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Herding Test & Trial Procedural Manual

Chapter 3

Chapter 3

A. First Meeting:

  • First organizational meeting select/elect Chairperson and each committee’s leadership.
  • Determine scope of event and necessary work force. Make a list of preferred judges, possible event facilities, dates and livestock contractors.


  • 12 to 18 months prior to event: Have organizational meeting

B. Chairperson:

  • Communication is important to conducting a successful event. Establish a line of communication with the club and committee members. This can be accomplished by telephone, postcards/letters, email (remember all members may not have access to this form of communication) or frequent committee meetings.
  • Develop Timeline – Establish Budget – Determine Entry Fees. Give Committee Heads position-specific information, timeline and budget.
  • Encourage Committee Heads to solicit club members to serve on the various committees.
  • Contact prospective Judges as soon as the date has been determined.
  • A contract should be sent to the Judge with all terms agreed upon between parties. This includes travel arrangements, judging fees (if any), accommodations, meals and other expenses. It should specifically name party responsible for all expenses and if the judge will pay, then be reimbursed by the club, or if the club will be directly responsible. Forward to judge, with self-addressed stamped envelope, two copies of the contract, one for his/her records and one to be returned to the club with signature.
  • The Judge’s Affirmation Form should accompany the contract or be sent by the Secretary at a later date. If you do not send this form, be sure that it has been completed prior to the start of the event. Again, two copies of the form are helpful, one for the Judge to keep and one to be signed and returned to the Club.
  • Monthly, contact all Committee Heads to give and receive progress reports. Offer assistance if needed.
  • Arrange for Event Application to be sent to The American Kennel Club. The Event Secretary may complete the Application but the form must have the signature of a club officer.
  • Gather the necessary information from Committee members to have Application completed.
  • Check that application has been mailed at least 25 weeks before the event.
  • Contact Secretary for Premium List progress, monitor and assist as necessary. Ensure Premium List is mailed on time.
  • Plan Test and Class sequence schedule. Give to the Secretary for the Program and Catalog. The order in which classes are run can have a dramatic effect on the event. Generally, in a one-day Trial or on the first day of a multiple day set of Trials, it is best to run the Advanced Class first, and then Intermediate followed by the Started Class. The logic behind this is: the Advanced dogs (the most experienced dogs at the event) will train and settle the livestock, thus making it better going for the dogs in the lower classes. When done in reverse, stock can become sour and tire faster when worked by less experienced dogs first. (This refers to the Trial Classes not the Test Classes that should have a different type of livestock, more dog broke and handler oriented.)

    If you are having two or more Events, in sequence, and the same arena is being used for both Tests and Course A, the work required for set up can be greatly reduced by scheduling the consecutive days to begin with the same Class the Event ended with the previous day.


    • 1st day – Advanced, Intermediate, Started, PT Intermediate, HT Started
    • 2nd day – HT, PT, Advanced
  • Attend the “Draw for run order.” Give the Secretary the Event Schedule, if this has not been done.
  • Check that you have insurance and that premium has been paid.
  • Contact Secretary for Catalog and paperwork progress. Offer to proofread.
  • The week prior to Event contact all Committees to ensure all assignments are completed and everything is ready for set up day and event. Offer assistance with any problem areas.
  • Equipment for the Event that will be beneficial:
    • Two-way radios for the Chairpersons; others may be at Secretary’s desk, with the Judge(s), Course Director, Livestock Handlers, Gate Steward, Chief Steward.
    • Herding Regulations – necessary for each Committee member
    • Dealing with Misconduct – necessary for each Committee member
  • Day of Event – Just before first handlers meeting, it is a good idea to have a brief general meeting to introduce judges, committee members, AKC representative (if in attendance), inform contestants about the site, and where arenas are located.
  • Following the Event, check with Secretary to ensure all event information has been sent to be received by The American Kennel Club in a timely manner. Make sure there are no outstanding expenses to be paid. Write notes thanking each Committee member.
  • Next Club meeting submit a report of the event, including possible improvements and financial statement.


  • Throughout planning and during the event: Keep an open line of communication with all Committee Heads.
  • 10 to 18 months prior to your event: Contact prospective Judges. Forward contracts and Judge’s Affirmation Form to judges immediately following their agreement to judge.
  • Monthly, contact Committee Heads: Give and receive progress reports.
  • 28 weeks prior to event date: Work on the Application Form(s) should begin. Monitor its progress until mailed 25 weeks before the date of the event.
  • 6 months to date of mailing: Track progress of the Premium List.
  • On the date and at the location specified in the Premium List: Attend “draw for run order.” Give Secretary a schedule, per day, that classes will run.
  • 10 days prior to Event: Contact Secretary; check the Program’s progress and that the event schedule is written correctly. It must be in the mail no later than 7 days prior to the opening date. Four copies must be sent to AKC. Check progress on the Catalog.
  • 7 days prior to the Event: Contact all Committee Heads to ensure that everything is ready for set-up day and the event.
  • On the date set by Course Director: Attend the Event set up.
  • The day before event: Gather all equipment.
  • The day of the Event: Arrive early. Check that all Committee members are in position and everything is ready to begin on time. Correct any problem areas.
  • Throughout Event: Be available to Committee members and assist as needed.
  • End of the day: Clean the facility to be in better condition than before event.
  • Following Event: Contact Secretary for progress report on event records to The American Kennel Club; see that all bills have been paid; write thank you notes; event and financial report to club.

C. Secretary

  • When your Event package arrives, open it immediately to ensure you have the necessary paperwork for your event. Check each item on the shipping list against the contents to ensure all necessary forms, paperwork and other information has been included. Next, compare the contents with your schedule of events to ensure you have everything you need for each Course and Class. (Example: If you are offering Courses A and B, you should have score sheets for each Course.) If you find anything missing, contact AKC immediately.
  • Event packet. The American Kennel Club provides a variety of forms for use at Herding Events. The actual paperwork may vary, as will the type and number of forms. The forms and paperwork are continually monitored and updated as necessary to facilitate growth of the Program. Check the date at bottom left hand corner of form to denote that you are using the most recent form.
  • Copies: You will receive one original of each form to reproduce, as your event requires. Some forms require multiple copies. Having these forms made of NCR paper can eliminate the mess and hassle of using carbon paper.
  • Prepare Premium list: The following American Kennel Club certification statement must appear on one of the first three pages:
    “Permission is granted by The American Kennel Club for the holding of these events under The American Kennel Club Rules and Regulations.”
    Also include the specific address of the event’s location; the date of the event(s); whether it held by an American Kennel Club Member or Licensed Club; the name of the Club or Association offering the Test/Trial, and list of eligible breeds. The Premium List shall include the following information: names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Herding Test/Trial Secretary and Chairperson as well as the veterinarian on duty or on call during the Test/Trial. Also to be included are names and addresses all Committee members; all Club Officers; Judges and which segments of the event they have been assigned; list of Tests, Courses and Classes being offered, dates entries will be accepted; date, time and location of closing and drawing of run order; times the grounds will be available; detailed map and/or explicit directions to the site; at least one Official American Kennel Club Herding Entry Form (fill in the appropriate information for your club), a list of all placement awards, ribbons or rosettes and trophies (trophies must have brief description); the type of livestock – ducks, sheep, cattle – being used (if possible the breed of these animals); the number of head per run and entry limits. When Course B is offered, the outrun length must be stated in the Premium List. You may include contact information for local restaurants, lodging with rates, and whether they accept dogs. As well as club planned dinners or banquets, lunch arrangements, if any special activities. You may want to include the replacement value of livestock and the direction the course will be run as (Course A) in the Herding Regulations is a mirror image.
  • Make a list of all information you will need for the Premium List. Give each Committee Head a written copy of the information pertaining to their committee. Require the information be sent in document form to eliminate errors. Include the date the requested information must be received by you. Begin gathering names and addresses for the Premium List mailing.
  • Check to ensure each committee has given you the information necessary to complete the Premium List. Contact particular Committee Head for missing information.
  • The “Judge’s Affirmation Form” should accompany the Judges’ contract or may be sent out by the Secretary at a later date. It must be sent to the judge approximately 26 weeks prior to the event or earlier. It must be completed and signed by the Judge and Secretary before the event. Two copies of the form are helpful, one for the Judge’s records and one to be returned to the club with signature.
  • Have the Premium List proofread by several people before printing.
  • Take Premium List to printers. When ordering, remember to include Premium Lists to be sent to The American Kennel Club, judges, entire club membership and committee members.
  • Make address labels for the Premium from your mailing list, including four to be sent to The American Kennel Club, and to each Judge.
  • All Premium Lists for an Event shall be mailed at the same time. Premium Lists should be mailed at least one week prior to opening of entries, allowing all prospective contestants to receive the Premium List before the opening date.
  • Back up help is valuable to this position. The job requires a great deal of time and typing. Assistance proofreading and with coordinating Premium Lists, Catalog and address labeling can be extremely helpful. This can train someone to be Secretary at future events. Help at the entry table on the day of the event, is essential.
  • If your entry limits are exceeded you have two alternatives: First, the alternates list. Each alternate is added to the bottom of the Class they entered in the order they are received. If there is an opening in that Class, the first alternate for that Class is eligible to run provided they have checked in with the Secretary 30 minutes prior to the start of their Class. All alternates who do not have an opportunity to run will have their entry fee refunded. Club may limit the number of alternates they will accept.

    Second, if the amount of entries is excessive, it may warrant the hire of an overflow Judge. Remember, you will need more livestock and you must have enough time (daylight hours). Finances must also be considered. Are the entries sufficient to cover the additional expenses? If you select to hire an overflow Judge, contact The American Kennel Club Performance Event Plans immediately with this information. When bringing in an overflow Judge, you will assign the overflow Judge one or more Classes. Contestants must be notified of the change in Judge in the Program and may elect to withdraw their entry. If they withdraw their entry due to the change in Judge, their entry fee will be refunded.

  • The draw for run order is to be open to the public and shall be officiated by the Secretary or the Chairperson. This is to be a random drawing. However, when possible, individuals with more than one entry in the same class will be separated by at least one dog. If you are having multiple events of the same type, draw a separate run order for each day. A procedure that is less confusing is to have one draw order; rotating which dog will be first to run each day. Use the number of days the event will be held. This can eliminate confusion for both the contestants and in using the Catalog. Example: In a three day Event, with nine dogs in the Class, the first day, the first dog drawn runs first; the second day the fourth dog runs first; the third day the seventh dog runs first.
  • Program (Judging Schedule): It is important to obtain from the Chairperson the order in which classes are scheduled for the Program (Judging Schedule) and Catalog. After entries have closed and the draw is completed, a Program with the event schedule and run order must be mailed at least seven days prior to the event to each contestant, alternate(s), Judge(s) and one copy to The American Kennel Club. Mail the Program as soon as possible. There will be contestants traveling who will need this information before they leave.

    The Program should have the Event name, date, site address, directions and a map to the site, schedule of Classes, run order of all dogs, the contestants’ entry number and the times the Handlers’ meeting will be held. If there has been a change in the advertised Judge, this will be included in the Program.

  • Preparing the Catalog: A Catalog shall be produced for Test/Trial Licensed or Member Events. Some of the work can begin months in advance, such as designing the cover, compiling the list of Club Officers and Event Committees, awards list, etc.
  • The Catalog shall contain the following information: the name of the Club; dates and address of the event(s); starting time for first Class; a list of all officers and members of the Herding Committee; names and addresses of all Judge(s) and the Secretary and the Secretary’s certification; dog’s catalog number (beginning with the first dog drawn; name of dog; American Kennel Club registration number or ILP number; breed; date of birth; sex; name of breeder; name of sire and dam; name and address of owner(s) (either immediately following the above information or in a separate alphabetical list, owner’s name and address). The Secretary must check to see all titles are American Kennel Club approved titles. Titles from other organizations cannot be listed in the Catalog. The Catalog shall be arranged in the following order: Herding Test, Pre-Trial Test, Course (if multiple Courses are offered they shall be arranged in the Catalog: 1st Course A, 2nd Course B, 3rd Course C); Class (Started, Intermediate, Advanced – for each Course), Livestock (when multiple kinds of livestock are offered, they shall be arranged in the Catalog under the specific Course: 1. Sheep 2. Cattle 3 Ducks); the name of the Judge shall appear following the Course, Class and livestock designation. Should there be more than one Judge per Test or Course, they will be arranged by divisions, one following another, at the completion of each section of the Test Class, Course, livestock and Class listings. Before each dog’s information, include a line to write the dog’s score, placing and awards, or NQ.
  • Example of catalog dog information:
    34 Rose Hill’s Total Picture, DL 809445/06 Shetland Sheepdog; DOB 9/3/98; F; Breeder: Sue Rose; Rose Hill’s Total Expression X Rose Hill’s Picture Perfect; Owner: Mary Jones, 123 J St., Reinseth, MN 88888
  • Leave room at the end of each Class for possible move-ups.
  • The Secretary’s certification:
    I hereby certify to the correctness of the within marked awards and absentees, as taken from the Judge’s Books.
    _________________________ ____
    Secretary’s Signature Date
  • A Judge’s Certification may be included on the last page of the Catalog. Signature lines will be needed for each Judge. If this is used, you may eliminate the use of the Sheet for Judge’s Books.

    The Judge’s Certification:
    I certify that the above awards are in accord with the judging standard of Tests and Trial and that all awards for placements and special awards are correct.
    _____________________ ____________________ ____
    Judge’s Signature Test or Class Judged Date

  • Have the Catalog proofread by several individuals before sending it to the printer.
  • Take Catalog to the printers at least a week before the opening date. The Catalog may be printed in book form from 5-1/2 by 8-1/2″ to 8-1/2 by 11″. When determining the number of Catalogs to order, remember you will need several Catalogs for your use to mark dogs as they check in, for Gate Steward(s), Judges, copies for The American Kennel Club, as well as those for contestants. You may sell or give Catalogs to contestants.
  • Preparing paperwork.
  • Score sheets: One score sheet for each Test and each Course will be sent in your packet. Copies must be made of the score sheets, one per entrant, per Test and/or Class. The score sheet is given to the Judge at the completion of the day. If your Club would like to keep a copy or give contestants a copy, you may use carbon paper for this purpose or better, have the score sheets made on NCR paper. The information at the top of the score sheet should be filled out by the Event Secretary before the Test/Trial for each dog. Organize all score sheets by Class, Judge and Course (colored folders are helpful for this project).
  • Contestant numbers. Develop a filing system so it is easy to hand out contestant numbers. Writing the name of the dog and owner on the back of contestants’ numbers can be helpful. Some Secretaries include all Classes and the dog’s position in the run order on the back when a dog is entered in more than one class or a contestant has more than one dog.
  • Gather all supplies you will need the day of the Event:
    • Portable file box
    • Clip boards (6 or more)
    • Protection from the weather
    • Paper weights
    • Score Sheets
    • Table
    • File folders
    • Carbon paper
    • Chairs
    • Pens and pencils (lots)
    • Contestant numbers
    • Display board
    • Correction fluid
    • Rubber bands or Writing tool for above
    • Event paperwork Safety pins for number’s
    • Paper clips
    • Garbage container
    • Calculator
    • Event information labels for ribbons
    • Money for change if you are selling catalogs
  • Arrive early, set up tables and have everything ready at least one hour before the scheduled starting time. Hand out contestant numbers and mark the dog as present in the Secretary’s Catalog. When the Judge arrives, ask if he or she wants to fill out the Sheet for Judge’s Books or rather elects to have you fill these out using the information from the score sheets. Remind the Judge to record the starting and ending time for each Class.
  • Alternates run when there is an opening in their class. If there is no alternate for the class in which the opening occurs a dog from the list of alternates in the next scheduled class may run. Openings in Test Classes may only be filled from the alternates in the Test classes. Openings in Trial classes may only be filled from alternates in the Trial classes. Alternates must run the same course, Judge and type of livestock they entered.
  • Sheet for Judge’s Book: There are two “Sheet for Judge’s Book” forms, one for Tests and one for Trials. You will receive these in your Event packet from The American Kennel Club. You will need to make copies of these forms. It will be necessary to use carbon paper or have these made in triplicate on NCR paper. The top copy will be sent to The American Kennel Club, the second is given to the Judge and the Club must keep the last copy for six months following the Event.

    The Secretary should fill out the Course, Class and Catalog information prior to the Event(s).

    The Sheet for Judge’s Books require the beginning and ending time for each Class be recorded. Avoid the most common error; not recording this information as it happens. It is difficult to record this information accurately at the end of the day.

  • Marking the Trial Sheet for Sheet for Judge’s Book.
    Copy information from the score sheet.

    • Qualifying column: Enter a check mark for qualifying dogs.
    • Non-Qualifying column: Or, from the score sheet, one of the following:
      • Absent: If the contestant is not in attendance or pulls.
      • Retired: Handler stops run.
      • Removed: Judge stops run for lack of progress, grip, chasing, out of control, lame.
      • Disqualified: Dog bites a person, a letter of explanation must accompany Secretary’s report.
      • Excused: Dog aggressively or viciously attacks livestock. A letter of explanation from the Judge must accompany the Event records.
      • Moved up: Draw one line through column when a dog has moved up to another Class.
  • Marking the Trial Sheet for Sheet for Judge’s Book.
    Copy information from the score sheet.

    • Column 1: Contestant number; Secretary will fill this column in before the Event, in run order.
    • Column 2: Record all scores. Circle qualifying scores or enter one of the following:
      • Absent: If the contestant is not in attendance or pulls.
      • Retired: Handler stops run.
      • Removed: Judge stops run for lack of progress, grip, chasing, out of control, lame.
      • Disqualified: Dog bites a person, a letter of explanation must accompany Secretary’s report.
      • Excused: Dog aggressively, or viciously attacks livestock. A letter of explanation, from the Judge, must accompany the Event records.
      • Moved up: Draw one line through column when a dog has moved up to another Class.
    • Column 3: Enter elapsed run time.
    • Column 4: Enter Class placement (if any).
  • As score sheets come in, check addition and that either the Qualify or Non-qualify box is marked, the starting time and ending time have been written down and the score sheet has been signed and dated by the Judge. Post scores in the Sheet for Judge’s Books (if you are doing them), in the Secretary’s Catalog, and on the display board for public viewing.
  • Organize score sheets by score as they are filed for ease of awarding placings. As the end of each Class approaches, have the placement information ready for the Judge and Awards Chairman. If the Awards Chairman is not there to assist, be sure that each ribbon/rosette has the information label attached to the back. This label must include the following information: Course, Class, livestock, date and location of trial. Mark placements in the Sheet for Judge’s Book (if you are doing them), in the Secretary’s Catalog and on the display board.
  • Track all high scores for High in Trial and Reserve High in Trial.
  • At the conclusion of the day, have the Judge sign all paperwork. Give the Judge copies of the score sheets, Sheet for Judge’s Books and you may include a marked Catalog. Fill out the Secretary’s Report and complete all Catalog information.
  • Preparing the Catalog(s) to be sent to American Kennel Club. Within seven days of the completion of an Event, the Herding Secretary will send one marked Catalog per Event Number to The American Kennel Club. Marking the Catalog correctly is extremely important; scores and awards are recorded from the marked Catalog.
    Test Classes are marked:

    • Qualifying: Q
    • Non-qualifying: NQ
    • Removed: NQ
    • Retired: NQ
    • Absent: A
    • Excused: E
    • Disqualified: D

    Trials Classes are marked:

    • Qualifying Score, Print score: 81
    • Non-qualifying score: NQ
    • Removed: NQ
    • Retired: NQ
    • Absent: A
    • Excused: E
    • Disqualified: D
    • Class placement, first – fifth before the score: 1/81
    • Reserve High in Trial: R
    • Follows the score: 2/80/R
    • High in Trial: H
    • Follows the score: 1/81/H
  • Move ups: All move ups, Test or Trial, must be indicated with a circle around the catalog number and the Class the dog has moved to written under the number. (DO NOT CIRCLE ANY OTHER SCORE, PLACEMENT OR AWARD. In the Catalog, this is reserved for move-ups only.) Next, go to the end of the Class to which the dog has moved and add their catalog number at the end of the Class. You need not add other catalog information. The dog’s Test or Trial results will be written alongside the new number in the new Class.
    146 Adv. Cally’s Strawberry Pudding DL5555555-01 Collie
  • Secretary’s Report Form: The Test/Trial Secretary Report form is completed at the end of the day. A separate Secretary’s report must be made for each event. When filling out the portion for the number of dogs, this is the number of dogs entered in the regular classes, not the number that actually ran. Dogs run “For Exhibition Only” or in non-regular classes are not counted. This form will be sent to The American Kennel Club. It is wise to copy this completed form, keeping it with your Club’s records of the Event.
  • American Kennel Club Recording Fees: A recording fee for each dog entered, except Alternates who do not run, must be sent to The American Kennel Club. Before leaving the grounds, have the treasurer write the check to The American Kennel Club. The check must accompany all reports and the Catalog(s).
  • Submission of Event Records: Within seven days of the completion of a Licensed or Member Herding Event, the Secretary shall forward to The American Kennel Club a completed Secretary’s Report; the Official Sheet for Judge’s Book(s), Championship Report Form, The American Kennel Club Junior Handler Certification (for those Junior Handler(s) that received a Qualifying score) and one marked Catalog per Event number marked with all awards and absent dogs, certified to and signed by the Secretary; and all recording fees. (If a Judge(es) certification has been included in the Catalog you need not send Sheet for Judge’s Books.)
  • It is suggested, while not required, that you send the Test/Trial Results using a traceable form of mail service. The US Express Mail, UPS and FedEx are a few of the possible methods to send your application. This will be an added expense, but one well worth the expense should the Event results package become lost. A simple phone call can trace your Event result package, eliminating frustration.
  • Maintaining Records: All original entry forms are to be kept by the hosting Clubs for six months and be available to The American Kennel Club should they request them. It is wise to make copies of all the information sent into Event Records at the completion of the Test/Trial in the unlikely event they become lost in transit.


  • 26 weeks prior to the Event: Send Judges’ Affirmation forms to all judges.
  • 6 months prior to Premium List mailing date: Schedule deadlines for when you are to receive information. Begin mailing list.
  • 1 month to 6 weeks prior to Premium List mailing date: Begin creation of Premium.
  • Event packet: Open immediately upon receipt.
  • Have Premium List proofread upon completion.
  • 1 week prior to entry opening date: Mail Premium List.
  • Do not accept entries before entry opening date.
  • Label all entries: Note the date each entry arrives and the order received.
  • Catalog: Begin updates as entries arrive.
  • Do not accept entries following closing date and time.
  • Run order: On date and location specified in the Premium List have drawing for run order.
  • Following the draw: Get each days class run order schedule from the Chairman.
  • Program (Judging Schedule): Write and mail as soon as possible following the “draw for run order.” It must be mailed no later than 7 days prior to the opening date.
  • Complete Catalog at least one week prior to Event:
    • Have Catalog proofread: Several people should proofread before printed.
    • The week preceding Event: Take Catalog to the printer; fill in score sheets and other paperwork; gather all the necessary supplies and equipment.
  • The day of the Event: Arrive early.
  • One hour prior to the starting time. Have entry table ready; Paper work for each Class is prepared.
  • As score sheets come in: Record all scores ASAP on Judge’s book, Catalog and display board.
  • At the conclusion of each Class: Have placement, award information and awards ready. Be sure the starting and ending time for each Class is recorded on the Sheet for Judge’s Books and that the Judge signs all paperwork.
  • Before the conclusion of the Trial: Have HIT and RHIT ready to award. If other awards are to be given, they must be ready also.
  • At the end of the day: Ask treasurer to write check for American Kennel Club fees; make sure the Judge has signed all paperwork; clean facilities.
  • Within seven days: Mail results to The American Kennel Club.

D. Course Director

  • Inspect facility and measure to ensure the working areas are within the sizes specified in the Herding Regulations and for use when planning the layout. Check to see that fences are in good repair and livestock tight. Make a list of any repairs that may be necessary.
  • Appoint work crew for set up, day of Event Test or Course changes repairs if they become necessary, and to take down and clean the Event site. Dividing the work crews to set up individual Courses or obstacles on the course will expedite the set up time. Give each member of the set up crew a copy of the Herding Regulations with the Course or obstacle that they will be responsible for setting up highlighted. (Many hands make fast work of a large job but not if the owner wonders what he should be doing or waiting for a needed tool.)
  • Contact Chief Livestock Handler for information on livestock handling facilities and repair or construction of holding pens. If pens and holding areas must be built, get a diagram and supply list.
  • The panels, number and markers will vary by the Tests and Courses you are offering at your Event. See the Herding Regulations for the exact panels, numbers, handler’s post, graze markers and other equipment required for each Test and Course. Plan a workday to paint numbers or graze signs and build panels. If you have this equipment, use this day to make repairs or to refresh or preserve the panels by adding a coat of fresh paint.
  • The tools and supplies necessary for setting up, changing arena set ups during the Event and take down following the Event are important. When set up crews are designated to Courses or obstacles, ensure each crew will have all the tools they need. You may find you need equipment not listed in the following due to your facility and its special requirements.
  • Suggested Equipment List:
    • 100′ tape measure (at least one)
    • 25′ tape measure (several, one for each work crew)
    • T-post driver (one for each work crew)
    • T-post puller (one or more)
    • Material to attach panels to T-posts or fence; suggested materials: nylon ties, baling twine or wire, duct tape
    • Pocket knives
    • Wire cutters
    • Hammer (several)
    • Nails and staples
    • Markers for obstacle location, suggested material: large spikes with tiny piece of surveyor’s tape under the head, livestock marking paint (be extremely careful only non-toxic paint is used)
    • Visibility screen for holding pen, suggested materials: plastic sheeting, tarps, burlap, shade netting
    • T-posts to hold up panels for obstacles: Course A, at least 16; Course B, at least 9; Course C will depend on the type bridge and graze markers
    • Fiberglass rods or re-bar for setting up panels in duck arena
    • Lawn mower can have many uses; duck arena may need to be mowed; Course B, the shedding ring maybe be marked by mowing; Course C, may have narrow roads and graze boundaries mowed
    • Garbage cans (several in various locations)
    • Poop scoopers or plastic bags
    • Herding Regulations, one for each member of the set up Committee.
  • Setting up for the Event. Distribute tools and course equipment. (Bring extra Herding Regulations in case someone forgot to bring their copy.) Get crew started by first doing the overall measurements, then the placement of obstacles. Assign a crew to the Chief Livestock Handler if pens and holding areas must be constructed.
  • Mark locations of obstacles when the same arena or field will be used for different set ups to expedite changing the arena to the next configuration.
  • Check every obstacle to ensure it is in the proper location.
  • Day of Event. Give the set up crew responsible for making arena changes a copy of the schedule. Go over each Course change.
  • Clean up. Leave the facility in better condition than when you arrived.

Course Director

  • 6 – 12 months prior to Event: Inspect facility; make list of repairs.
  • 6 months prior to Event: Order Herding Regulations from The American Kennel Club or get them from secretary.
  • 6 months prior to Event: Contact Chief Livestock Handler for equipment and supply list.
  • 2 months prior to Event: Check all equipment, make repairs.
  • 1 – 2 weeks prior to Event: Gather tools, Course and Test equipment and supplies.
  • 1 week to the day prior to the Event: Depending on when you can get your work crew to the facility set up arenas, field, and livestock holding pens.
  • Day of Event: Instruct Crewmembers when changes will be made for the Test Classes and Course Classes. Ensure the necessary equipment is available.
  • At the end of the Event: Clean facility, leave it in better condition than when does you arrived.

E. Chief Livestock Handler

  • Determine the number and kind of livestock needed for the Event. Add at least five extra head, per kind, to this number to allow for replacing animals that may become lame or injured.
  • Contacting livestock suppliers: Make all arrangements such as the price, replacement value, number of head, hauling arrangements, when the stock will be delivered and picked up from the site, by whom and feeding arrangements.
  • Make sure club has contact information of a vet that handles large animals.
  • Write and send contract to supplier listing all financial and care arrangements agreed upon between the club and supplier. Send two copies of the contract, one for the supplier to keep for his records, one to be signed and returned to the club.
  • Examine livestock handling facilities. You may be limited by what is available. Your goal is to rest the livestock just used and to have fresh livestock available. Ideally, individual groups held throughout the day are perfect. Use a marking system on each pen to indicate the number of times the animals have been used.
  • If you are going to use a gate sort system it does require three pens. The first for fresh livestock to feed into the arena or field, an exhaust pen, and a pen between these two pens to hold livestock while they rest. Two pens will not work, as there is no way to insure the livestock receive their required rest period between runs.
  • The handling facilities should be as close to the arena or field as is feasible. For the Tests and Course A classes, narrow runways between pens and the set out gate will ease the stress on livestock and Livestock Handlers. These runways must be no wider than the animals being moved through them to keep the animals from turning around in the alleyway. (This type of runway is not feasible if you are running both sheep and cattle using the same alleyway).
  • A pen to hold livestock, easily accessible from holding area, should be set up to house livestock which may become lame, injured or are found to be unsuitable (jumpers, fighters, etc.).
  • A visibility screen must be provided if the livestock in the holding pens can be seen from the arena or field.
  • Make an equipment list of all fencing, panels and other equipment necessary for repairs to or building the holding pens. This list shall also include watering and feeding equipment required. Give this to the Course Director who will arrange for the supplies. If handling facilities must be built, make a detailed diagram and included a supply list for the Course Director.
  • Supply and Equipment List:
    • Water tanks or buckets
    • Water hoses
    • Feed and feeders
    • Shade material may be required over pens
    • Visibility screen and material to attach to fence
    • Stock sticks or crooks
    • Livestock marking paint or stick
    • An experienced set-out dog is a valuable asset in handling livestock
      (Green dogs should never be used in the livestock handling area)
    • Hammer, nails
    • Oil for gates
    • Shovel
    • Livestock emergency medical kit, antibiotics, wound and fly spray, surgical glue.
  • Livestock handlers will often volunteer. If not, look to individuals who are experienced in handling livestock. You can team an experienced person with a club member whom may not be able to compete because their dog is not ready for this Event. At least two Livestock Handlers, per handling area, will be necessary.
  • Dog breaking may be necessary if the livestock you have rented are not accustomed to being worked by dogs or by only one breed of dog. Dog breaking requires the use of at least two different breeds of well trained experienced dogs and with handlers experienced in working non-dog broke livestock.
  • Set up all holding areas prior to livestock arriving. Oversee the set up crew to ensure all fences or panels are strong. Livestock handling facilities receive a lot of stress from livestock being moved and will fall if not strong and well built. Make sure all gates are easily opened, closed and locked. Hinges may require oil; dirt may need to be removed so gates will swing freely.
  • Arrival of livestock. Move them into their housing area as soon as possible. Inspect them carefully to see they are healthy and in good condition before the livestock supplier leaves the grounds. Livestock found to be unsuitable should be pointed out to the supplier and either housed separately or have the supplier take them back.
  • The livestock should be moved through the Test/Course and obstacles the day before the trial. This is best done in small groups but can be the done with the entire flock/herd. The Herding Regulations clearly state the dog used for this may not be entered in the Event. If no dog is available, have several people move the livestock through the Test/Course.
  • If you are leaving the grounds check every gate. Make sure they are tightly closed and securely latched.
  • When livestock are housed overnight it is wise to have someone staying on the grounds in close proximity to the holding area for livestock safety.
  • Day of Event, arrive at the site early; separate livestock, fill water receptacles and feed racks, have everything ready to begin on time.
  • Talk to the Judge to see how he wants the livestock set out, before or after the contestant enters the arena or field. Ask if the stock will be dropped into the arena or positioned at an exact location.
  • Inspect each group on completion of their run for injuries. If you find an animal has been injured, note the contestant number working the stock at the time. Report all injuries to the Judge and the Chairman immediately. Determine what, if any, medical attention is required and if the animal can continue to be worked. If the injury is such that the animal should not be worked again, move it into the pen you have provided for this use.
  • Make sure each group of livestock has the required rest period as prescribed by the Herding Regulations and does not exceed the maximum number of runs allowed.
  • At the end of the event, once again check for injuries. Have someone on the grounds with the livestock until they are released back to the supplier.
  • When livestock are gone, clean the area; leave it in better condition than when you came.


  • 10 – 12 months prior to the Event: Make all livestock arrangements.
  • 6 months prior to the Event: Examine facilities livestock holding area. Make list of equipment and repairs. Arrange for livestock handlers.
  • 1 week to 1 month prior to the Event: Dog break livestock, if livestock has not been already.
  • 1 week to the day prior to the Event: This will depend on when you can get your work crew in to the facility. Sets up livestock hold pens. Check stock when they arrive. Note any injuries to livestock. Put livestock through course(s).
  • Day of the Event: Get there early.
  • Before Test/Trial begins. Have all livestock ready to go and talk to Judge.
  • During Test/Trial: Keep the flow of the trial running smoothly. Rotate stock, allow proper rest periods. Be prepared to open gate quickly if problems arise in arena to protect sheep.
  • Following the Event: Clean all livestock holding areas.


  • Use your imagination. Creative ideas can get the word out about your Event in fun and interesting advertisements. Send Event information to clubs in surrounding states for inclusion in their newsletters. Research magazines that carry event lists. The Ranch Dog Trainer has an event list. Some Herding Instructors have web pages with upcoming Events. Send your information to any appropriate email dog Lists. Your Event will be listed in The American Kennel Club’s Gazette Supplement Events Calendar, in The Herdsman and on the AKC web site located at following the processing for your application.

Publicity Chairperson

  • 6 to 12 months prior to your opening date: Begin advertising.

G. Chief Steward

  • A large work crew is required to operate efficiently. The people filling these positions can make everyone’s day more pleasant and the Event run smoothly.
  • Each member of this Committee must know and understand their job. At least a month before the Event give each member a written job description. Give Scribes the Scribe Shorthand information to learn. Training scribes may be necessary. Be sure each Timer knows how to operate the stopwatch. Instruct all individuals that they are to be quiet while the Judge is judging.
  • Equipment List:
    • Stop watches
    • Batteries for above
    • Pens
    • Scribe shorthand cards
    • Clip boards
    • Umbrellas
  • Judge’s Scribe, one per Judge; should stay with the same Judge all day. This is a very educational position for anyone wanting to learn more about how dogs are scored. Individuals wishing to become a Judge to meet this requirement may fill the Judge’s Scribe position. These individuals should be given first preference.
  • The Scribe will record all Judge’s comments on the score sheet. A knowledge of Herding Scribe shorthand is extremely helpful. A shorthand card should be given to all Scribes weeks before the Event so they can become familiarized with it. The cards can be used repeatedly by having them laminated.
  • Scribe shorthand:
    • check mark: ½ point
    • c: circling
    • co: cross over
    • fa: fouled arena
    • gr: gripping
    • ha: handler’s assistance
    • he: handler error
    • lc: lost control
    • li: lacks interest
    • md: up the middle (outrun)
    • mo: missed obstacle
    • ob: obedience
    • oc: off contact
    • of: over flanking
    • ol: off line
    • rd: redirect (outrun only)
    • rt: retreating
    • run: running the stock
    • sn: sniffing
    • sp: split
    • st: livestock stopped
    • tt: tight on top (outrun)
  • Timers, one or two per Judge. Another position that offers a great opportunity to learn. The Timer should check with the Judge before the trial begins to see exactly when to start and stop the time and to see if the Judge wants them to time the hold. The timers also need to inform the judge when it is time to announce the two-minute warning.
  • Gate Stewards. A good Gate Steward will keep the proper line up of dogs at arena side and ready to run. The Gate Steward should have a list of dogs entered by their run order for every Class. Some clubs have a board near the gate where this order can be recorded. The Gate Steward can cross off dogs as they enter the arena. The Gate Steward should have one dog in the arena, one on deck and one in the hole at all times.
  • Runners. Seems like you can’t have too many of these. This is one position kids love because it is an active job. One Runner per arena is necessary to take the score sheets from the Judge to the Secretary. Another may be in charge of refreshments for the Judges, Scribes and Livestock Handlers.
  • Parking Attendants. If your parking space is limited, the use of Parking Attendants may be useful. Develop a parking plan before the Event.


  • 1 month prior to Event: Give Committee members job description information.
  • Day of Event: Arrive early.
  • Parking Attendants:Be on site 1½ hours before starting time.
  • Scribes and Timers: Be at the Secretary’s desk to meet the Judge hour before Event begins.
  • Gate Steward(s): Have first dog at the gate at the Event starting time.
  • Runners: Ready to work, collecting score sheets and delivering refreshments.
  • Throughout the day: Check to ensure your Committee is keeping everything running smoothly.
  • Following Event: Clean facility, leave it in better condition than when you arrived.

H. Awards Chairperson

  • Sponsorship for Class and special awards. The Awards Chairperson can make a major contribution to the Event finances by getting all or most of the awards sponsored. This may be done by soliciting Class or breed award sponsorships in the Club, personal phone calls or letters. Don’t forget to contact local businesses for sponsorships. Businesses are best contacted in person.
  • Be creative in thinking of ways to induce and reward individuals and businesses that sponsor Classes. Recognizing sponsors in the Catalog is one idea; paint signs with their names and addresses to set around the facilities; use your imagination. This should not take the place of a personal “Thank you” note following the Event.
  • Make a form to be filled out by the contributor. This will help recording contributions and ensure correct spelling of names and addresses, plus the amount donated.
  • Trophies may be awarded for Class placements, High in Trial, Reserve High in Trial. Some clubs offer additional trophies, to individual breeds, the oldest dog with a Qualifying score, etc. Only dogs with qualifying scores can be awarded trophies at American Kennel Club Events.
  • All special awards and trophies must be listed with a brief description in the Premium List.
  • The type of trophy is limited only by your budget. Practical items: buckets, collars, leashes, crooks, feed dishes, and picture frames make great trophies. Fancy is great too; silver plaques and service items, engraved glassware and portraits of the dog can be wonderful to receive.
  • Ordering ribbons or rosettes. See the Herding Regulations for colors of placement; Reserve High in Trial and High in Trial ribbons or rosettes and for the specific information, which must be printed on the ribbons, or rosettes.
  • Test Classes offer ribbons or rosettes for qualifying scores. Estimate the number of entrants in the Herding Test and Pre-Trial Test to order these.
  • Trials give placement ribbons or rosettes for 1st through 5th place. Count each Class; Started, Intermediate and Advanced for each type of livestock from each Course. This will give you the correct number of placement ribbons.
  • There is one High in Trial and Reserve High in Trial.
  • Write a list of the exact number of ribbons and colors you need to ensure you order correctly.
  • Example:
    Amount Placing Color Size
    6 1ST BLUE 2 X 8″
    6 2ND RED 2 X 8″
    6 3RD YELLOW 2 X 8″
    6 4TH WHITE 2 X 8″
    6 5TH PINK 2 X 8″
  • Course, Class, livestock, date, location of Event must be included on the back of each ribbon/rosette. Having this printed on each ribbon/rosette is an added expense and ribbons/rosette not used at this Event cannot be used at a future Event. A simple solution is to make self-sticking labels to attach to the back of ribbon/rosettes with the necessary information for each set of placement awards. These labels will be attached just before awarding of ribbons/rosettes and to only those used. This leaves all ribbons/rosettes not used unmarked and available for the next Event.
  • A list of all awards and trophies with a brief description must be sent to the Event Secretary, in writing, at least six weeks prior to the Premium List mailing date. Ask the Secretary when she wants the information and have it to her on time.
  • Equipment:
    Table to display awards and any decorations you wishes.
    Labels to attach to the back of each ribbon/rosette.
  • Presenting ribbons and awards. Work closely with the Secretary so you will have all ribbons and other awards ready following each Class. Attach information labels to the back of each ribbon before the award ceremony. Hand the ribbons and awards to the Judge, not the contestant.
  • Write thank you notes to everyone who sponsored an award. If finances allow, many sponsors enjoy a picture, taken during the presentation of awards.


  • 1 to 12 months before the Premium List is sent: Get Class and awards sponsors.
  • 1 to 12 months before the Premium list is sent: Purchase trophies and send a brief description to Secretary.
  • 1 month before Event: Order ribbons.
  • 1 week prior to Event: Make labels for back of ribbons or rosettes.
  • Day of Event: Set up trophy table. Assist in handing out all ribbons and trophies.
  • Following Event: Clean facility very well.

I. Hospitality Chairperson

  • Gather all the information required on the Emergency plan form. Make sure you have all the addresses and phone numbers correct. This information must be provided to the individual making out the Event Application. Make copies of this form to distribute to all Committee members the morning of the Event. Check with local Red Cross for information regarding disaster precautions for specific area.
  • Make Judges’ arrangements as agreed upon in the contract. (You can get this information from the Chairperson.) They may include booking airline flights, transportation to and from the Event and motel accommodations.
  • Locate several motels in the area that accept dogs; get rates, the addresses and phone numbers to include in the Premium List.
  • Contestants new to the area always appreciate a list of good restaurants with addresses and telephone numbers. This information is a joy to find in the Premium List.
  • This information must be given to the Secretary in writing. The Secretary will give you a deadline. Have information in on time.
  • Judge’s dinner or banquet may be scheduled for the Event. Make all reservations. You can add this information to the Premium List and Catalog.
  • Refreshments and lunches during the Event depend greatly on the facility, work force and budget. Some clubs provide coffee and doughnuts in the morning, either free or for sale.
  • Water, coffee and soda for Judges and workers should be available at all times.
  • Lunches can be a lunch wagon, a local club (4-H, school group), or a group willing to set up a lunch. Of course, if you have enough workers, your Club can provide lunches. Most clubs provide a free lunch to all workers as well as the Judge.
  • Equipment and supplies necessary depend on what your Club has decided concerning refreshments and lunches.
    • Tables
    • Table cloths
    • Coolers and ice for cold drinks
    • Thermoses for coffee or hot water
    • Eating utensils
    • Plates
    • Coffee pot
    • Extension cords
    • Napkins
    • Paper towels
    • Food
    • Direction signs to Event location
    • Coffee and cold drinks
    • Cream and sugar
  • Pick up Judge(s) at the airport, pay for motel.
  • Put up signs to the Event site.
  • Give all Committee members a copy of the Emergency Plan. Tell each Committee member where the closest telephone is located.
  • Coordinate with Chief Steward for a Runner who will check with and deliver refreshments to the Judge(s) and all working Committee members (don’t forget the Livestock Handlers). The Runner should make the rounds frequently.
  • Clean facility, pick up all trash, and take directional signs down.


  • 28 weeks prior to Event. Get Emergency Plan information.
  • 3 to 12 months prior to Event. Make all Judges’ transportation and lodging arrangements.
  • Secretary will set the date. All motel and restaurant information must be in; be on time.
  • 4 to 5 months prior to Event. Arrange Judge’s dinner or banquet, make reservations.
  • Several months before the Event. Make arrangements and plans, arrange for lunches and refreshments.
  • The day the Judge arrives. Be on time to pick up from airport.
  • Day of Event. Get directional sign up early; Emergency Plan to all Committee members; provide refreshments, lunch.
  • Following Event. Clean facility; leave it in better condition than when you arrived.