Exemption from benching trial for General and Group Championship shows

The Kennel Club is reminding exhibitors that the requirement for benching for General and Group Championship dog shows has been relaxed for a two-year trial period, which came into effect on 1 January 2023, following the December Board meeting.

Show societies may apply for exemption from benching with each application being considered on a case-by-case basis, and The Kennel Club, via the Show Executive Committee will be monitoring the impact on shows with Field Officers assigned to report on those shows for which exemption from benching is granted.

The Kennel Club wishes to reiterate that exhibitors must comply with all reasonable requests from the show management especially regarding any potential safety issues, and must be aware of their surroundings at all times.

A number of factors have been identified and highlighted to societies as requiring additional consideration should a show take place without benching. While it is the responsibility of the society to ensure relevant factors have been taken into consideration it is paramount that exhibitors are aware of the following points:

  • Regulation F(1)3.d which states:


(1)The width of unobstructed gangway shall not be less than 6 ft (1.85 m) when there are rings and/or benches on either side.

(2) The width of unobstructed gangway shall not be less than 3 ft (0.92 m) when there is a ring or benches on one side only.”

  • Potential hazards i.e., gazebo rope, including the distance between temporary structures (including ropes) and show rings.
  • Dogs must be kept under control at all times
  • No cooking equipment to be used except as authorised by the show management e.g., Catering vans
  • All gazebos must be well anchored
  • All dogs must be identifiable at all times. As there will be no numbers on benches exhibitors may need crate tags in order for dogs in crates to be identifiable

Societies must make schedules clear in terms of what arrangements have been made should a show be exempt from benching, including notice of wet weather arrangements. Societies can apply for exemption after their schedule has been published, exemption may then be considered as an amendment to the schedule, although it is recommended that requests are submitted as early as possible.

In addition, exhibitors are reminded to be mindful of their surroundings at all shows whether benching is utilised or not.

For further enquiries, please contact Breed Shows (The Kennel Club) .