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Quick Guide to the New Grading

 

 

 

KC grades and progression system explained

Although most experienced agility competitors have a good working understanding of the new grades by now, Fiona Hulse was sure that there are quite a few new handlers out there who don't, so she wrote this guide to the new Kennel Club grading and progression system for her club. She has agreed to share with Agilitynet readers. Please feel free to print it off and hand out to your friends and club mates who might be struggling.

Level New definition
Grade 1 New handlers and their new dogs will start at Grade 1 (Elementary) unless their dog is owned by someone who has already competed at KC shows and won out of Elementary - or even Starters, if they're unlucky.
Grades 1-3 Existing handlers with their existing dogs go into the Grade equivalent to their old level. Those with new dogs go into Grade 1 or 2 if the handler/owner is still eligible for one or other of those grades, or into Grade 3 Graduate if the handler/owner has won out of Starters.

If you have a pre-2007 Novice dog this is now to work out your grade. This information only applies to dogs and owners that won out of Starters before 2007.

Level New definition
Grade 3 Dogs that have not been placed 10th or above in Novice, Intermediate or Open, or whose 10th-6th placing was prior to 2006 and whose owners wish to take advantage of the option to drop them down a grade.
Grade 4 Dogs that have been placed 6th - 10th in Novice, Intermediate or Open, or whose top 5 placing was prior to 2006 and whose owners wish to take advantage of the option to drop them down a grade can go into Grade 4.
Grade 5 Dogs that have gained a top 5 placing in Novice, Intermediate or Open go into Grade 5

Please note that the above applies regardless of whether the top 10 or top 5 Novice placing was gained before or after you and your dog won out of Starters. Therefore, if your dog gained a 5th in Novice in May 2006, and then won out of Starters in July 2006, your dog goes into Grade 5 in 2007, not Grade 3.

The seven Grades, and how long your dog can compete in each Grade, are shown below:

Level Pre-2007 Definition Criteria for moving up
Grade 1 Elementary Until the handler/owner wins 1 Agility or 3 Jumping classes that include this grade, either with the dog in question or with another dog that s/he owns and/or handles.
Grade 2 Starters Until the handler/owner wins 1 Agility or 3 Jumping classes that include this grade, either with the dog in question or with another dog that s/he owns and/or handles.
Grade 3 Graduate Until the dog wins 1 Agility or 3 Jumping classes that include this grade.
Grade 4 Novice Until the dog wins 1 Agility or 3 Jumping classes that include this grade.
Grade 5 Intermediate Until the dog wins 1 Agility or 3 Jumping classes that include this grade.
Grade 6 Senior Until the dog wins 4 classes (at least two of which Agility) that include this grade.
Grade 7 Advanced The top competition level, allowing dogs to enter Championship classes.

Please note that the owner’s status overrides the handler’s status even though the KC rules imply they are treated equally!. So a dog owned by someone eligible for Grade 1 cannot be run in Grade 2 by a G2 handler.

Wins prior to 2007 cannot be carried forward, with the exception of wins towards Advanced status.

Optional Progression via Agility Warrant (AW) Points
There is the option for you to progress to higher grades based on KC Agility Warrant points. Only AW points gained from 1 January 2007 onwards will count. 75 points are needed to move up into the next grade. Progression via AW points is possible up to Grade 5 Intermediate, after that you need wins to progress.

Remember that you cannot move back down once you’ve moved up! So think carefully before you opt to move your dog from Grade 1 into 2, or Grade 2 into 3. Because eligibility for Grade 1 and 2 is based on owner and handler status as well as the dog’s, this will affect all your future agility dogs!

Grade, Graded and Combined Classes
There are now three types of Agility or Jumping class that you’ll see on a KC agility schedule. They are:-

Term New definition
Grade A class that only your dog’s grade can enter, with a course that only your dog’s grade will compete on. The awards for the class will be for your dog’s grade only.
Graded A class that all the grades shown against the class number can enter, with all dogs competing on the same course (unless entries are so large that two rings are needed). Separate awards for each grade.
Combined A class that all the grades shown against the class number can enter, with all dogs competing on the same course (unless class is split). The awards are combined for all the grades, not separated by grade.

Wins in each of the above class types will count towards progression out of your current grade. Please note that wins in Combined classes only win you out of your current grade, not higher ones as well. Any further wins in Combined classes will not count until you have started competing in your new grade.

Closing dates/qualifying dates
At Kennel Club shows, you must consider wins gained up to and including 7 days before the closing date when entering the show. Once you win out of a grade, you must contact shows you have already entered where the qualifying date has not yet passed, to change your entry to the next grade up.

Written by Fiona Hulse. The information shown above is correct (I think!) as of January 2007

 

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