Hare coursing is an old canine sport in which hares are chased by greyhounds and other sighthounds, chasing the hare by sight and not by scent. Traditionally, hare coursing was limited to the wealthy and dates back to as far back as 180 A.D. The sport was informally made to test the speed and agility of sighthounds. The dogs used in this race are typically greyhounds however other sighthounds may be permitted as well. Is it a sport? Although many call it such, hare coursing does not fit our definition of a sport.
Overall, the sport is judged by the dog’s performance with the dog being evaluated on speed, go-bye, turn, wrench, kill, and trip.
Coursing became very popular in Europe throughout the 19th century. While it began as a spot for the rich, at this time it became known as the “working class” sport.
The sport took a decline due to controversy over the kill, which some declared was an act of animal cruelty. As well, the rise of greyhound racing in the 1920s saw a significant decline in the number of courses for hare coursing.
Interesting Fact: The reason why they call this sight hunting, not scent hunting, is because these dogs relied on their vision for the hunt. Unlike the basset hound which relies mostly on scent.
- Dog Racing — greyhounds chase a lure around a track (not a sport)
- About Dog Sports, sports involving dogs.
- Other questionable sports
- What is a sport?
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports