Entries now open for the return of top agility festival

The Kennel Club International Agility Festival will take place from 10 - 13 August 2023

Online entry is now open for The Kennel Club International Agility Festival, the world’s largest agility festival for dogs and their owners, which will return to Rutland Showground, from 10 – 13 August 2023.

During the festival, 18 rings will be set up to host the competition, which will feature dogs of all agility grades and sizes, from all over the world, with over 200 separate classes taking place.

The Kennel Club International Agility Festival, which will be returning for the eighteenth time, is once again supported by Skinner’s, who are set to continue to sponsor the event until at least 2024. 

The festival welcomes all dogs and entries can be submitted online, with payment open until 7 June 2023.

Classes include:

The British Open is for all FCI grade 3 dogs, British or Irish grades 6 or 7 dogs or dogs holding a Masters or Championship Title in the USA. The top seven large dogs, seven intermediate, seven medium and seven small dogs, together with the top overseas based competitor from each size group, will compete for the British Open final which will be held on Sunday 13 August at the International Agility Festival.

The Special International Class is open to all overseas dogs that are eligible for FCI Grade 3 classes (or equivalent), dogs holding a Masters or Championship Title in the USA. Only dogs that reside outside the UK are eligible for this class, with the winners in each height (large, intermediate, medium and small) subsequently invited to compete in the Crufts Singles at Crufts 2024.

The Novice Cup is open for dogs graded 3, 4 and 5. Dogs and handlers who qualify for the semi-final from this qualifier, and qualifiers across the country, will compete in the semi-final on Saturday 12 August, with finalists going on to compete at Crufts 2024.

The Starters Cup is for all grade 1 and 2 dogs. The top six large dogs, six intermediate, six medium dogs and six small dogs from the semi-final round of The Kennel Club Starters Cup will be invited to compete at the final being held at The London International Horse Show in December 2023.

The Young Kennel Club (YKC) Pairs is open to YKC members only, aged between 6 and 24 years. Pairs must both use the same size dog. Once a qualifier has been entered, members may not switch dogs or handlers. The pair who are placed first in each category will qualify for Crufts 2024.

The Young Kennel Club Agility Dog of the Year and Under 18 Years Jumping are open to all YKC members aged 6-17 years. If a member and dog combination accumulate 30 points or more, they will qualify for Crufts 2024. Please note that members may only compete with one dog. Should a member qualify with more than one dog, then only one can compete, with the other only used as a reserve in the event that the first choice is unavailable.

Further information on entering Young Kennel Club agility competitions can be found online at on The Kennel Club website

Ben Skinner of Skinner’s said: "We are proud to be returning as the headline sponsor for the International Agility Festival. Both our Field & Trial and Get Out & Go! ranges have been nutritionally formulated to support active dogs and are ideal for performance dogs that compete in agility.

“Our team will be on hand to offer nutritional advice to competitors and visitors at Rutland Showground from 10 – 13 August 2023. Until then, we would like to wish all of those competing and training for the event the very best of luck.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Events Executive at The Kennel Club said: “The Kennel Club is once again excited to be opening entries to dogs of all ages and breeds looking to compete at this year’s International Agility Festival.

“The festival is wonderful opportunity for all returning dogs and their owners to display the hard work they’ve dedicated to agility training over the last year or for beginners to experience running in a competition ring.

“With so many rings and a wide variety of competitions, there really is something for every ability, from returning professionals to beginners – there is no better way to get started in agility than at the world’s largest agility festival!”

More information on The Kennel Club International Agility Festival can be found on The Kennel Club website or via The Kennel Club’s dedicated Facebook page.