Judging Bloodhound working trials

Bloodhound stood in grass

Judges at Kennel Club licensed Bloodhound working trials are expected to maintain and abide by the highest standards, adhering to our regulations and the Judges' Code of Best Practice.

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 rounds at the trial.

Becoming a Bloodhound judge

Before you become a Bloodhound working trial judge you must have:

Judges are invited by the society which is staging a Bloodhound working trial (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. Before accepting an appointment, judges should ensure they meet the minimum criteria, which are described below. Bloodhound judges must progress through various stages or lists and meet minimum criteria for each list. They are then entitled to judge different stakes at championship Bloodhound working trials.

First appointments

All judging appointments at Kennel Club licensed Bloodhound working trials 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 Bloodhound working trials 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 board of The Kennel Club may impose a fine.

Training seminars for Bloodhound trial judges

The regulations and judging procedure seminar and examination is at the centre of our goal of raising standards in all aspects of dog activity. As such, it is compulsory for all those judging at Bloodhound working trials for the very first time, and those who will be submitting questionnaires to us for approval, to award Kennel Club Bloodhound Working Trials Certificates.

Requirements of each level

Each level of judging requires you to meet a certain set of requirements. Below identifies each set of requirements: 

List D - assistant to the judge

Candidates must:

  • have the support of the society's committee
  • be proficient in map reading and be willing and competent to walk lines at trials
  • have a basic knowledge of livestock and the countryside
  • demonstrate a general interest in the sport, having attended Bloodhound working trials and followed working Bloodhounds
  • initiate their Bloodhound working trial record book

Also, it would be preferable for them to have handled a Bloodhound at trials.

List C - lower stakes judges (novice, junior, intermediate)

Candidates must:

  • comply with list D
  • have the support of the society's committee
  • have carried out assistant appointments on at least four occasions at Kennel Club licensed Bloodhound working trials
  • have gained experience and helped in the organisation of Bloodhound working trials/prestigious stakes/training days
  • have attended The Kennel Club's Bloodhound regulations and judging procedure seminar and passed the regulations and judging procedure examination
List B - prospective senior stake judges

Specialist judges must:

  • comply with list C
  • have the support of the society's committee
  • have judged stakes at Bloodhound working trials on at least three occasions at Kennel Club licensed events
  • have overall knowledge and experience of the management and organisation of Bloodhound working trials
Foreign judges and non-specialist judges (M.Hs, huntsmen etc.)

Candidates must:

  • comply with list C and in addition must:
  • have the support of the society's committee
  • have judged stakes at Bloodhound working trials in the UK on at least two occasions at Kennel Club licensed events
Foreign judges

Candidates must:

  • be able to satisfy The Kennel Club with evidence of judging experience other than with Bloodhounds in the UK
Non-specialist judges

Candidates must:

  • be able to satisfy The Kennel Club with evidence of experience of working with hounds
List A - senior stake judges

Candidates must:

  • have the support of the society's committee
  • have been approved by The Kennel Club to award Working Trial Certificates at championship Bloodhound working trials and have completed their first appointment. To receive Kennel Club approval, judges must meet the criteria set out in the paragraph below, 'judges for the senior stake'
  • Please note: foreign judges/master of hounds etc, are invited to judge at the discretion of the society committee in all stakes other than senior, for which Kennel Club approval is required
Judges for the senior stake

Once a judge has progressed to list B they are in a position to be invited to judge the senior stake - the highest stake for Bloodhound working trials - and to award a Bloodhound Working Trial Certificate. First-time senior stake judges must meet the following criteria before their judge's questionnaire will be considered by the activities committee:

  • they must have passed the Bloodhound regulations and judging procedure exam on the academy, and have attended and passed the Bloodhound practical seminar
  • they must be included on a breed club B list
  • they must have attended a Kennel Club Bloodhound regulations and judging procedure seminar and passed the accompanying examination
  • they must be less than 75 years old on the first day of the trial

Judges nominated for the first time to judge the senior stake will be assessed by a Kennel Club approved assessor prior to being approved by the board of The Kennel Club.

Approval of senior stake judges

Societies are required to obtain approval from The Kennel Club for all senior stake judges, and must submit their nominations to The Kennel Club at least six months before the appointment (at least 18 months in the case of 'first-time' senior stake judges) using the official nomination form. Nominations of 'first time' judges (who have not previously been approved to judge that stake at a championship trial) must be accompanied by a completed Bloodhound working trial judges' questionnaire. First-time senior stake judges will be assessed at a judging appointment before being considered for approval by the board.

Although the deadline for nominations of first-time judges is 18 months, it is in the interests of the society and the judge to submit nominations, with the judge's completed questionnaire, as far ahead as possible to allow time for the assessment to take place and the nomination to be considered and approved well before the date of the trial.

Additional resources

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