What does a Hunt Master do?

Per AKC Rule, the Hunt Master is in overall control of the course.  They ensure the course and conditions are safe for running before and during the event.  In the event an issue arises, the Hunt Master may stop the course at any time until the issue is resolved to their satisfaction.  In reality, some Hunt Masters in Fast CAT are not always the most experienced people and they will rely on the support of others, both on and off the course.  This involves the Lure Operator, Gate Stewards, Paddock Master and any number of other people involved in the event.  Remember, most people involved in putting on a Fast CAT event are volunteers and are due the respect and patience we all would desire.

The Hunt Master will ensure the person bringing the next dog to the line understand proper release timing.  The sequence is to bring the dog to the start box, with the toes over or touching the back line and not too close to the timer units that they may possibly set them off early if the dog lunges.  Once the Hunt Master believes the person is set, they will ask for a verbal confirmation from the releaser "Are you ready?" to which the releaser must issue a clear response indicating they are ready.  After this response, the Hunt Master will look to the Lure Operator to ensure they are ready for the next dog.  Typically, this is signalled by the Lure Operator with a hand in the air.  Once this is confirmed, the Hunt Master will raise their hand to signal the Lure Operator they are about to release the dog, then they will circle their hand in a manner so the Lure Operator can see it, but not so demonstrative as to frighten or distract the dog.  At that time, the Lure Operator should move the lure.  As soon as the lure moves, the Hunt Master will annouce so the releaser can hear them "Tally HO!".  At this time and not before, the release should release their dog. Do NOT release the dog prior to the Tally Ho...  

* - Do not make the mistake of holding your dog after the lure moves!  You are possibly causing a poor release when doing so.  It's the Lure Operator's responsibility to keep the lure properaly ahead of the dog.  When the releaser holds a dog after the Tally Ho, it doesn't allow the Lure Operator the proper opportunity to set the dog up for it's best run...  Remember, Tally HO means LET GO!