There is a regional hound of the year now. Points only count in that region.

If you want to compete for national HOY you will need to do some travel.

The regional HOY get to go to the runoff at the US.

I agree with you that the HOY is whomever has the time and money, but it takes an incredible amount of dedication and desire to do this. Honestly it is very hard on the hounds. There have been many, many that struggle with health after hours and hours of travel to trials every weekend.
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Get out there and judge. It's easy! HA!