Entering Shows
How to do it
 

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Sometimes I'm not sure why we do this.  We get up at silly o'clock travel a very long way, stand around for hours and hours and hours, and spend a total of about 2 minutes in the ring.  Then one day this happens and you know it was all worth it.

First things first

I know it's really exciting to enter a show but before you enter your first one please make sure you've checked the rules on registering and measuring.  Each organisation has its own rules and you must stick to them otherwise your results won't count, you may have to give back any prizes and the organisation may impose a fine.

Where to find out about shows

The Kennel Club has an online tool for checking out which of their shows are being held across the country.  You can search for a show using your postcode and bring up shows locally or anywhere in the country.  You can also ask to search for shows within the next year or more.  Finally you will need to filter the type of show want such as breed, agility, flyball etc.  The Kennel Club covers everything.  You can find the Kennel Club tool here.

The Kennel Club doesn't publish shows schedules. The best place to look for these is on Agilitynet.  The site provides links to all the schedules sent in by club secretaries including Kennel Club, UKA and other independent organisations.  Be careful though, Agilitynet depends on the show secretaries sending things in.  If they're a bit late you may well miss something when checking which shows to enter.

UKA has a list of their shows on their website and other organisations will do the same.

What to do when you've got the schedule

Have a look at the schedule and make sure the closing date hasn't gone past. It should be in big letters on the front page.  If it's a Kennel Club show then you can't enter after the closing date.  If it's a UKA show then you can usually enter on the day unless the show has been capped at a certain number of entries and that number has been reached.  You should be able to get this information from the UKA website.  You may also come across Kennel Club limited shows or Kennel Club matches between clubs.  These shows only accept a limited number of entries and if the show or match is full you won't be able to enter.

The other date on a Kennel Club schedule is the qualifying date.  One the schedule below it was 15th June 2017.  All this means is that anyone who won a class that put them into a higher grade needed to enter the new grade if they won on or before 15th June 2017.

Have a good look at the schedule and see if the classes look suitable for you and your dog.

A part of a schedule is shown below and you can see you have the option to choose jumps at a lower height.  The asterisks usually mean the lower height option is being offered as well as the full height. Check the schedule though to find out the meaning of any asterisks or other symbols. If you want to enter this class make sure you choose the correct one of either the LHO or FH option on the website when you enter.

Having chosen your classes the best way to enter is via an online processor.  This is a site that handles dog agility show entries.  On the front of the schedule it will say enter online and it will give a web address for the processing site. In the schedule above it was called Swap Live, South West Agility processing.

Once you've navigated to the site you may need to register with them but it's usually free.  They will give you the option to pick out which classes you are entering.  Make sure you choose the right grade and the right height. 

Make sure you enter all the classes you're eligible for if you want to run your dog in them.  Once the closing date for entries is past you can't change anything.  If you meant to do lower height and you put down full height you can't change it.  If you make a mistake before the closing date, the show processing site should have an option to change the entry or you might have to cancel your entries and start again.  If there's no option then contact the person who runs the site and ask them what to do.

Show processing sites usually allow you to pay via bank transfer.

The other way of entering Kennel Club shows is by post.  You'll need to complete the entry form and send it in along with a stamped addressed envelope. You'll have to pay for the entry using a cheque.

The schedule will tell you everything you need to know about the date and venue and  what time the show opens, the judge's briefing and what time the judging starts. In the schedule below the first classes start at 8.30 and you will need to have walked the course by then and worked out your strategy. 

 

You'll also find details of the judges and the show personnel as well as the vet on call for the show.  This is crucial if a dog injures itself.  There will be directions to the venue on the schedule as well. 

Make sure you get there early enough to park and with plenty of time to find the ring where your first run is held.  As well as walking the course and you will need to walk your dogs to make sure they pee and poo. You may need to shade the car and leave windows and a tailgate open for the dogs and give them some water.  Switch on any air conditioning in the car.  An early start is essential.

With UKA you can enter their shows via their website and you can also pay them via bank transfer. 

Some very small independent organisations, perhaps a private trainer or a small independent club may only accept postal entries.  In this case you'll need to read their rules very carefully.

Finally all schedules will include a copy of the rules and you have to agree to these.  Another thing worth mentioning is that it's an idea to make a note of the secretary's mobile number in case you get lost on the day.  Some of these events are located in weird and wonderful places down tiny country lanes with no signposts.  A club may put up their own signs on the road so that competitors don't get lost.

What Happens Next

About one to two weeks before the show you'll receive your running orders.  Don't lose them.  Inside the envelope there will be a ring plan.  What you need to do is to highlight your classes on the ring plan and write your running order next to each class as well.  Keep this piece of paper with you at the show so that you can refer to it at any time during the day.  You'll need it.

Good Luck