The pursuit of game—especially hares and rabbits—by greyhounds that hunt in pairs by sight not scent. Enthusiasts date the sport to ancient civilizations in the region of the Nile valley as long ago as 1500 bc, and its appeal has combined the twin rationale of hunting and recreation. Competitive forms in Britain were organized in the 16th century, but the sport was not institutionalized formally until the creation of the National Coursing Club in 1858, based on a membership comprising landowners and aristocracy. Its social base was slightly broadened when greyhound racing devotees were attracted to the sport from other social groups. Legislation in England and Scotland, in 2004, made coursing of hares illegal, and the coursing of rabbits legal only if the landowner's permission was granted. Coursing hare has remained legal in some parts of the USA, and (in Europe) in Spain and Ireland, for instance.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.