Updated: 15 Aug 2020
Societies are required to consider government advice, including DEFRA, in place at the time when planning an event. It is also worth noting that current 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.
Societies are also going to have to be flexible and consider the implications of a local lockdown. Local authorities have the authority to close local outside spaces, shut premises and cancel events if they feel it is necessary. Therefore it is imperative that liaison is undertaken with the local authority to ensure any specific area requirements are included in an events risk assessment.
There are a number of areas that should be considered when deciding whether to hold a planned event or not. It should be noted that if the society decides not to hold an event which is already licensed, The Kennel Club's policy is to refund the licence fee, or it may be transferred to pay for a future event. Notification of the cancellation and the decision regarding the licence fee should be advised to the shows and societies team via email except for field trials which should be emailed to our field trials team. Please refer to our cancellation of events page for further information.
One of the main concerns for societies is whether there will be adequate insurance cover. It is always best to check with the society’s own insurance provider. It is unlikely that any covid-19-specific insurance will be available but general public liability will be available. A society should ensure that best efforts are undertaken 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 to demonstrate 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. All clubs and societies must appoint a covid safety officer, whose responsibility is to monitor and oversee that covid-19 prevention procedures are maintained throughout the day. This person may be an existing steward or an additional person. A log must be kept of any untoward incidents. The covid safety officer must be named on the event schedule as well as on any notices/signage at the event to allow for a contact/reporting point for any issues which may arise out of the covid prevention procedures. 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 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 and should self isolate in line with government advice.
General areas for consideration by societies will revolve around financial planning for the event and whether it will be feasible to proceed whilst following government advice and social distancing requirements (i.e. reduced capacity/gate). It will be necessary to ensure the planned venue is open for bookings, and for some events, that local hotels are able to accommodate the required number of bookings.
Every society must undertake its own individual covid-19 planning risk assessment in addition to the normal risk assessment that is undertaken 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.
Specific areas that need to be considered are:
Written guidance should be sought from the venue hirer regarding any special measures the show committee must undertake during their hiring period.
Is there space for additional distance to be provided between vehicles? Car parking marshals may be required to ensure vehicles are parked at appropriate distances between each other. It may be necessary to dictate the types of vehicles that can be accommodated in day parking, and that no gazebos/tents can be erected around cars, to ensure there is sufficient space for people to walk safely between the vehicles and from the car park to the ring area.
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. It may be necessary to state that people may not walk between certain rings. Disposable ring tape should be considered to remove the necessity for disinfecting ring ropes.
Indoor venues may need to have more space around rings for social distancing and a separate entrance and exit should be encouraged, with a one-way system included.
Is your proposed venue therefore large enough to accommodate the above and any other special requirements? Do you need to reconsider which classes are scheduled, so as to reduce the number of competitors and therefore vehicles and possibly rings that are required?
Schedule of events
Overseas judges and competitors
Agility regulations temporarily suspended/amended until 1 July 2021
Societies are advised to hold smaller shows where possible to allow more space for social distancing and space around rings. It is suggested that more combined classes are scheduled (as opposed to graded) and a restriction of three classes per dog is included. It may be advisable to try and schedule the same height or grade of dogs together with classes for different heights or grades later in the day with advisement of when competitors should arrive, to minimise the number of vehicles and people on site.
Regulations have been amended/altered to facilitate smaller shows as follows:
Number of entrants/classes
- Capped classes – Regulation H(1)(A).12
Societies are advised to consider capping classes, the minimum capping limit for a standard class has been reduced to 50 dogs per class and will be available for all types of shows. This means that a class can be limited to a maximum of 50 dogs (except for Kennel Club qualifiers or championship classes which must be open to all eligible dogs). This limit may be set higher if the society feels the venue is large enough to accommodate more entrants and may be increased after the schedule has been issued (or the closing date) if government restrictions allow. Regulation H(1)(A) 12 provides more detail.
- Limited agility shows – Regulation HJ(1)3.d
Limited shows may schedule a maximum of eight standard classes and it is recommended these are spread evenly amongst the heights offered at the show.
- Societies may divide the course walking into blocks so the first group of handlers walk the course and then run it, followed by the next block of handlers walking and then running. Alternatively a society may rotate the course walking into blocks so that group A walk the course, followed by group B walking the course whilst group A get their dogs, group A then runs the course, group C walks the course and then get their dogs whilst group B runs their dogs etc.
- Courses may be walked at any height and do not need to be walked at the dog’s competing height. It would also be possible to run the same course concurrently for different heights, if the system above was used with different groups being different heights of dog
- All arrangements for course walking and running must be set out in the ring plan prior to the show
- Competitors may need to be reminded that if they are handling more than one dog in a class they need to run them in the correct order, as per Regulation H(1)10.d
- Handlers could also be reminded to compete as close to their running order as possible and that it is their responsibility to be available for their class and running order. This will be particular relevant if the class is run in blocks as detailed above. Regulation H(1)10.f covers this requirement
Dispensation has been provided for dogs requiring a second (or third measurement) since 17 March 2020. They will need to have this carried out by 1 July 2021. Until this date, a dog which has had its first measurement may continue to compete regardless of whether it has had its second or third measurement. This date will remain under review based on the current situation, but will not be brought forward. Dogs must have had an initial measurement to compete.
Societies may apply for any type of licence up to six weeks prior to the show date. (The required date may not be available if another premier/championship society already has that date.)
Regulation H.18.a and Regulation H.18.d
Championship judge nominations may be submitted later than nine months prior to the show and appointments for the same height may be less than six months apart if the judge was already contracted for a rescheduled show. (Championship judge amendments are only in place until 31 December 2020).
Bloodhound working trials
Updated: 15 Aug 2020
Bloodhound working trials are a small gathering of people (normally 25 or fewer) in the open air and held on private land away from populated areas. Spectators are usually members of the competitors’ households. Person to hound transmission is not currently demonstrated. This indicates a low risk of transmitting the covid-19 virus.
There could be an issue with the acquisition of land if shooting and hunting does not substantially recommence in the Autumn. There are signs that some of the big shoots are not putting birds down, however grouse moors are different as they do not rear birds. Grouse are wild, unlike many pheasants and partridge that are pen reared and eventually released.
It would be considered good practice for societies to make their own risk assessment available to potential competitors. This may be achieved by providing a link to a website or social media page.
Attendees should travel to the start and finish of lines in their own vehicles whenever possible.
Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.
Stake managers and road marshals should have wipes and hand sanitiser available to wipe door handles and hard surfaces between transporting judges/competitors. Face coverings should be worn in these instances as per government guidelines.
Maps should be prepared well in advance and kept in a sealed folder until needed.
Scent articles should not be handkerchiefs or gloves and not kept in pockets where they may come in contact with tissues or handkerchiefs. They should be disposable. Strips of fabric will be available for the line walker during the trial.
Plastic bags should be provided for handlers to put scent articles in.
Only one person should open the gate to the start of the line. Spectators should avoid leaning on gates etc.
Prize giving and judges summing up should take place outside in the field after the last line of the day, to ensure social distancing.
Consideration should be given as to whether the hunt supper should be held.
All competitors should be requested to bring their own refreshments.
Details of the local hospital and vets should be specified in the catalogue, and liaison should be undertaken with both to ensure they are able to provide the required cover and are aware the event is taking place.
Updated: 11 Aug 2020
Societies are advised to hold smaller shows where possible to allow more space for social distancing and space around rings. It is suggested that consideration is given to what classes/breeds are scheduled, especially in relation to stakes classes. It is advisable to encourage specific timing for breeds/classes and once a class/breed has been judged and the dog has finished being shown exhibitors are requested to leave the venue to minimise the number of vehicles and people on site.
It is anticipated that single breed shows are likely to be able to proceed in advance of larger general shows due to the numbers involved.
All societies must undertake their own covid-19 specific risk assessment in addition to the normal risk assessment undertaken for all shows. If the risk assessment is not tailored to the club’s own show it cannot help it to meaningfully address the risks and it will not be demonstrating that the club has actively managed the risks for the safety of all participants and visitors.
All references to face masks also include face coverings as detailed in government guidance and must be provided by the exhibitor.
The following guidance should be included in risk assessments
- Rings must have a separate entrance and exit, which must be adhered to by all exhibitors
- All judges must wear a mask at all times whilst in the ring. A judge may also wear a face shield if they wish
- All exhibitors must wear a mask whilst in the ring
- All exhibitors must ensure they remain socially distanced from other exhibitors whilst in the ring
- It may be necessary for dogs to be in the ring on rotation if the ring is not large enough to accommodate all exhibits in one go with social distancing
- The judge must sanitise their hands after assessing each dog. Additional assessment should be kept to a minimum
- The handler will show the dog’s teeth to the judge
- If either the table or ramp are used they must be wiped by the steward, with appropriate wipes between each dog
The following measures are suggested but must be adapted for each society depending on the circumstances, size of the ring etc.
- It is suggested that separate tables are provided for the judge and the steward/s to assist with social distancing
- Only the judge should handle the judge’s book and is responsible for updating it accordingly, including noting any absentees. Stewards must not handle any of the judge’s items such as glasses, pens etc.
- Award boards next to each ring are not provided to minimise the handling of the result sheets and overcrowding around the award board. A separate folder should be provided for the collation of result slips to be passed to the secretary after the completion of judging
- Certificates/rosettes should be laid out, on a separate table if possible, in advance of judging and the exhibitors requested to collect them after each class to minimise contact. Judges must sanitise their hands prior to completing each certificate. Stewards/judges should stand back for this to be undertaken whilst maintaining social distancing
- Any prize money should be available in envelopes with the awards. Societies should be mindful to minimise handling of cash
- Ring numbers and catalogues (where applicable) to be prepared in envelopes for collection at a dedicated area
- Rings should be large enough to accommodate the largest entry, taking into consideration social distancing requirements
- Spectators must not be allowed to sit ringside to ensure social distancing is maintained with those exhibiting in the ring
- Societies should consider whether trade stands will be admitted and, if so, whether any special arrangements need to be made
- Societies should consider the various administrative items, how they are managed, by whom and whether they are needed. It may be that hand sanitiser is used after handling of various items
- It is recommended that Miniature Dachshunds are not weighed. If they are weighed the scales must be cleaned after each dog by the steward
- It is recommended that dogs are not measured. If measuring is undertaken, equipment must be cleaned after each dog, by the steward
Societies are exempt from the following regulations until 1 July 2021
Award boards need not be provided and therefore the following regulations are suspended:
(1) Group and general championship shows:- A board within the ring on which the awards must be clearly displayed after each class, as soon as determined by the judge.
(2) Breed club championship shows, open and limited shows:- An area for the display of awards.
The health and safety of everyone attending field trials is of paramount importance, and it is vital that events are conducted with adherence to social distancing and health and safety guidelines. To ensure that this is the case the protocol as outlined below must be adhered to. While the organising committee has a significant responsibility in this regard, each individual has the primary responsibility for his or her own health and wellbeing and any risk factors relating to age or health, or health of close contacts, should be considered before entering an event.
All societies must undertake their own covid-19 specific risk assessment in addition to the normal risk assessment undertaken for all trials. If the risk assessment is not tailored to the club’s own trial, it cannot help it to meaningfully address the risks and it will not be demonstrating that the club has actively managed the risks for the safety of all participants and visitors.
All clubs and societies must appoint a covid safety officer, whose responsibility is to make sure that covid prevention procedures are maintained throughout the day. A log must be kept of any untoward incidents. The covid safety officer must be named on the field trial schedule.
Government guidelines on social distancing, in force at the time, must be adhered to by all participants, whilst at the trial.
All references to face masks also include face coverings as detailed in government guidance and must be provided by the individual concerned.
The following areas should be considered for all Field Trial risk assessments:
Where reference is made to the competitor this applies to the handler on the day of the trial.
Arrangements prior to the trial
Site visit to the ground with the keeper:
- Risk assessment to be completed prior to site visit, updated as necessary and available on the day if requested
- Hand sanitising gel/wipes should be required by all attendees and provided by them, however the society should have some spares available if required
- Societies are encouraged to appoint local judges where possible in order to minimise travel. Where an overseas judge was already under contract, the appointment may proceed provided it did not contravene any government regulations or restrictions
- Societies should encourage all judges to provide as much notice as possible should their circumstances change, which would mean they may not be able to fulfill an appointment
Schedule, entry form and draw:
- Detail the requirement to follow government guidelines on all the schedule and draw documentation
- Advise competitors how the day will be run and detail any procedures or changes to usual order of running on the schedule and draw (e.g. the requirement for competitors to provide their own numbers, the wearing of face masks etc.)
- Detail how entries can be submitted. Online processors are recommended but it would be acceptable for entry forms to be emailed to the secretary and payment made via Paypal etc. (This would still constitute manual entries and a manual draw could be undertaken if required)
- There should be no handling of entry forms, cheques, or cash on the day
- All clubs and societies must appoint a covid safety officer, whose responsibility is to make sure that covid prevention procedures are maintained throughout the day. This person may be an existing steward or an additional person. A log must be kept of any untoward incidents. The covid safety officer must be named on the event schedule
- 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 and should self isolate in line with government advice
- Written information on all participants and attendees must be collated. This must be detailed enough to allow NHS Test and Trace to contact all participants if any attendee becomes ill with covid-19. These records must be kept for 21 days
- There should be no field trial cards on the day. All cards to be issued electronically in advance to all competitors
- Online entries are preferable to avoid the requirement to quarantine postal entries and any unnecessary contact with entry forms or cheques
Accommodation for judges and officials:
- Ensure any accommodation is following government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene requirements
- Check judges are comfortable staying away from home and are not shielding, either themselves or another member of their household
- Include a statement to this effect on the confirmation letter
- If appropriate, arrange for hotel to provide packed lunch for resident judges
- When setting out direction signs, use gloves when using any tools borrowed from another to avoid the risk of cross contamination. If social distancing is not possible, masks must be worn when in close proximity to another individual
- Confirm the vets can provide emergency services for non-registered patients and research the protocol for doing so should veterinary support be required on the day
Arrangements at the trial
- Vehicles must be parked with enough spacing between vehicles to ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to
- Risk assessment must be available on the day to all attending the trial. The host/estate must have received this document in advance
- Judges' books and current regulations must be provided by the judge concerned and only handled by them
- Certificates/prize cards/rosettes should be posted out following the trial instead of being available on the day to avoid any unnecessary physical contact. Certificates may be sent electronically
- Radios must be handled when wearing gloves and thoroughly cleaned using antibacterial wipes before and after use. Earpieces must not be worn unless these are the individual's own
- Hospitality and catering arrangements for judges, officials and stewards should be revised in line with relevant covid-19 and food safety guidelines. Societies may wish to consider stipulating that no food will be provided to any attendees, including judges and officials
- If food provisions are required, these must be provided from approved retailers
- Judges' books and current regulations must be provided by the judge concerned and only handled by them
- All stationery required by the judge to be provided by themselves
- Game certificates will not be required to be completed and it will be assumed that the conditions of the stake were such as to enable the dogs to be satisfactorily tested. If this is not the case, The Kennel Club's field trial department must be notified within seven days
- There must be no physical contact with any competitor prior or post run
- Face masks should be worn during any conferring between the judges
- When handling game passed from a competitor, a face mask should be worn by the judge, judge’s steward and game carrier and should be undertaken at a maximum distance possible. Hands must be sanitised between passing each bird. Gloves could be worn but would need to be changed and safely discarded following each individual run to ensure no cross contamination
- Judges should be encouraged to submit online field trial judge evaluation forms. Physical nomination forms will not be provided by the society
Officials and helpers (game carriers, judges’ stewards, red flag carriers, game markers, number board carriers, beaters, stops, picker-up, caterers etc.):
- All equipment used must be the individual's own wherever possible; game bags, red flags etc. If this is not possible, then gloves must be worn and equipment must be thoroughly wiped down with provided antibacterial wipes after use
- Shotguns must be handled by the owner only and cartridges must not be transferred between individuals
- Guns must only shoot forward to safeguard the gallery, which must be socially distanced
- It is advised that spectators are not allowed and only the handler of each dog will be permitted on to the trial ground. If a competitor has more than one dog running, an appointed individual, ideally from their own household, must be willing to hold their additional dog. Other competitors should not be used for this purpose. Anyone else that traveled to the trial with a competitor should be asked to remain in their own vehicle and will not be permitted to spectate but details will be collected for test and Trace purposes
- It is recommended that societies do not provide competitor armbands. Competitors will be required to provide their own number, which does not need to be an armband but must be clearly visible
- Remind all attendees of any measures in place to ensure their safety - masks, gloves or antibacterial sanitiser should be provided by the competitors/judges but it is advisable for the society to have spares available
- If a competitor has more than one dog running, an appointed individual, ideally from their own household, must be willing to hold their additional dog. Other competitors should not be used for this purpose
- Any individual not following government guidelines, or who is deemed to be putting the safety of others at risk will be asked to leave the trial ground
- Competitors should check how entries may be made as postal entries may not be accepted
- Competitors should be aware that all communication, including the draw and field trial card, will be undertaken electronically
- Competitors must provide their own face mask and hand sanitiser to use at appropriate times
- Competitors will be required to provide their own number for identification purposes when in line. This does not need to be an armband but must be clearly visible to the judge when the handler joins the line
- Competitors should make themselves aware of any specific requirements made by the society
- Competitors should be aware that spectators may not be allowed
- Competitors must be aware that if they, or anyone in their household, has covid-19-related symptoms or has tested positive for covid-19, they must not attend the event and should self isolate in line with government advice
- Competitors must not attend a field trial if they reside in an area covered by a local lockdown enforced by the government
- Where possible, travel around the shoot should be on foot, as this allows social distancing to be maintained and reduces the risk of covid-19 transmission. If practicable, individuals or household groups should travel in separate vehicles. Transport should be planned well in advance of the day to ensure appropriate provision is in place
- If using transport around the shoot, you must consider social distancing between passengers, sitting side by side, not face to face, and increasing ventilation in the vehicle. Face masks must be worn for the duration of the journey by everyone in the vehicle. Hand hygiene – using hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser – before and after each journey is also encouraged
- Hand sanitiser should be used after handling any trophies
- The winners must be announced but awards could be issued after the event to avoid unnecessary physical contact
- Certificates/prize cards/rosettes could be posted out following the trial or sent electronically as appropriate
- Alternatively trophies and awards should be sanitised and bagged in a plastic bag and kept aside for a minimum of 72 hours prior to the trial. Then the secretary should sanitise their hands before presenting the bag to the recipient
Gifts for host and keeper:
- All gifts will be handled only when necessary and only when using gloves or after using hand sanitiser
- No physical contact is permitted on the day
- No cash payments should be made on the day and the use of cash should be at a minimum
Field trial regulations temporarily suspended/amended until 2 February 2021
Regulations have been amended/altered to facilitate covid-19 safe trials as follows:
Societies are advised that when a competitor is not able to attend a trial due to them or a member of their household having covid-19 symptoms or having tested positive for covid-19 or if they reside in an area subject to a government lock down restriction, they will not be liable for the entry fee, even if they withdraw less than seven days before the trial.
Judges are responsible for providing their own copy of the current field trial regulations, not the chief steward.
The Game Certificate will not be signed and it will be assumed that the conditions of the stake were such as to enable the dogs to be satisfactorily tested. If this is not the case, The Kennel Club field trial department must be notified within seven days.
Heelwork to music
Updated: 11 Aug 2020
Updated: 11 Aug 2020
Obedience regulations temporarily suspended/amended until 1 July 2021
Societies are advised to hold smaller shows where possible to allow more space for social distancing and space around rings. Classes could be planned for either a morning or afternoon, and be advised in the schedule so that competitors can manage their arrival and departure.
All special arrangements put in place in relation to the regulations listed below must be clearly stated in the schedule.
Regulations have been amended/altered to facilitate smaller shows as follows:
Societies may apply for any type of licence up to six weeks prior to the show date. (The required date may not be available if another championship society already has that date.)
Printed award cards need not be given but class results can be sent out after the show to all competitors to be retained as evidence.
Electronic version only to be shared with judges and other officials. Any Kennel Club returns to be sent electronically.
A complete set of results to be published as a record of the dogs achievements instead of prize cards.
Running ordersRegulation G29.f
Societies will decide whether classes will have a pre-drawn full running order or one set up on the day, either as a full running order or time slots as handler’s book in. In each case the order of working must be adhered to with handlers available to compete when required.
Timed staysRegulation G29.g
Stay times will remain as per regulations but timed stays and the need for a separate ring may be suspended if the show society wishes. Classes may instead have stays in groups in the working ring, for example after every 10/12 dogs have been judged, those dogs will then do their stays, or at the end of class with only those with a viable score. Judge and ring steward will manage the stays when they take place in the working ring.
Number of entrants/classes
It is suggested that not all classes are scheduled but that events are restricted to either the lower classes (e.g. introductory to A) or higher (e.g. novice to C).
It is recommended to restrict any dog to enter no more than two classes.
Capped classesRegulation G(A)13
Societies are advised to consider the use of capped classes.
Competing – Regulation G34.f
Scent and equipment – Regulation G(C)2.d
Scent test for class A, B and C can take place as part of the ring work in a designated area of the ring set aside for this.
TestsRegulation G(C)4.i.(3) and Regulations G(C)4.i.(4)
Class A and class B scent will be as detailed in the regulations.
Class C scent will be the handler’s scent, there will be two decoy cloths, both from the same decoy steward.
All cloths will placed in a box and not handled for at least 48 hours before the event.
The judge will place the cloth in the pattern in class B and class C.
The ring steward may then act as decoy steward.
Updated: 11 Aug 2020
Rally regulations temporarily suspended/amended until 1 July 2021
Societies are advised to hold smaller competitions where possible to allow more space for social distancing and space around rings. It may be advisable to try and schedule lower levels in the morning and higher levels in the afternoon with advisement of when competitors should arrive, to minimise the number of vehicles and people on site.
Regulations have been amended / altered to facilitate smaller competitions as follows:
Number of entrants/classes
Capped classes – Regulation S5.c
Societies are advised to consider capping classes, the minimum capping limit for a standard class has been reduced to 25 dogs per class and will be available for all types of shows. This means that a class can be limited to a maximum of 25 dogs. This limit may be set higher if the society feels the venue is large enough to accommodate more entrants and may be increased after the schedule has been issued (or the closing date) if government restrictions allow.
Animals allowed in the competition – Regulation S12
It is advised that no spectators are allowed at the event, as per the general guidance, any one on site that has not entered a dog for competition must provide details for test and trace purposes. Spectators will not be permitted to bring their dogs on site and competitors should consider whether their NFC dogs need to be taken to the competition.
Facilities and equipment
Judges are encouraged to provide their own rally exercise signs, station numbers and appropriate holders and lay their own course out. However if that is not possible loaned equipment must be sanitised before and after use.
There is no requirement for the handler to be issued with a ring number, they should make themselves known to the ring steward when they are due to work.
It is suggested that the judge provides their own administrative tools and completes the scribe sheets with the handler and dog details in advance of the competition.
Regulation S15.g and S15.h
Any cones or jumps required for the course must be provided by the judge.
All of these items must only be handled by the judge.
Printed certificates for qualifying scores and places may be issued electronically after the event.
Exercises and signsRegulation S(C)
Judges should carefully consider which exercises to use to ensure minimal cross contamination occurs. This means consideration should be given to using jumps, if these are included the judge must hand sanitise after handling the jump / pole each time, unless it is their equipment and only they have used it.
Bonus exercises 9, 11, 13 and 14 are currently suspended (retrieve and mat exercises) due to the requirement for a steward to handle the items.