Beginner Novice: This class is for handlers that have just starting in herding trials. If you have entered another class, with any dog, in novice or any other higher level, you are not eligible for this class. This class is a learning class to prepare you for running in the novice class. This class will be in a 90 ft. X 130 ft. fenced area with gentle sheep. There will be a short gather, then you will be able to walk with the sheep and your dog through a few obstacles, then to a pen along the fence, to complete the course. For this class, your dog needs to have a stop, be able to change directions, be under control at all times, and have a recall when finished. You may take your dog in on a lead, but it cannot run the course with a lead or cord. This class is not offered at most trials.
Novice: This class is for handlers that have not ran in the open class with any dog. The dogs entered in this class cannot have run in the open class with any handler. Dog and handler team may not have run in any higher class than novice. The course will consist of an outrun, lift and fetch with the handler staying at the handler’s post. After the sheep have reached the handler’s post, the handler may move with the sheep and dog through a drive (wear) and cross drive panels, then to the pen. The handler must hold the pen gate while the sheep are penned. For this class your dog will need to have a outrun, stop command, directional commands using verbal or whistle, and be under control at all times.
Pro Novice: This class is for any handler with a dog that has not ran in open or open ranch. The handler must remain at the handler’s post while the dog outruns, lifts the sheep, fetch, drive,( may or may not have a cross drive), then then handler can go to the pen. The handler must hold the gate rope while the sheep are penned.
Open Ranch: This class is for any handler with dogs that have not ran in the open class. The field and course is the same as open, but no shed.
Nursery: This class is to qualify dogs for the USBCHA Nursery Finals. You must be a member of the USBCHA to qualify a dog. The course is the same as open, without the shed. You must place in the top 20% to get qualifying points.
SECTION 31: USBCHA NURSERY RULES
A) Age requirement:
1. 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 2012 is eligible for the 2015 Finals.
- Any dog born on or after July 1 2013 is eligible for the 2016 Finals.
- Any dog born on or after July 1 2014 is eligible for the 2017 Finals.
Open: This class is for any handler with any dog. Handler must remain at the handler’s post while the dog outruns, lifts and fetches sheep, then around handlers post, drive, cross drive, then pen and shed or single (or shed and pen). This class is normally sanctioned by the USBCHA.