I registered Henery for his first AKC rally trial the 2nd weekend of Sept in NY. Is there any way to find out ahead of time what time rally will run? I'm trying to decide whether or not to get a hotel room for the Fri/Sat nights, depending on how early rally goes.
You'll find out 1 week in advance when they send out the confirmations with your # and the schedule. That's the same for all dog shows regardless of the event. In any case, Novice runs last of all the Rally classes, and Nov A is dead last.
You will get the info in the mail the week of the trial. That will tell you when Rally starts. Typically, on weekends trials start first thing in the morning. What time Novice starts though you will have to wait until your judging program arrives (or sometimes they will send an email link to an online judging program). Sometimes Novice runs first, sometimes last.
How far away is the trial? Usually if the trial is more than an hour and a half away I motel it, as I HATE mornings! (Hunt tests start before 8:00, so I almost always motel it for them.)
I'd book a room now. You can always cancel it if you don't need it.
When you get your judging program it most likely won't tell you when the class starts...you'll have to figure it out. Usually it says something like this:
10 am Rally Excellent B 10
11 am Rally Excellent A 15
to follow Rally Advance B 25
to follow Rally Advance A 35
to follow Rally Novice B 20
to follow Rally Novice A 30
Any class listed as "to follow" cannot start before noon. That means Rally Advance B on will all be after 12:00. You'll have to figure out how much time each class takes to figure out an approx time of when Nov A will start. They currently are supposed to run 20 dogs/hr, plus you have a 15 min walk thru for each class (unless the A/B levels combine their walk thru), and awards after each class. In my example above I would guessimate that Adv B would end around 1:30 (inc awards), Adv A would end around 3:45, Nov B would end around 5:00 so Nov A would start their walk thru around 5:00. Of course you have to plan for the unexpected...competitors that don't show up, equipment not ready for the class, etc so I always give myself at least an hr before I expect to be in the ring...better early than late.
I have observed a couple of shows, and usually "bug" somebody to find out approximate times well in advance of 1 week. They can't you exact time of course, but usually they know the order and you can figure it out from there (depending on the number of dogs entered in each class). I do an internet search on the club that is sponsering the show, and find some names from there to contact. I know that novice classes are usually last, but the club that I take obedience classes from runs their novice classes first.
One trial I was at had Novice run first. I was 45th (or so) dog in and figured I had a while. So, I go there about 1 hour after the trial started and they were calling my number! They bumped me down two dogs to the last dog in so that I could at least get Belle out of the car and watch one person go before me. Talk about going in COLD!* I think I have heard that IF THE TRIAL is organized and moving right along, figure 2 minutes per dog during the actual calsses.
Of course I have also seen trials running 3 hours late too! If Novice is first it is more apt to be on time.
The last trail I was at actually split the classes oddly between the judges. Something like Novice B, Advanced A and Excellent B were under 1 judge in the morning and Novice A, Advanced B and Excellent A under another judge in the afternoon. The next day, the judges switched classes. Of course this was one that ran 3 hours late. It was so screwed up that an AKC rep was sitting ringside the whole weekend..taking notes. (Happily for me though since the superintendant screwed up my move up and I had to sic the AKC rep on them to be sure it was straightened out. It was really more involved than I would have thought. Sure hope it goes through ! (The super also actually told a competitor that even though her dog had a CDX, that when she bumped up from Advanced B to Excellent, that she should go into the Excellent A class. So, she did and found out just as she was entering the ring that that was not legal and she could not compete! SHe should have known the rules, but to have the Super tell her that was outrageous!)
One other thing you can do is check to see if the judge is also judging another class like obedience or non regular obedience. I know that some specialtie shows with small obedience and rally turn outs will use one judge for both events. the judge then does obedience first and rally second. I have even been to an all breed show where they did this. they had 2 obedience judges and one of them did just novice obedience and then all of rally the other judge did all of open OBD and Utility OBD. I am sure that here are other possibilities so check to see what your judge is listed as judging.