Another thing that I think keeps new people away is getting whacked in the first series. I have seen a good number of minor stakes whack 50 to 75% of the dogs in the first series. Sometimes its because the judges want to get done because they have to judge another stake and are pressed for time.
A lot of times it's not about which dog does the best job it's about which dog can do the test period. The open is one thing but I dont think this should happen in the derby or qual. Pretty discouraging to new people. I have even seen this happen in DQ's that are trying to attract cross overs form hunt tests.
I have seen derbies and quals both where only 1 or two dogs finish the trial. No second thrid or fourth place not to mention jams