A brief guide to Cani-Cross Events
The sport of Cani-Cross is expanding and there are now many different races run by several organisations.
SDAS stands for the Sled Dog Association of Scotland. These events are for any type of dog and any person of any age or ability. They encourage everyone to ask questions and are more than happy to chat about the dogs.
These races generally take place from October to early April and are weekend events where there will be 2 x 5k events and the result is combined across the weekend to give you an overall result. The cost to become a member of SDAS is £15 for the year, however you can enter races without being a member and this costs an extra £5 per weekend.
SDAS weekends keep you fully involved and it’s great to see all the different sled dog activities from 8 dog rigs down to canicross, and everything in between. You will usually be expected to marshal at most events however you will always be shown what to do and never be given a job you’re not comfortable with.
Cani-Cross at SDAS involves 30 second staggered starts and males and females are generally started in separate categories. The trails are very rarely further than 5k and are a big variety.
Most people camp at the venue which is usually approximately £5 per night there is sometimes hot food catering on site but this is usually stated on the entry form and there are always portaloos!
SDAS races require participants to have insurance which covers themselves or their dog for racing events. (I would advise this is sought anyway as in most cases normal pet insurance WILL NOT pay out if they think your dog was at an event when an incident or accident occurred. Some links to a few insurance sites are at the bottom of the page).
The most known race organiser for cani-cross races in Scotland. Cani-Sports Scotland generally runs two types of runs at their events: Long Course and Short Course.
These races, as the SDAS races, are for most ages and abilities and you can take part in either course. Short course is usually approximately 2.5k and the long course is usually around 5k.
Cani-Sports Scotland also allow an extra category which is 2 dog cani-cross. However, to run in this category, both dogs need to be owned by the person running them (no borrowed dogs are allowed to run in the 2 dog category).
Starts within Cani-Sports Scotland are generally also staggered starts however range from 10-15 seconds between competitors.
Cani-Sports Scotland offer a range of races, some cover full weekends and others cover single days. However, in most cases, even over full weekends, the races still tend to be individual races. i.e not combined for full weekend results.
The race will be covered by event/public liability insurance but all racers and spectators attend the event and run at their own risk. Cani-Sports Scotland insurance does not cover personal injury to competitors, they also suggest suitable personal insurance for canicross is taken out however do not ask for proof of insurance.
Cani-Fit Experience/Ruff Dugger
Ruff Dugger events are 'fun for all' events! (Tough Mudder with Dogs). Ruff Dugger is a trail run with lots of mud and obstacles for you and your dog to work as a team and enjoy getting muddy together. Great Fun for all and you can run as a team with other people too.
The Ruff Dugger events take a more laid-back approach to racing with your dog but do follow similar rules and regulations such as staggered starts generally 15-20 seconds.
The Cani-Fit Experience sometimes takes place at the same time/place as the Ruff Dugger events as they are run by Cani-Fit. However, the Cani-Fit Experience is very similar to Cani-Sports Scotland races where there is generally a short and long course along with other events such as bikejor and scooter races. Therefore, incorporating some of the other sled dog activities into the event.
Cani-X events are held across the country. Begin with the 2km course and build up to enter the 5km course. Runners start individually and at times mass starts at timed intervals in their age class.
DON’T be put off mass starts aren’t as scary as they sound and within the Cani-X races if you aren’t happy with mass starts then you can opt into staggered start.
These races are great fun and happen throughout the year from South East England all the way up to Scotland.
Is the governing body of the Sled Dog Association of Scotland. BSSF stands for British Sled Dog Sport Federations and hold events up and down the country and generally, these events are the events to be selected for the European and World Championship Sled Dog Races.
BSSF hold 3 national championship races throughout the season (Scotland, England and Wales) where teams need to compete in two of three races to gain a national ranking which then allows them to be selected for the Europeans and Worlds if they are ranked high enough.
BSSF races are of a similar format to the SDAS races and usually consist of a 2 day event where both days count towards an overall time.
To be eligible to be ranked in these races you need to hold a BSSF membership. However, if you wanted to compete in the race in Scotland, you can if you hold an SDAS membership. Your points from that race would not count towards being nationally ranked.
If you are interested in these events feel free to ask about them. They can feel a lot stricter than some but still great fun.
Links for Insurance