.
C. Five (5) members of the BOD shall constitute a
quorum for the purposes of disciplinary action.
D. The decision of the BOD or Hearing Committee
shall be final and binding on all parties.
E. When the rule in question contains a specific
punishment provision, any disciplinary action taken by the Hearing
Committee must be consistent with that provision.
F. When a fine or penalty is not contained in the
rule pertaining to the complaint, the Hearing Committee or BOD shall
assess same in accordance with the severity of the rule infraction.
G. When anyone shall be accused, by the BOD or by a
Hearing Committee of any rule violation, the accused party shall be sent a
letter by the HA outlining the alleged violation and given not less than
fifteen (15) days notice of time and place for hearing such accusation,
and at which time and place they shall have the opportunity, in person, or
by council to be heard and to present evidence in their own behalf and to
hear and refute evidence in their own behalf and hear and refute evidence
offered against them. It is acceptable for the Committee and the accused
to meet by means of a telephone conference call, which shall be followed
by a written report or recorded statement.
H. Every notice required by these rules may be
served by delivering a copy of the notice to the person to be served, or
his attorney, either in person or by certified mail, postage prepaid, to
his last known address as it appears on the HA records and upon mailing,
such notice shall be deemed received by such person when it is deposited
in the United States mail.
I. No continuance shall be granted unless requested
in writing at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing, and good cause
shown. A continuance shall be granted or denied at the sole discretion of
the HA President or Chairman of the Hearing Committee.
J. When the BOD or a Hearing Committee has ruled on
a complaint and disciplinary action has been taken against a member, or
non-member, the person’s name, the rule violated, and the disciplinary
action taken shall be published in the HA newsletter.
K. Any member or non-member may be fined, placed on
probation, or suspended, from all HA privileges for failure to pay any
obligation owing to the HA or for giving a worthless check for entry fees,
office charges, stock charges, premiums, or any other fees or charges
connected with the exhibition of herding dogs, provided however, that this
person (member or non-member) shall be given twenty one (21) days written
notice of the amount due and the intention of the HA to fine, place on
probation or suspend. Any suspension under this rule shall terminate upon
full payment of the obligation due the HA.
L. Any member or non-member passing a bad check or
checks at a HA sanctioned trial or event which would effect the image or
benefit of the local trial management will be fined $25 (25) for each such
check and must write a letter of apology and make check good for first
offense; second offence, member will be suspended and fined one hundred
(100) dollars; third offense, member will be suspended and must appear
before the Hearing Committee for reinstatement AFTER restitution of check
or checks has been made.
M. The following provisions regarding misconduct at,
or in conjunction with, a HA approved event or a HA sanctioned trial,
while not all inclusive, are to be considered as violations of these
rules. If any of the following subsections do contain penalties, these
rules should be followed. If there are no penalties spelled out in the
subsections below, then a violation of these rules will call for a maximum
five hundred (500) dollar fine and/or maximum one (1) year suspension.
1. Attempting to fix, bribe, influence or intimidate
the judge, trial secretary, time keeper, course director, or any other
trial official will result in disqualification at that trial, suspension
and a minimum fine of one hundred (100) dollars.
2. Talking with the judges about any trial related
matter throughout the duration of the trial or discussing with the judge
any ideas or methods of judging or handling except at approved handlers’
3. Making comments within a judge’s hearing
regarding any work taking place on the field.
4. Consuming or bringing alcoholic beverages into
the judge’s stand while a HA sanctioned trial is taking place.
5. Intimidating or attempting to intimidate or argue
with a judge or a course director will result in a minimum fine of one
hundred (100) dollars, and/or a minimum of thirty (30) day suspension.
6. Altering or attempting to alter the draw will
result in disqualification at that trial, and a fine of not less than
twenty-five (25) dollars nor more than two hundred and fifty (250)
7. Tampering with competition livestock will result
in disqualification for the remainder of that trial and will be subject to
a fine of twenty-five (25) to two hundred and fifty (250) dollars.
8. Unsportsmanlike conduct.
9. Fighting on the trial site.
10. Threatening or actually inflicting bodily harm
or injury to another person based upon that person’s actions, conduct,
or decisions in any official capacity for the HA or for any HA approved or
sponsored event shall call for suspension for one (1) year.
11. Using abusive language on the trial field.
12. Attempting to aid or distract another competitor
while they are competing will result in immediate disqualification in that
trial, suspension, or fine as the Hearing Committee may decide.
13. Behaving in a manner discrediting to the HA.
14. Participating in training activities while on
the trial grounds other than in designated areas is prohibited.
15. Inhumane treatment of dog or stock on the trial
field or grounds is prohibited at HA sanctioned trials. If trial
management discovers inhumane treatment to dog or livestock they may bar
the responsible party from further participation in the trial. The
decision as to inhumane treatment of animals may be based on the
consultation with a veterinarian . If trial management determines, in its
sole discretion, that the welfare of the animal requires immediate action,
and a veterinarian is not available, trial management may consult with the
judge of the trial before taking any action allowed by this Section. (See
Section 3, PROTESTS FOR FURTHER GUIDANCE).
16. The HA BOD shall be notified of the occurrence
in (15) so a hearing to consider disciplinary action against the
responsible party may be scheduled.
N. Trial organizers, or producers may be suspended
for any of the aforementioned offenses and, in addition, any of the
1. Failure to pay added money as advertised.
2. Leaving bad debts in any town connected with the
production of a USBCHA sanctioned trial.
3. Failure to pay sanctioning fee.
O. A special meeting of the BOD may be called by the
president at any time or place or by telephone conference call where at
least fifteen (15) directors are present to consider emergencies such as
serious alleged rule violations of such magnitude as to appear to be
detrimental to the best interests of the HA or to its practices, policies
and/or objectives. A simple majority vote of at least fifteen (15)
directors shall be binding for motions passed during any special BOD
5: USBCHA OPEN AND NURSERY FINALS
Trial Committee will be appointed annually for the USBCHA/ABCA National
Open and National Nursery Sheepdog Finals.
At least one-half of the members of this committee shall be
appointed by the HA President, and up to half may be designated by the
committee shall have the power to make decisions regarding the
interpretation and/or administration of any rule in question, the laying
out of the course, and in general, supervise the running of that trial.
Minutes shall be taken of all meetings of the Sheepdog Finals
Committee (with the exception of meetings held at the trial site for the
purpose of resolving questions about the trial course and conduct of the
trial), and copies of those minutes shall be furnished to the Board of
Directors and posted on the HA website in a timely manner.
B. Trial Committee may appoint a non-contesting HA
member to act as liaison between contestants and trial management.
C. All questions and disputes in connection with the
National Trial not already settled by the judge(s) or Trial Committee
shall be decided by the BOD whose decision shall be final and binding and
not subject to Court of Law. Five (5) board members shall be a quorum.
D. In all cases of dispute, the trial will proceed
without delay under existing USBCHA rules. Any contestant or person
connected with the contestant altercating or arguing with judges will be
disqualified from that run, fined and suspended from any further USBCHA
trials, until further notice.
E. Every person who is suspended by the Trial
Committee for unsportsmanlike conduct at the trial shall stand as
suspended by the HA upon official notice to the HA from the Trial
Secretary or Trial Chairman of any such disciplinary action. Fine or
penalty will be assessed in accordance to the severity of the rule
F. Entries must be postmarked on or before August
1st. If entries are not accepted the entry fee will be returned. Must notify trial secretary before the Finals begin (first dog to the post) in order to switch to an alternate listed dog on entry form provided the alternate has qualifying equal to the top 150. After the date of closing and the legal run order draw for the USBCHA National Finals has been made, the secretary of USBCHA will be authorized to fill vacancies for accepted run order handler withdraws by allowing the next handler with the highest number of points be admitted to the run order until the 150 dog limit has been met. The secretary will be allowed to fill vacancy openings until 5:00 pm in the finals time zone the day prior to the first open run
G. Scores from the first qualifying round at the
National Open Finals and the scores from the Semi Final round will not be
added together to determine the entries qualifying for the Final round.
Only scores from the Semi Finals will be used.
H. Placings in the Final round for dogs that have
retired, or have been disqualified shall be determined by the Judge(s)
immediately upon the conclusion of the trial.
I. Qualifying for the National Open Finals
a. Method of qualifying is described in ARTICLE XVI
of the HA Bylaws.
b. Points will be awarded to dogs according to their
placings in the go around that included all the dogs entered. Points will
be awarded to all dogs allowed to run regardless of trial rules on the
number of dogs that may place at the trial.
c. Trial Hosts should supply the HA Secretary with
the following information.
i. Number of dogs that ran in the Open trial.
ii. Actual placings of dogs in go around that
included all entered dogs.
Information should include the placing of the top
20% of all dogs competing even if they are not eligible for placing in the
of judges for the Sheepdog Finals.
Eight months prior to
the National finals the Lifetime and General
paid members may nominate judges for the Sheep and Cattle National Finals.
Nomination form will be posted on web site. Members must contact and obtain the consent of persons they wish
to nominate. Seven months
prior to the Finals, the Secretary shall mail ballots to all USBCHA and
ABCA directors, on which the names of all the nominees submitted by the
directors are listed. Each
director shall vote for as many nominees as he or she chooses.
Directors shall indicate their preferences by writing next to the
name of their first choice a number equal to the total number of nominees,
writing next to their second choice the next-lowest number, and so on
until they have voted for all the nominees they wish to vote for. (For example, if there are a total of 8 nominees, directors
will write the number 8 next to their first choice, 7 next to their second
choice, 6 next to their third choice, and so on.)
Ballots shall be returned to the Secretary at least 6 months prior
to the Finals, and the Secretary shall total the numbers assigned to each
nominee by all the directors and, after confirming their willingness to
serve, shall notify the directors of the nominees receiving the highest
total, who shall be deemed elected. If
for any reason an elected judge cannot serve, the nominee receiving the
next highest number of points shall be substituted.
K. Must elect at least one North American judge for the National Finals.
At least one of the National Finals Judges would, although all could, be
at the minimum one year resident of North America.
No judge may be used for the Cattle or Sheep Dog finals that are on
an AKC approved judging list
Eligibility to run in the USBCHA Open and Nursery Sheepdog Finals
is limited to citizens of the United States and/or Canada, and to
non-citizens who have been physically present in the United States and /or
Canada for at least nine months of the qualifying year for the Finals they
seek to enter, and who have not run in the National sheepdog or Cattledog
trial of any other country during the same calendar year as the Finals
they seek to enter other than the USBCHA National Finals and the CBCA
Canadian National Championships.
Eye exams: Eye exam is no longer required in order to run in the National Finals.
O. No judge can judge more than three times in five years. No person can judge the finals two years in a row.
P. Any time during
the running of a class at the National Finals, one of the judges becomes
disabled in any way that we drop all of this judges previous scores and
continue with the other judge to the end of that go-round
National Finals there will always be water available on the field so the
dogs can cool themselves and that handlers are allowed to direct their
dogs to the water and the dogs may use the water with no points penalty.
Handlers may not leave the post to go to the water with their dog. If the
handler is on the way to or in the shedding ring or on the way to the pen
they may detour to the water. The clock will not be stopped. Handler and
dog are still being judged on the actions of the stock and anything that
the stock do may cause a loss of points or if the stock leave the trial
area disqualification. The HA recommends that all HA sanctioned trials
adopt this rule.
R. Any judge that feels that a dog is not capable of continuing with his
run because he is showing signs of stress should disqualify that dog and
handler. This would include over heating, lameness or demonstrated
inability to do the work required.
6: DETERMINATION OF COMPETENCY TO JUDGE.
A. When by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the BOD, the Board rules a certain
individual is deemed incompetent to judge HA sanctioned trials, that
person shall not judge any HA sanctioned trials/events for a period set by
7: INSTRUCTIONS TO JUDGES
A. Judges judging the USBCHA/ABCA National Finals trial should read and
follow "Instructions to Judges" listed within the body of the
USBCHA Rule Book
B. Every Judge accepting an invitation to act at any
of the Associations sponsored trials will be held, by his acceptance, to
have given an undertaking that he will judge strictly according to the
rules laid down by the Association and that he will not favor any dog, man
C. A judge shall conduct himself in a manner fitting
and proper to one afforded the honor of officiating at any Association
approved or sponsored trial. Any misconduct on the part of the judge at
any Association trial, the use of abusive language showing favoritism to,
or discrimination against, either an individual or a dog performing in the
trial, or any other action unbecoming to one in his position, either on
the grounds or elsewhere during the entire trial, will make the judge
subject to disciplinary action.
D. Judges are encouraged to read and follow
E. Under no circumstances will a published judge be
permitted to enter the trial for which said judge was approved.
F. A judge shall not discuss with any contestant
previous scores, events, or related happenings during a trial.
G. A judge shall not intimidate, or attempt to
intimidate, a contestant. The penalty for violating this subsection will
be a minimum of six (6) months suspension from the Association.
H. Each Judge’s points for each competitor shall
be recorded by the secretary on score sheets supplied to them, which shall
be aggregated by the secretary and double checked by a secretarial
I. Judges are required to review each score sheet at
the completion of the run to insure accurate point deductions.
J. Judges may not be changed after a trial begins
except in cases of sickness of injury. The trial committee is then
responsible for appointing a new Judge.
K. See Section 3, G.
L. If any trial official or HA Officer/Director
witnesses a grievance against a judge, that individual must report it to
the HA immediately.
A. Each contestant must be ready when called by the Course Director or an
assistant. Anyone failing to answer the call may be disqualified.
Contestants should note that while the order of the runs will be strictly
followed, unless changes are authorized by the trial committee, the exact
timing can not be guaranteed.
B. Any contestant wishing to have the course
explained or have any other point clarified must question the Course
Director before he starts his run. Contestants can not ask questions once
their run is started.
C. By commencing the run, contestants are presumed
to understand the course and are expected to follow it.
D. Once contestants start their runs, they are
entirely in the hands of the judge. By deviating from the course they are
liable for disqualification or point loss as the judge considers suitable
having regard for all the circumstances.
E. Any contestant, who receives assistance of any
kind while running his dog, may be disqualified. If the contestant is
disqualified he shall earn no points. If a contestant is called for
expiration of time limit, points earned to that time will count.
F. After being called off, a contestant will cease
working his dog and will collect the sheep and remove them from the trial
G. Any contestant who retires or leaves the field,
without the judge’s permission, will forfeit all points.
H. Any contestant who intentionally harasses the
stock after his run will be disqualified at the discretion of the judge in
conference with the Course Director and may be subject to further
disciplinary action by the HA.
I. Neither contestants nor any others, shall take
dogs onto the trial course, before the competition starts except with
permission of the Course Director or trial management.
J. No contestant, or other person, shall engage in
any form of misconduct or harassment toward trial management, judges, or
HA officials. Trial management has the right to disqualify or refuse entry
to any contestant or other person for violation of this rule.
K. Any contestant so denied access may request that
the regional (district) Directors determine if trial manager’s decision
was appropriate, and if it was not, what action should be taken. If either
party is dissatisfied with the decision of the regional directors, they
may appeal to the BOD, which the Appeal Board may or may not hear at their
L. A contestant may drop out of any contest due to
injury to himself, his dog, or due to sickness/death in his family.
M. A contestant shall not at any time withdraw from
any trial he is participating in due to dissatisfaction, grievance with
the judge/judges, trial management, or other contestants without
forfeiting all money/prizes he may have won in previous runs.
N. If contestant refuses to compete in the finals
(except for above mentioned reasons), any money/prizes won will be
forfeited. In the event money/prizes have been distributed before the
finals, it must be refunded/returned within fifteen (15) days after the
refund request is made, or the contestant will be suspended until the
money/prizes have been refunded/returned.
O. Should a contestant withdraw from competition,
entry fees, or any part thereof, will not be refunded after contest
starts. Trial management has the right to establish cutoff dates for trial
P. A contestant shall not enter the trial field at
any time with any kind of training device. The trial management,
representative, or judge must disqualify a contestant if he enters the
trial field with any such equipment, and all entry fees and/or premiums
pertaining to said contestant shall be forfeited. Such devices include,
but are not limited to, electronic collars, dummy or weighted collars, a
leash or rope that is not detached before the dog is sent, or any device
used to distract or cause pain to a dog while it is working. The judge has
the right to inspect the dog for any violation to this rule.
All handlers must be a current paid member of USBCHA before the handler’s
dog receives qualification points for the Finals,
R. Handlers with physical disabilities may be allowed to use tools that are not normally accepted. (binoculars are an example). Handlers needing these tools should notify the judge/trial host of their needs before the trial starts so there are no suprises. The usbcha encourages those with physical handicaps to participate in our sanctioned events and believe that trial host and judges should make reasonable efforts to accomo date these handlers."
9: COURSE DIRECTOR
A. The Course Director shall be a person selected by the Trials Committee.
B. The Course Directors shall call competitors in
their turn according to the program, unless directed otherwise by the
C. If requested by the competitor before the run
starts to explain the course, he shall do so. After the run starts he
shall not assist the competitor by giving advice or in any other way.
D. He shall see that each lot of sheep when let out
is placed to give each competitor a fair and equal chance.
E. He shall be available at all times during the
trial to convey to the competitor any instructions from the judges.
F. He is responsible at all times for keeping the
course clear and ensuring that competitors or their dogs are not
interfered with in any way while competing.
10: TIME KEEPERS
A. It is the time keepers duty to accurately start the stopwatch at the
beginning of each competitor’s run and to promptly call time when the
allotted time for the course has expired.
A. If any member institutes litigation in which the HA is included as a
defendant in an effort to recover damages, to overturn enforcement or
interpretation of the Bylaws, Rules or for any other reason whatsoever,
and does not prevail in said litigation by the recovery of all relief
requested, said member shall be liable to the HA for its attorney fees,
costs of court, and other expenses incurred in connection with such
litigation. Venue for any litigation which the HA is included as a
defendant shall be determined by the BOD.
12: AMENDING RULES
A. The BOD shall have the power to repeal, revise, modify or amend the
Rules of the HA at any annual or regularly scheduled meeting of the BOD. A
simple majority vote by the Directors present shall be binding.
13: NATIONAL FINALS SECRETARY
A. The Finals Trial Secretary shall work jointly with the Trial Committee,
Course Directors and local trial committee. Trial Secretary shall furnish
running order, judge’s sheets; be responsible for checking and posting
scores. Secretary will have premium checks ready for disbursement by the
end the Finals. The secretary will know at all times who the Course
Director is and who is the spokesperson for the trial committee. The
secretary will perform duties requested by the course director and/or
trial committee spokesperson as is necessary to assure an orderly running
of the Finals Trial.
B. The Trial Secretary or her assistants may not
divulge information to any contestant about judge’s decisions or his
individual preferences in the handling or scoring during the competition.
A. Entry forms must be completed and logged at the Trial
Secretary’s office by the entry deadline. Entry fees shall be $200 per
dog in Open and $150 per dog in nursery, and must be paid on
entry. After the date of closing and the legal run order draw for the USBCHA National Finals has been made, the secretary of USBCHA will be authorized to fill vacancies for accepted run order handler withdraws by allowing the next handler with the highest number of points be admitted to the run order until the 150 dog limit has been met. The secretary will be allowed to fill vacancy openings until 5:00 pm in the finals time zone the day prior to the first open run.
15: RUNNING ORDER
A. Any competitor
running two dogs will run his/her second dog after all other competitors
with two dogs have run their first dog. A handler MAY NOT designate which
dog is to run first.
B. To implement this, all handlers with one dog will
be drawn randomly, one at a time, and divided alternately into two lots.
Entries of handlers with two dogs will be added to the first lot. Entries
of the first lot will then be drawn for running order. First dog drawn
runs first, second dog drawn runs second, etc. When a handler with two
dogs is drawn a second time that entry will be placed in the second lot
for re-draw. Upon completion of drawing the first lot, the trial Secretary
will randomly draw the second lot to continue the running order.
C. The HA suggests that where trials allow three
dogs to compete that the running order be drawn as follows: All handlers
with one dog will be drawn and randomly divided into three (3) lots. All
handlers with two (2) dogs will be drawn and randomly placed in two of the
three lots. All handlers with three (3) dogs will be drawn and added to
each of the three (3) lots. Beginning with the first lot each lot shall be
drawn to determine the running order.
16: HUMANE RULES
A. A veterinarian shall be in attendance, or reasonably available at every
B. No stock belonging to either contestant or stock
contractor should be confined to vehicles beyond a period of twenty-eight
(28) hours. Without being unloaded, properly feed and watered, provided
that when animals are carried in conveyances in which they do have proper
food, water, space and opportunity to rest, the provision for unloading
shall not apply.
C. No sick of injured animals, whether discovered
before or after the draw will be permitted to be used in competition.
Animals will be inspected and objectionable ones eliminated before
drawing. Judges and course directors will be responsible for inspection.
D. Sick or injured dogs will not be allowed to
compete at the recommendation of the veterinarian or at the discretion of
the judge and course director.
A. If two or more competitors stand equal in total points, the judges
shall settle their priority either (1) by their points for the outrun,
lift and fetch, or (2) ordering re-trials of any kind, or (3) dividing the
prize money involved. In cases of equality where a trophy is at stake and
the judges order re-runs, the re-runs will decide not only the trophy but
also all cash prizes involved.
Breaking ties between the dogs receiving a score of
0 for their runs on the last day (Double Lift) of the National Finals
(because of receiving a RT or DQ) the scores these dogs have earned up
until the phase of work which they failed to complete will be used.
These dogs will receive an official score of 0.
A. The judges may stop a dog at any point of his trial and order a re-run
if they consider the circumstances warrant such action. The re-run will
commence where the original run was stopped and the points scored before
stopping takes place will stand.
B. In the case of a re-run being ordered because of
a wrong number of sheep having been let out, or sheep being wrongly marked
or one or more sheep being unsound for working, the judges shall decide
whether the run should be from the beginning or from which point it is to
re-start. If decided that the re-run starts at any point other than the
beginning, the points scored up to the point of re-run shall stand.
A. All awards announced at any HA trials are subject to correction of any
error discovered within two weeks after the trial. Any error that may be
discovered will be corrected, and the awards as announced readjusted
accordingly. If such is the case, awards may be recalled and will be
returned to the trial management.
B. All prizes and awards won at any trial shall be
paid within one month after trial.
A. HA official score sheets do not have to be used at all approved trials.
On request HA secretary will send judging sheet as long as supply last. The
score sheets are to be retained by the trial secretary for a period of not
less than thirty (30) days. Trial secretary may make a copy of judges
sheet if requested by competitor.
B. By the conclusion of the trial all scores must be
posted with the amount for each deducted, for each phase of work, and the
total of points awarded.
21: DRESS CODE
A. Contestants (and trial officials) may be required to be properly
attired for any competition. Dress should be acceptable for weather and
magnitude of occasion. Good judgment should prevail.
22: COURSE/POINT DESCRIPTION
(in judging the HA Sanctioned trials judges shall apply the following
THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LAYING OUT THE COURSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE RULES RESTS WITH THE TRIALS COMMITTEE.
The Course, Scale of Points and Time Limit now fixed by the Directors are set out below. The Trials shall be on 4-5 sheep so selected that each competitor shall receive the same class of sheep if possible. Subject to the reservation that the Course may be altered by the Trials committee, the Trial shall, if possible, be decided on the following Course, Scale of
Preliminary Round Sheep 4-5 sheep. Gather 400 yards from handler. Fetch. Set of gates = 7 yards apart, 150 yards from handler, in the centre of the course. Drive 450 yards over triangular course, 2 sets of gates = 7 yards apart. First set of gates approximately 150 yards from handler. In the case of a short course, when fetch is less than 400 yards, the drive will be lengthened when possible so that the total length of the fetch and the drive is 850 yards, or as near to thislength as is reasonably practical. Shedding ring 40 yards in diameter. Pen 9 feet x 8 feet wide with a gate 8 feet wide, secured by a rope 6 feet long. The gate must open to not less than 170 degrees.
Sheep 5 sheep (3 unmarked and 2 marked with red collars). Gather 450-500 yards from handler.Remainder of the course same guildelines. At the completion of the drive two unmarked sheep will be shed followed by the pen. At the completion of the pen one marked sheep to be singled.
Sheep, 1st packet 10 sheep preferably unseen by dog. Gathering Approximately 600-800 yards from handler. Fetch Set of gates = 9 yards wide to a post fixed 20 yards through the gate in the centre of the field. Sheep, 2nd packet 10 sheep preferably unseen by dog. Gathering Approximately 800 yards from the handler. Drive Total of 600 yards on a triangular course with 2 sets of gates = 9 yards apart. First set of gates to be approximately 200 yards from the handler. Shedding Ring 40 yards in diameter. Pen 9 feet x 8 feet with a gate 8 feet wide to which is secured a rope 6 feet long. The Gate must open to not less than 170 degrees.
(A) OUTRUN (20 points)
From a Position near to the handler who stands at the post, the dog should
run out, either right or left, in a cast which is neither too straight nor
too wide, arriving behind his sheep at sufficient distance from them not
to unduly disturb them. Should the sheep have moved, or be moving from the
post the correct end to the outrun should be when the dog is at the head
of the sheep and in a position to bring them on to the course. Any
deviations from the line, crossing the course, stops, commands given, and
any other mistakes will be penalized as the judge thinks fit, in the
(B) LIFT (10 points)
Whether the dog has stopped or slowed down his approach should be smooth
and steady and he should take control of his sheep in a quiet firm manner.
Rash or rough work, slowness of approach necessitating too many commands,
and any other faults will be penalized as the judge thinks fit.
(C) FETCH (20 points)
Once the sheep are on the move (lifted) they should be brought at a steady
pace through the gates to the handler. The fetch ends when the sheep have
been passed around behind the handler and then the drive begins.
Over-flanking, unsteadiness, rushing, slowness, too many commands, missing
gates, deviation from line, and other faults will all be penalized as the
judge thinks fit having regard to the disposition of the sheep and all the
(D) DRIVE (30 points)
From the handler in a triangular direction with the dog in quiet firm
steady control in straight lines through two gates and back to the
shedding ring or pen area as required. Any deviation from line, missing
gates, rashness or slowness, too many commands, circling sheep or other
faults will be penalized by what the judge considers suitable loss of
points having regard to the disposition of the sheep and all other
circumstances. An honest attempt must be made for each drive obstacle. If
the dog is unable to drive the sheep to, through, or past an obstacle it
may not proceed without loss of all remaining points and may be asked to
retire. Handler must remain at the post until the sheep enter shedding
ring when a shed is required after the drive. When the drive is followed
by a pen the handler may proceed to the pen after the sheep have made or
missed the final drive obstacle, however, the drive is not completed until
the sheep are in the penning area.
(E) SHEDDING (10 points)
Shedding must be done within the ring. Two sheep are to be shed off and
the dog must be in control of these two otherwise the shed will not be
deemed satisfactory. Judges will apply suitable penalty in the case of
ragged work, sheep moving out of the ring, splitting the stock wrongly,
when the shed is done by the handler, when opportunity to shed is missed
etc. The test here being to ensure that the dog can shed off and control
the required sheep.
(F) PENNING (10 points)
On completion of the shed the handler shall proceed to the pen leaving the
dog to re-unite the sheep and bring them to the pen. The handler will keep
hold of the gate rope (6 ft. long) until the dog works the sheep into the
pen. The handler may assist the dog but over assistance should be
penalized, as should sheep circling the pen or making breaks away from the
pen, unsteadiness, rashness, slackness or any other fault shown by the
(G) SINGLE (10 points)
On releasing the sheep from the pen and closing the gate, the handler
returns to the ring leaving the dog to bring the sheep. One sheep is to be
shed off and held to the satisfaction of the judge. The shed must be done
within the ring by the dog and not the man, and judge must be satisfied
that the dog has proved its ability to ‘hold’ the single before they
shall indicate their satisfaction. Again rashness, unsteadiness, failure
to shed at suitable opportunity, man work etc., shall all be subject to
suitable penalty. If the judge decides that because of the disposition and
action of the sheep the dog has not been fairly tested, he may order any
other sheep to be shed and held. The cut off must be done within the ring
but the wearing may be outside or inside the ring, the test being the
dog’s ability to hold or completely control a single. The above
instructions are applicable to runs on the National Course but are also
applicable in the main to the International Course.
23: INTERNATIONAL GATHER (100 points)
The International gather or double lift competition requires a dog to be
cast in a predetermined direction to gather the first lot of sheep. The
sheep will be brought through the fetch gates to a post located
approximately twenty (20) or more yards through the gates. The dog is to
leave the sheep at the post and cast out in the opposite direction of the
first outrun to gather the second lot of sheep.
When the first lot has been taken through the fetch
gate to the post and the dog re-directed for his second lot, the first lot
may wander off the course. If so, when the second lot has reached the post
(or if more suitable a point nearer the handler) the dog should be sent to
bring the first lot back on to the course and to join with the second lot.
At no time should sheep be driven off the course to join up with others
which have strayed.
24: INTERNATIONAL DRIVE (40 Points)
Both lots of sheep will be driven around a triangular course consisting of
two sets of drive gates and will be completed when the sheep enter the
25: INTERNATIONAL SHEDDING (20 points)
The unmarked sheep are to be shed off within the ring. The shedding must
be done by the sheep being passed between the dog and handler with the dog
being brought in to stop and turn back any marked sheep. If the sheep are
passed between man and dog in the approved manner, it is occasionally
possible to get rid of a considerable number; and provided the dog and man
are properly positioned and the dog stops any marked sheep which tries to
join with the unmarked lot, this is in order.
There is no rule against the handler changing sides,
but judges will assess whether a competitor who does so, or is compelled
by circumstances to do so, can be as good as one who does not change over.
If a marked sheep escapes to join a group of unmarked sheep, that group
must be brought back into the shedding ring and reunited with the
remaining sheep before the shedding can proceed.
26: INTERNATIONAL PENNING (10 Points)
The five marked sheep shall be penned in the same manner as described in
the qualifying trials and so forth.
27: TOUCHING SHEEP
In any of the Association’s Trials, a handler who touches the sheep
shall be penalized by loss of points as the judge thinks appropriate in
In considering "Command" the handler who gives fewest commands
and who works his dog quietly shall be preferred to the handler who
over-commands and works his dog noisily, regard being had to the
circumstances. In the case of a dog, its obedience to commands given shall
be the sole consideration. The points for "Command" are included
in the points awarded for each phase of work.
Style maybe otherwise defined as a dog’s attitude to his work and his
method of doing it. His attention should be on his master’s commands.
Inattention, turning away from his sheep, unsteadiness or rashness all
amount to poor style and should be penalized. As with command, style is
included in the points allowed for each phase of the work.
A dog which grips or bites shall be disqualified if the gripping or biting
is of such character and the circumstances are such as to justify
disqualification. When gripping or biting occurs, the judge shall decide
at once whether to disqualify the competitor. If the judge disqualifies
the dog, he shall instruct the Course Director to stop the competitor.
In the event a judge has cause to DQ a competitor he or she must do so by showing a flag to the course director. This is done with no discussion with the other judge[s]. We are looking for independent action from the judges. If the coarse director sees a flag from each judge he will confirm then ask the competitor to retire from the field. If the coarse director does not see a flag from each judge he will leave the contestant on the field. The DQing judge will DQ the contestant on his score sheet and the other judge[s] can keep scoring the contestant..
A competitor whose dog damages sheep shall be liable
to pay the damage. The judge may stop a competitor at any point of the
trial or withhold any prizes on the ground of insufficient merit.
31: USBCHA NURSERY RULES
A) Age requirement:
A dog is
eligible for the Nursery Finals if its third birthday falls on or after
July 1 of the year in which that Nursery Final is held.
[Any dog born on
or after July 1, 2010 is eligible for the 2013 Finals.,
Any dog born on
or after July 1, 2011 is eligible for the 2014 Finals.
Any dog born on
or after July 1, 2012 is eligible for the 2015 Finals.]
2. Imported dogs are eligible for the USBCHA Nursery ONLY if imported
BEFORE they reach one (1) year of age.
B) The handler of the dog must be a current paid
member of the USBCHA before he competes to receive qualification. A member
can qualify by competing against a non-member as long as all dogs
competing comply to the USBCHA guidelines.
C) A dog can compete in any event and retain
D) The dog receives qualification, not the owner or
Nursery dog must place two (2) times in the top twenty percent (20%)
(rounded to the nearest whole number) of dogs competing in any Nursery
Class of five (5) dogs or more, sanctioned by the USBCHA, to qualified to
compete in the Nursery Championship Finals. A Nursery dog that places in
the top 20% of a full National style judged Open class counts as a
F) The nursery dogs must run a full National style
course, without the shedding work, in order to be a qualifying class.
G) In the Nursery Championship Finals the scores of
the top five (5) dogs from each district will be combined to determine the
District Team Championship.
H) No nursery dog may compete in nursery trials
after the August 1 cut-off if that dog is not eligible to compete in next
year’s Nursery Program.
I) Two dogs per handler limit at the Nursery
J) No eye test is required for the National Finals.
of Nursery Classes Permitted.
At a trial where no Open classes are offered, only one Nursery
class per day may be sanctioned.
2. At a trial where Open
classes are offered, the total number of Nursery classes sanctioned may
not exceed the total number of days that the trial is sanctioned for.
The scheduling of the Nursery classes is at the discretion of the trial
host; however, no more than two sanctioned Nursery classes may be run in
L) For sanctioning Nursery trials, see Section 2, B
M) USBHCA Secretary must receive a trial result
sheet upon completion of a Nursery trial. The results must be accompanied
by a fee of three (3) dollars/entry.