The National Beagle Club of America, Inc.

NBC Triple Challenge

2017 NBC Triple Challenge Winner Moore’s Punk Rock Star in the Park with co-owner Greg Moore

Part of the mission of The National Beagle Club of America, Inc. (NBC) is to hold field trial events with the purpose of improving field qualities as well as type.  The early combined emphasis on field and conformation by NBC changed over the years as interest in specific traits, at the expense of all others, created beagles that were becoming increasingly divergent in both appearance and hunting style.

In order to address this division of the breed, in 1996 the NBC initiated the Triple Challenge event for the purpose of recognizing and promoting the complete versatile beagle. This annual event evaluates the hunting abilities of the individual hounds through a Brace format trial, as well as its ability to contribute to a pack during a grueling three-hour stake class; and thirdly the qualities of conformation, condition, soundness and temperament are judged in a Conformation show.  The competition is limited to thirty entries, and all thirty hounds must compete in each phase of the competition. The overall winner is determined by totalling the points earned in each phase. Below is a description of each phase of competition and how they are judged.

Brace Format – The purpose of the brace format is to evaluate the hunting abilities of the individual hounds, based upon the desirable and undesirable characteristics as put forth in the AKC Beagle Field Trial Rules (similar to a gundog brace format trial). First series is normally run as trios, while second or subsequent series may be run as braces or trios.  As the goal during this trial is to score every hound, ranking from 1st through 30th place, judges are instructed to proceed in whatever manner necessary to achieve that goal while trying to stay within the guidelines of normal trial procedures. Recognition is given to the highest scored hound of each size variety (13" & 15"), but no further awards are presented within any single phase of the Triple Challenge. Based on their placement in the field trial, the hounds are credited with points towards their total score.

Stake – The purpose of the 3 hour stake is to further evaluate the hound's hunting ability as well as contribute to the work of a pack.  All thirty hounds are cast at the start of the stake, hunted and judged as one large pack.  Judges are again using the desirable and undesirable traits as expressed in the AKC rulebook when evaluating the hounds.  One judge observes the pack from horseback, while the second will judge on foot.  In order to successfully meet the physical demands of the large pack format of the stakes class, the beagles need to be in peak physical condition and possess sound running gear coupled with truly functional conformation. Top placing hounds will be required to run for the entire three hours, while those hounds not needed for further evaluation may be ordered up by the judges at any time. Again, high scoring hounds in each variety are recognized and all hounds are placed 1st through 30th and credited with points based on their ranking.

Conformation Show – The show is held following completion of all field competition. It addresses the qualities of conformation to the AKC breed standard, including soundness, movement, condition and temperament. Procedure loosely follows that of "gundog show" or AKC show, however the judge is permitted to evaluate and score the hounds by whatever method he or she finds most efficient and comfortable. Often this means examining individually each hound and grading according to the scale of points found within the AKC beagle breed standard; all AKC show disqualifications apply.  Again, high scored hounds of each variety are recognized and all hounds are placed 1st through last.

Each hound which receives a combined, total score of 200+ out of 300 possible points during competition at the NBC Triple Challenge is considered a "Qualifying Hound", awarded in recognition of its achievement while competing against an outstanding entry of qualified hounds.

Since its founding in 1996, the Triple Challenge has become the premier event for recognizing the all around Beagle.  It draws entries from around the country, and is unique in the diversity of the beaglers that attend.  Hounds must qualify for entry based on points earned in AKC, UKC, ARHA, or CKC field or show events, or by entry from an NBC recognized formal pack.  The event seeks those beagles which are truly functional hunting hounds and of correct breed type, with the emphasis on the beagle’s ability as an efficient hunting companion. Hounds representing all factions of our sport are welcome and will receive equal consideration.

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