Rally Show Administration

Running a Rally competition

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

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

  • Nominate a Competition Secretary, Competition Manager and (optionally) a Competition Committee.
  • Decide on a date, a venue and the classes to be run. Most Societies run their competitions in the same week in each year. To avoid date clashes, 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, power and waste disposal).

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 ring plan, allocating classes to rings on the basis of estimated numbers of entries
  • Identify suitably qualified and experienced judges for all classes
  • Judges 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, score tents, fire extinguishers

After the schedule is finalised

  • Prepare and distribute a competition schedule, incorporating an entry form, using the Specimen Schedule as 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.
  • Appoint ring managers and allocate tasks such as parking control, PA system announcers, results processing, prize presentations, ring refreshments and judges and helpers lunches, car park checks for hot dogs, signage and equipment management

After entries close

  • Once entries have closed, finalise the ring plan, splitting classes where numbers of entries make it advisable. Ensure no judge will be scheduled to judge classes for which more dogs have been entered, than have been agreed to be judged.
  • Prepare a helpers list to ensure efficient use of volunteer helpers
  • Confirm numbers of trophies and rosettes, catering and refreshment requirements, ring equipment etc

At the competition

  • Ensure copies of the Regulations, all entry forms, the competition licence, insurance certificate, awards, judges 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 judging arrangements, cancellation or abandonment).

These should be logged in the incident book and sent to the Kennel Club. More information on filling out the incident book can be found here.

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.

Laminated Rally signs are available to download from the toolbar or can be purchased from the Online shop. A list of suppliers of Rally sign holders is also available in the 'More Information' section on this page.

Cancellation/Postponement of Event

If a society has to cancel its event the Secretary 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: wda@thekennelclub.org.uk or 01296 318540 (ext. 295 or 207). For more information about what is required when a society cancels/postpones an event, please click here.


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 www.kcclubsandtrainersinsurance.org.uk


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