Kennel Club sponsors new Special Beginners Competition at general and group championship shows

Further to the Kennel Club’s recent announcement on reforms to open shows, it has now announced its sponsorship of a Special Beginners Competition at general and group championship shows, from 2018, to enable more exhibitors to experience a group competition.

Each general and group championship show society will be encouraged to schedule a Special Beginner class for dogs and bitches in each breed which can be a single mixed sex class or a separate dog and bitch class, plus Any Variety Not Separately Classified and Imported Breed Register classes, for a two year trial period.  The Best Special Beginner to be declared for each breed to go forward to the group competition. 

The class definition will be stated in the schedule as “For owner, handler or exhibit not having won a Challenge Certificate or Reserve Challenge Certificate, or for those breeds not allocated Championship Status, Best of Sex or Reserve Best of Sex at a Championship Show.”

It is hoped that the competition will receive maximum visibility at each show.  It is preferable for all judging to take place in the main ring, although it is accepted that this may not always be possible.  If time does not allow for all judging to take place in the main ring, pre judging can take place, but the final decision and presentation of awards must be made in the main ring.  It is at each society’s discretion as to the time the group is to be judged.

The Kennel Club’s sponsorship of the new competition is part of ongoing improvements to dog shows, being led by the Dog Show Promotion Working Party.  Mark Cocozza, Chairman of the working party, said: “We’ve introduced the Special Beginners Competition to encourage novice exhibitors and incentivise more of them to experience a group competition.

“All of the changes to dog shows we have announced are intended to increase participation in our sport and make things less complicated and more enjoyable for exhibitors, and are all based on extensive consultation with exhibitors and show societies. 

“We are excited to see the impact the Special Beginners Competition will have over the two year trial period and hope that it will be well received by both exhibitors and the shows themselves.”

The Kennel Club will provide sponsorship in the form of prize money and rosettes for first to fourth place in each group. Prize money of £100 for each group is to be awarded as follows – first prize of £40, second prize of £30, third prize of £20 and fourth prize of £10.

Further information can be found on our website.