Agility show secretary information

Dog weaving through polls
BeatMedia © / The Kennel Club

Being an agility show secretary involves a huge amount of work and administration. This section provides all the information you need to assist with the task in hand. Secretaries should be aware that changes and developments are made to the discipline throughout the year, and that these changes are always listed in The Kennel Club Media Centre.

Agility events
  • Agility matches are restricted to members of the show society only
  • Limited agility shows may have four standard progression classes
  • Open agility shows are just that, open to all who wish to take part and may cap the total number of dogs in a class (the minimum cap being 250 dogs)
  • Premier shows are those that hold Kennel Club qualifiers for CruftsDiscover Dogs or The Kennel Club Agility Stakes. They will also have standard qualifying classes
  • Championship agility shows hold championship classes which are divided into three separate rounds. The winner and 2nd-placed dogs being awarded an Agility Certificate and a Reserve Agility Certificate
Special events

When an agility show/event is holding a non-scheduled final and finalists have been invited to attend, special permission is required. This is to ensure that those competing in the final are safeguarded should any problems arise. 

Applications for permission to hold special events must be made at least six months prior to the event, except when a series of qualifying heats are held prior to a special event final, in which instance permission must be granted prior to any of the heats being held.

Apply online.

Register as an agility club

There are two ways to run agility competitions; the first is to register as an agility club, the second is to apply for listed status.

Who can run the different types of agility show?

Open and limited agility shows are licensed by The Kennel Club and run by both registered and listed status clubs.

Championship and premier agility shows are licensed by The Kennel Club and run by registered clubs and societies. Before running a championship show, at which Agility Certificates ('tickets') are awarded, the society must have applied to and been approved by The Kennel Club for championship status.

How to run your show

Setting up the show
  • Obtain a licence: apply in writing or via the show date application form which can be found in the club profile, ideally six weeks or more ahead of the show date. Once the date has been checked and agreed, a licence application will be issued to the club. This must be returned with the fee no later than six months before the date of the competition (42 days for limited shows)
  • Confirm the venue and check any conditions of use and cancellation terms
  • Draw up a budget
  • Book your show processors (if used) and online entries service (if used)
  • Draw up a provisional ring plan, allocating classes to rings on the basis of estimated numbers of entries
  • Book agility equipment (provisional)
  • 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
Selecting your judge

Identify suitably qualified and experienced judges for all classes.

1. Limited

Judges of special classes in limited shows do not need to conform to the specific H regulations. For standard classes in limited shows, judges are required to adhere to the Agility 'H' Regulations.

2. Open/premier

The Kennel Club does not approve open/premier show level judging appointments. However, your society's show committee must be satisfied that the person is qualified in accordance with The Kennel Club H regulations. Invitations to judges must include a declaration to be signed by the judge, stating that they are so qualified.

3. Championship

The agility championship show judges' nomination form must be received at The Kennel Club for approval at least nine months prior to the date of the show. For first-time appointments, this form must be accompanied by a completed questionnaire for proposed championship agility judge which must be received at The Kennel Club to be approved, at least 18 months prior to the date of the show.

  • Judges must be invited and asked to accept in writing. The club should then confirm the appointment in writing to form a three-part contract, except in a championship class where The Kennel Club's approval must be obtained first
  • It is permissible to manage judging contracts via email. In terms of the signatures required to offer the invitation and in accepting the appointment, the following methods are accepted:
    • scanned manuscript signatures
    • the judge's indication of acceptance by including 'I accept the terms of the contract' or 'I am able to judge at your show and I accept the terms of the contract' (or similar) and a typewritten name or initials in an email
What administration should I do before the show?
  • Prepare and distribute a show schedule, using the appropriate specimen schedule as a basis:
  • Prepare a risk assessment (see the sample risk assessment form for guidance) 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's 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
  • Societies are required to consider government advice, including DEFRA, in place at the time when planning an event. It is also worth noting that often advice is different for different parts of the United Kingdom and this needs to be taken into account when planning the event both in relation to the venue and expected participants
Final preparations
  • 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 450 or more dogs have been entered take into account change of grade notifications received from competitors after the entries have closed. Check for class timing clashes – especially for classes with low numbers of entries
  • Advise judges of their classes and numbers
  • Prepare a helpers list to ensure efficient use of volunteer helpers
  • Confirm numbers of trophies and rosettes, catering and refreshment requirements, ring equipment etc.
  • For championship classes only, prepare a catalogue including competitor details 
  • Conduct a draw for running orders in all classes and notify all competitors by post of their running orders and the ring plan (show processors will generally do this for you). Be sure to notify any changes of judges, if applicable
  • Ensure copies of the regulations, all entry forms, catalogues, the competition licence, insurance certificate, awards, judges correspondence and an official Kennel Club Incident Book (available from our shop) are taken to the show
What should I do after the show?
  • For championship shows, within two weeks of the end of the show, send a fully completed copy of the catalogue, with all awards marked to the services team at The Kennel Club
  • Within two weeks, report to The Kennel Club if there were any incidents requiring a report, e.g. 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. Read more about filling out the incident book
  • For premier shows, submit the results to The Kennel Club of the qualifying classes within two weeks of the show
What should I do if I have to cancel my event/show?

It is important that the society and show services department is informed of a cancellation in writing by completing the cancellation of shows form as soon as this decision is made, giving the reason for the cancellation. It should not be assumed that because the licence application form is not returned to The Kennel Club by the due date, that the show will be removed from the show diary. 

If the cancellation is notified far enough in advance, this could free up a date for use by other clubs and societies, and in other instances it will prevent the office assuming the event is going ahead and therefore sending out unnecessary reminder letters for schedules and/or catalogues. 

Read further information about cancellation of events.

Do I need insurance cover?
One of the main concerns for societies is whether there will be adequate insurance cover. Kennel Club show regulations stipulate that insurance is required – otherwise the show licence is invalid. It is always best to check with the society’s own insurance provider in terms of the amount of and heads of cover. We have partnered with Pet Business Insurance (PBI) to provide specifically designed insurance cover for canine clubs or societies, including public and products liability insurance at a competitive price. It is unlikely that any Covid-19-specific insurance will be available but general public liability will be available.

You can contact them on 01284 736874 or visit their website.

A society should make best efforts to ensure that the venue/ground is Covid-19 safe, in line with government advice available at the time (including risk assessments). This will then help in demonstrating that the society has discharged its duty of care to participants and visitors. It is not possible to guarantee a no Covid-19 risk scenario, and there will be an element of assumption of risk by the participant/visitor. The society’s job is to minimise that risk. As always in the context of health and safety, there should be clearly documented instructions and role descriptions defining the clear delegation of responsibilities for the range of health and safety issues at the event.

A statement must be included in all schedules to state that if an exhibitor, or anyone in their household, has Covid-19-related symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19, they must not attend the event.
Agility show specimen schedules

The agility regulations specify that shows must issue a schedule which conforms to the current specimen schedule issued by The Kennel Club. They are regularly updated to take account of changes to the regulations or policy, and show secretaries are advised to download the most recent version of the specimen schedule before preparing any show schedules. The specimen schedules are available to download below:

Agility show secretary - frequently asked questions

1. Can a listed status agility team club compete at Crufts?

Yes - if they put together a team and that team wins at a registered club's qualifying heat, then they can compete at Crufts.

2. Our club is looking to get a set of measuring hoops to aid us in putting the right-sized dogs in the right classes. Please could you suggest where we can purchase these from?

These companies supply the measuring hoops:

3. When splitting a class into part 1 and 2, can we have part 1 with 80 dogs and part 2 with 101 dogs or does it have to be a 50/50 split?

It depends on what the class is. If it is a graded class, e.g. 3-5, then you can put grade 3 and grade 4 in one ring together and grade 5 in another ring. However, if it is a combined class it has to be a 50/50 split (to within one dog).

General data protection regulation (GDPR)
Risk assessment for agility shows

Every society must undertake its own individual risk assessment for every event.

Any particular measures or conditions that competitors need to be aware of prior to the event must be included within the schedule.

Download a risk assessment template for agility shows

Incidents at events

Anything that occurs at an event that is out of the ordinary should be considered an incident and logged in the incident book, even if those involved do not wish to take any action. Learn more about incidents at events.

Venue

Written guidance should be sought from the venue hirer regarding any special measures the show committee must undertake during their hiring period.

Rings may need to be spread out more than previously to allow space between the rings for free movement of people and to ensure that those in adjacent rings are not too close to each other.

Indoor venues may need to have more space around rings to ensure there is adequate space and a separate entrance and exit should be encouraged,

Is your proposed venue therefore large enough to accommodate the above and any other special requirements?

Schedule of events
It is not necessary for any activity to schedule a full range of classes and therefore societies should consider carefully which classes/stakes to schedule to ensure the event is of a manageable size, taking into consideration any additional health and safety requirements. A statement must be included in all schedules to state that if a competitor, or anyone in their household, has Covid-19-related symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19, they must not attend the event.
Veterinary cover
For those events that do not have on-site veterinary cover, liaison must be undertaken with the on-call veterinary practice to ensure it is able to provide the required cover.
Judges
If a judge has been contracted for a future show/event and is no longer willing to officiate due to concerns relating to Covid-19, their age or health, the contract should be cancelled and a new judge appointed. It must be acknowledged that everyone’s circumstances are different and therefore The Kennel Club will not take any action against a judge not fulfilling their appointment in these circumstances.
Officials' meals
Hospitality and catering arrangements for judges, officials and stewards should be reviewed in line with relevant Covid-19 and food safety guidelines. If meals are being served, appropriate PPE should be worn by those serving.

Please 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.

Agility show management courses

The next agility show management seminar will be announced soon.

The show management seminar is a great way to learn more about the management of agility competitions and is open to all. 

The aim of the seminar is to promote The Kennel Club's best practice in organising agility shows, covering all aspects of administration, planning, health and safety and venue selection. The seminars will also provide an excellent opportunity for delegates to learn from each other’s experiences.

Running a judging seminar

Judging seminars are usually hosted by registered clubs and societies, but any individual or group is welcome to organise and host a seminar. Please contact one of our accredited trainers, who are listed below, to find out more.

Additional information

The seminar content must be presented by an officially appointed Kennel Club accredited trainer.

Societies, individuals or groups organising a seminar should contact one of the accredited trainers (listed below) to invite them to conduct the seminar and arrange a suitable venue. They can then advertise the seminar to attract sufficient attendees. The organisers charge attendees reasonable fees at their discretion and should arrange for payment of the accredited trainer's expenses with the trainer. Trainers will usually bring relevant literature (such as regulation books, judges' guides and judges' record books) to the seminar for purchase by the candidates - in some cases the cost may be included in the seminar fee.

Agility accredited trainers and presenters list

Name and email

Address

Telephone number

Jean Fotheringham

Perthshire

01828 640429

Jackie Gardner

Staffordshire

07787 686806

Joan Hart

Scotland

07786 077929

Christopher Huckle

Devon

01769 560190

David Jolly

Warwickshire

01788 834670

N H Jones

Derbyshire

07709 306382

Cathy Keith

Scotland

01620 842886

Jen Lewis

West Yorkshire

 
Lynne Shore

Lincolnshire

01205 870460

Paul Hinchley

Avon

 
Katie Mcmanigan

Kent

 
Martin Tait

Bristol