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"Running to a standard"


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It means that as the trial progresses, there are runs that will lose enough points during the course of the run to not be placing runs. When a trial is overbooked, running to a standard allows everyone who entered a chance to step to the post, but later in the day, if your run isn't going well, you'll be called off once you've lost enough points that you can't place within the top 20 percent.


You'll hear differing opinions about whether running to a standard is preferable. I think if people who have entered a trial know up front that it will be run to a standard, then there's no cause for complaint. I think complaints occur because if you draw out early in the running order you'll have a better chance of being able to complete the course no matter how many points you've lost, but as more dogs are run, and the placing scores get higher, fewer dogs will run to the standard and so those who draw out in the running order toward the end of the day are less likely to be able to complete the course. So it becomes a fairness question: Is it fair that someone who goes early in the running order should be allowed to complete the course no matter how bad the run, while someone who runs later when the standard is higher might actually have a better run than that earlier handler but is asked to quit because they've lost enough points to be below the standard?


I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other, but if I were hosting a trial, I would probably choose to limit entries and waitlist rather than run to a standard. Then again, when you have really big trials like the Bluegrass, which tries to come up with a way to fairly draw names (i.e., limit entries) to determine who gets in (because there are always more entries than there are slots for running), you'll get complaints too.



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