Canicross Race Administration

Canicross races are licensed by the Kennel Club and run by both registered or listed status clubs and societies. Before running a Canicross race the society must have applied to and been approved by the Kennel Club.

Societies setting up and running Canicross competitions need to address a number of main tasks:

  • Nominate a Race Director, Timekeeper and Race Marshal.
  • Decide on a date, a venue and the races. Most Societies run their competitions in the same week in each year. A list of competitions can be obtained from the Canine Activities Team, or by phoning 01296 318540.
  • Provisionally book the intended venue (for new venues consider venue size, surface, road access and availability of water).

Set up the competition

  • Obtain a licence: A competition host's initial application to hold an event under these Regulations must be received at least six months before the proposed date of the competition. Subsequent applications should be received at least six weeks before the proposed date of the competition.
  • Confirm the venue and check any conditions of use and cancellation terms.
  • Draw up a budget
  • Draw up a provisional route
  • Identify suitably experienced Race Director, Timekeeper and Race Marshals.
  • Race Director, Timekeeper and Race Marshals should be invited in writing or email, and asked to accept in writing or email; the club should then confirm the appointment in writing to form a three-part contract.
  • Book trophy and rosette suppliers, caterers and veterinary cover.
  • Book hired facilities if required, such as skips, toilets, PA system, 'walkie-talkie' radios, tables and chairs, marquees and fire extinguishers.
  • Appoint Race Director, Time Keeper, Race Marshals, and allocate tasks such as parking control, PA system announcers, results processing, prize presentations, ring refreshments and judges and helpers lunches, vehicle checks for hot dogs, signage and equipment management.

After the schedule is finalised

  • Prepare and distribute a competition schedule, incorporating an entry form, using the Specimen Scheduleas a basis. 
  • Prepare a risk assessment and develop a safety plan to minimise risks.
  • Arrange adequate public liability insurance, the certificate must be displayed at the competition, with the Kennel Club licence.

After entries close

  • Once entries have closed, finalise the route and competitors in each category.
  • Prepare a helpers list to ensure efficient use of volunteer helpers.
  • Confirm numbers of trophies and rosettes, catering and refreshment requirements, equipment etc.

At the competition

  • Ensure copies of the Regulations, all entry forms, the competition licence, insurance certificate, awards, Race Director correspondence, Timekeeper correspondence, Race Marshals correspondence and an official Kennel Club incident Book (available free on request from the Kennel Club) are taken to the competition.
  • Within seven days, report to the Kennel Club if there were any incidents requiring a report (for example biting/aggression incidents, formal objections/complaints, changes of official arrangements, cancellation or abandonment).

NOTE: The above list gives an idea of general timescales but many individual tasks will be done in a different order from above depending on circumstances.

Cancellation/Postponement of Event

If a society has to cancel its event the Organiser must contact the Working Dog Activities Department at the Kennel Club as soon as the decision to cancel has been made.  Contact can be made via email: or 01296 318540 (ext. 295 or 207). For more information about what is required when a society cancels/postpones an event, please clickhere.


Society Committees must ensure that they have adequate cover for all the Society's activities. Kennel Club Insurance cover is specifically designed for canine clubs or societies, including public and products liability and directors' and officers' liability insurance at a competitive price. For more information about insurance visit


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