Judges at Kennel Club licensed Heelwork to Music Shows are expected to maintain and abide by the highest standards. Heelwork to Music judges must adhere to the Kennel Club's Heelwork to Music 'L' Regulations and the judges' Code of Best Practice, which can be found in the helpful Guide for Heelwork to Music Judges.
All judges should be appropriately experienced and have suitable temperament, physical fitness and stamina. They must act honestly and impartially and judge in a customary fashion acceptable to competitors. The overall aim of a judge is to provide value for the time, training, effort and money which competitors put into their performance.
There are two or three judges for each Heelwork to Music or Freestyle class, one of whom is appointed as lead (head) judge.
Who can judge?
Judges are invited by the society which is staging a Heelwork to Music competition (it is not acceptable for judges to solicit for appointments). Before inviting a judge, the society must be satisfied that the judge is suitably qualified, and before accepting an appointment judges should ensure they meet the minimum criteria, which are:
- Judges should have qualified a dog out of starters' class in either Heelwork to Music or Freestyle classes, and
- they should have a minimum of two years' experience competing in standard classes at a minimum of six Kennel Club licensed Heelwork to Music competitions, and
- they must demonstrate a good knowledge of the sport and a thorough understanding of the rules of the sport, and
- they must have attended a Kennel Club Heelwork To Music Regulations and Judging Procedure Seminar and passed the Regulations and Judging Procedure Examination. (From 1 January 2016 all Judges must have attended a Regulations and Judging Procedure seminar every four years since passing the Regulations and Judging Procedure examination. Note: Taking the examination again is not a requirement.)
- Wherever possible, all judges for a class should have competed at the level of that class.
- A Judge's first three appointments for shows must be restricted to Starters and Novice.
For more details about the Judging Procedure Seminar and exam, click here.
Judges appointed to judge Advanced classes in Heelwork to Music or Freestyle must meet more stringent criteria, which are:
- Judges must demonstrate a good knowledge of the sport and a thorough understanding of Kennel Club Heelwork to Music 'L' Regulations, and
- they must have a minimum of two years' experience of competing at Kennel Club licensed Heelwork to Music Competitions, and
- they must have a minimum of one year's experience of judging at Kennel Club licensed Heelwork to Music Competitions, and
- they must have judged a minimum of 15 licensed Heelwork to Music/Freestyle classes, and
- they must have judged a minimum of five classes at intermediate level in either category.
All judging appointments at Kennel Club licensed Heelwork to Music competitions must be underpinned by a contract between the society and the judge. Forming a contract requires three stages:
- The society must invite the judge in writing, including the wording required in the Heelwork to Music regulations, and request a written acceptance
- The judge should return a written acceptance of the judging appointment
- The society should then confirm the judging appointment, again in writing
Three-part contracts should always be in place, even for emergency replacement judges. In the event of a judge or society being in breach of their contract, and unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of the breach, the General Committee of the Kennel Club may impose a fine.
Judges' Record Book
It is important to keep a record of your judging appointments, so that if one day you are invited to award Heelwork to Music Certificates, you will be able to complete the judge's questionnaire form and provide evidence that you have the required experience. An official Judges' Record Book can be purchased from our Online Shop.