Setting up a canicross competition

Dog running out in front

Canicross races are licensed by The Kennel Club and are run by registered or listed status clubs and societies. Before running a canicross competition, the society must have applied to and been approved by us.

How to set up a 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. You can apply online through your club profile
  • Confirm the venue and check any conditions of use and cancellation terms
  • Draw up a budget
  • Draw up a provisional route
  • Identify a 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 systems, walkie-talkie radios, tables and chairs, marquees and fire extinguishers
  • Appoint race director, timekeeper, 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
Making a schedule

You should follow the published The Kennel Club's specimen schedule when creating the schedule for your competition:

What should I do 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's licence
What should I do 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.
What happens 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) are taken to the competition
  • Within seven days, report to The Kennel Club if there were any incidents requiring a report (e.g. biting/aggression incidents, formal objections/complaints, changes of official arrangements, cancellation or abandonment)
Cancellation or postponement of the competition

It is important that the society and show services department is informed of a cancellation in writing. It should not be assumed that because the licence application form is not returned to The Kennel Club by the due date, the show will be removed from the diary. 

Organisers are asked to confirm any show cancellation in writing – please email the society and show services department as soon as this decision is made, giving the reason for the cancellation.

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


Society committees must ensure that they have adequate cover for all the society's activities. The 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. Find out more about our clubs and trainers insurance.

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.

Register as a canicross club

There are two ways to run canicross competitions; the first is to register as a canicross club, the second is to apply for listed status. Learn more about club administration.