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Show Ground Reviews

Running commentary...

Given it's in everybody’s interest to have decent ground to run on, why do some clubs persist in treating this criterion as a negligible one?  One agility handler who prefers to remain nameless but we'll call 'Groundhog' has compiled a review of the ground he/she has had to run on so far this year with a recommendation to avoid anything with less than three stars especially if you’re over 50! This is strictly about the ground to run on, nothing more. Judgement has not been passed on other aspects of the show venue like exercise areas, the nature of the show or its organisation. You are welcome to add your comments on the running surface of some of the venues you've been to this year.

Doing agility is tough on your body: you run, turn, twizzle, point shoulders, hurl arms out at awkward angles, and all at great speed. As you get older, all these things become a bigger strain. Any injury you suffer takes a long time to recover from; old injuries from your youth come back to haunt you.

So if you’re old, you need decent ground to run on, just to get round and preserve what remains of your mobility. If you’re middle-aged you need decent ground to run on so that you don’t give yourself nasty injuries or make worse the aches and pains you are already beginning to have. And if you’re young you should have good ground to run on, because it's better to avoid getting those injuries that are going to come back to haunt you in thirty years time.

When once I twisted my knee rather badly in a hole on  a course, and the judge said rather aggrievedly, 'Well you were the only one!'

I couldn't help the retort that sprang to my lips: 'Well, how many were you hoping for then?'





Wye Valley April Show

Vauxhill Fields


Despite being wet and a bit muddy the ground stood up well to the weather conditions, and was comparatively flat to run on. By Summer show stars 4.

Dashin' Dogs (Easter)


Lumpy, bumpy, hilly, and hard. Very difficult to run on.

Various shows:

Newbury Showground


Bit worn in places, otherwise excellent


West Midlands Showground


Bit spongy, otherwise excellent.


Veseyan Sports & Social Club


Perfect. The sort of surface every show should aim for.



Bit worn, otherwise excellent.


Turnpike Showground

Bit bumpy, grass longish and quite a lot of sheep pooh.


The Grange outdoors


Can anyone truly believe this bumpy lumpy hill was suitable for running on?


Holt Heath


Some rings better than others, on the bumpy side, but manageable and mostly flat.


East of England Showground

Excellent flat ground, well maintained.

Newton Heath

Tatton Park


Good flat ground, some rings slightly rougher than others.


Lansdowne Race Course

Okay, bit hard in places. Remnants of concrete underneath some rings?
Various shows in Cornwall


1/2 to

Varies a bit depending on which part of showground is used, but mostly flat and grass is soft and springy.
Various shows in Cornwall Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge

Ground okay wherever show is held on this ground. Sometimes a bit dirty but again grass soft and springy.

Blackdown Agility Society

Rugby Club at Bridgwater


Good, flat and firm, very few bumps.


Tredegar House, Newport

Excellent. Firm and flat, well maintained.

South Devon

Abbrook Park

 Excellent. Good ground, firm, flat and well maintained. And good news as this club’s previous venue would not have rated any stars at all!
UKA Show
at Cheltenham
Dowty’s Sports & Social Club


Absolute perfection. The sort of surface every show should aim for.
Dashin' Dogs (Summer)



Abysmal, brick hard, lumpy, full of tractor ruts , and truly appalling to run on.

KC Agility Festival

East of England Showground 1/2  to
Because the show grew like topsy some rings much better than others. Outer rings were poor, though inner rings usual high standard of this showground.


Withybush Airfield

Good ground, gets a bit worn in places. Takes weather quite well, one of the few show grounds where sawdust  is sprinkled liberally if any mud appears.