Working Rally Rules (Updated April 2023 to include compulsory protective helmets – rule

1.0 Pre Rally Procedure
1.1 The Course
1.1.1 The course shall be clearly marked out with sufficient highly visible markers.
1.1.2 Minimum dimension for markers is 25 cm. (10″) across, which must
display only ONE colour and function with optional white borders.
1.1.3 Class number or letter may be indicated on the markers:
1.1.4 Right Turn: Red marker on right, preferably 7.5 – 15.0 m. (25 – 50 ft.) before turn.
Left Turn: Red marker on left, preferably 7.5 – 15.0 m. (25 – 50 ft.) before turn.
Straight on: Blue marker.
Caution: Yellow marker. Where trail conditions require special attention by the Driver, such conditions may be marked with a Yellow marker.
Night Rally Markers: Will be reflective.
1.1.5 The end of the Starting Chute Area will be clearly marked, approximately 45 m. (50 yds.) from the Start Line.
1.1.6 The ‘No Right of Way’ Zone will be clearly marked on the run in to the Finish and within 800 m. (0.5 ml.) of the Finish Line.
1.1.7 The course should be of suitable surface, avoiding, where possible, such surfaces as concrete, tarmac, sharp gravel or other material likely to damage the feet of the dogs, except at necessary road crossings.

1.2 Eligibility of Dogs, Drivers and Passengers
1.2.1 Driver and Owner(s) of a team must be fully paid up Members of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain (SHC) at the time of the Event.
1.2.2 The Rally Organiser may reject any entries submitted, but must give a valid reason for this action.
1.2.3 No dog, equipment or clothing shall be brought from a kennel where any contagious disease exists or has existed within the previous three weeks. Any breach of this Rule will result in disqualification and immediate removal from the Event Site.
1.2.4 No dog may be replaced during the period of a rally. In a rally of more than one heat, dogs may be marked by the Rally Organiser for the purposes of identification.
1.2.5 Any team, dog or driver coming to the Event being, in the opinion of the Rally Organiser, unfit or incapable of completing the course will be disqualified or transferred to a lower class at the discretion of that Rally Organiser.
1.2.6 All Drivers must be 16 years of age, or over, on the first day of the Event – except for Junior/Novelty Classes. Drivers between 16 and 18 years of age will be required to be full Members of the SHC before competing in events other than Junior/Novelty Classes.
1.2.7 The Driver starting with a team in the first heat of an Event must drive that team throughout the entire Event, unless incapacitated by illness or injury, in which case a substitute Driver may be used (subject to these Rules and the approval of the Rally Organiser).
1.2.8 Only Kennel Club registered, pure bred sled dogs, i.e. Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Canadian Eskimo Dogs, Greenland Dogs and Samoyeds and dogs of these breeds holding an appropriate KC affiliated breed club Welfare number ( and thereby confirming prior KC registration) are eligible to compete.
1.2.9 No dog under twelve months old on the first day of the Event will be accepted for entry, save Novelty Event Classes.
1.2.10 Kennel Club registered names and Date of Birth, or Welfare Details, of dogs competing must be given on the entry form. Any alteration to team details from those provided on the entry form must be advised to the Rally Organiser.
1.2.11 Passengers: Will only be allowed at the individual Rally Organiser’s discretion, though should be encouraged. Must be fully paid up Members of the SHC and over the age of 18. No Passengers may be carried in a team of less than three dogs. Any team with a passenger falling below this required number shall retire and not complete the course.

1.3 Medications
1.3.1 Prohibited medications are all those deemed harmful to the dogs or to the sport, including stimulants, depressants, anaesthetics and analgesics.
1.3.2 If a dog is suspected of being under the influence of any prohibited medication, the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain reserves the right to have the dog examined and tested by qualified veterinary personnel and, if positive, the Driver, Owner and Team will suffer automatic disqualification for the whole of that Season, plus any further penalty at the discretion of the Committee of the SHC.
1.3.3 Veterinary inspection of any dog entered may be required at the discretion the Rally Organiser.

1.4 Equipment
1.4.1 The responsibility for the safety of all equipment rests with the Driver and/or Owner. The Scrutineer is looking for obvious breach of Rules only.
1.4.2 All equipment shall be available for inspection by the appointed Scrutineer at the time set by the Rally Organiser. Drivers and equipment may be required for further inspection after each run or heat, at the request of the Rally Organiser. No competitor may leave the start line without having had their equipment previously checked and cleared by the Scrutineer at that rally.
1.4.3 Lines and Connections: All connections from lines to harness, collar and rig/sled must be capable of quick and easy detachment. Correct functioning of these attachments may be checked. All teams must have a snub line attached to the gang line between the rear of the team and the point where it is attached to the rig/sled. This snub line must be of sufficient length to enable release from a static object (e.g. gate post or tree) by the Driver whilst on, and in control of the rig/sled. All lines must be free of frays and excess wear. Shock absorbers, when utilised, must have a safety line. Bike-joring/Scooter classes: The dog shall be attached to the bicycle/scooter by a snub line (not exceeding 3 metres in length) with a shock absorber at all times. Cani-cross class: The dog shall be attached to the competitor by a snub line (not exceeding 2.5 metres in length) with a shock absorber at all times. The snub line shall be attached to the competitor by a hip belt, at least 7 cm wide over the spine.
1.4.4 Rigs: Must not be fitted with any device to assist propulsion. Must have three or four wheels and be free-standing. Must have an adequate braking system, when brakes are applied by the Driver, standing in the normal driving position and with motive power provided by either pushing or pulling of the rig by the Scrutineer and/or Assistant(s). Must be equipped with a manual steering mechanism, capable of operation by the Driver from the normal driving position. Must not exceed 150 cm. (60″) in overall width. All three wheeled rigs must be designed and manufactured without sharp edges or points. A brushbow is not compulsory but where it is absent the rig should have been originally designed and constructed without a brushbow. If a three wheeled rig is fitted with a brushbow, then it shall comply to the following:
No part of the rig shall protrude in front of the brushbow, including gangline attachments. The overall width of the brushbow shall be no less than the measurement between the centres of the two rear wheels. If this does not cover the entire width of the rig, additional deflectors must be fitted around any protruding part, fabricated in such a way as to avoid the creation of any sharp projection. Brushbows must be not less than 20 cm. (8″) or more than 45 cm. (18″) from the ground. All brushbows/deflectors must be manufactured from inflexible materials. All four wheeled rigs must be designed and manufactured without sharp edges or points. A bumper is not compulsory for a four wheeled rig, but where absent the rig should have been originally designed and constructed without a bumper. If a four wheeled rig is fitted with a tubular front bumper, it shall be a substantive part of its design and manufacture, and comply to the following:
The length of which shall equal at least the full width of the rig. The ends of the bumper must be rounded so as not to present a hazard. No part of the rig shall protrude in front of the bumper, including gangline attachments The front wheels must also be protected by additional deflectors which must be secured either side of each wheel. Further additional deflectors must be fitted around any protruding part, fabricated in such a way as to avoid the creation of any sharp projection. Bumpers must be not less than 20 cm. (8″) or more than 45 cm. (18″) from the ground. All bumpers/deflectors must be manufactured from inflexible materials. All rigs may carry a dog bag, for use at discretion of the driver. A and Unlimited Class rigs may be subject to further regulations and requirements.
1.4.5 Sleds: Must be fitted with a brushbow. Must have an adequate claw braking system and strongly recommend that a drag mat is fitted. May carry a dog bag for use at discretion of the driver
1.4.6 Bicycles: Bicycles shall be equipped with an efficient brake at each wheel.
1.4.7 Scooters: Scooters shall be equipped with an efficient brake at both wheels or rear wheel only.
1.4.8 Lighting Equipment: No wet acid batteries may be carried. Plastic lens are recommended, but any glass must be taped or preferably bagged. Back-up lights must be carried during night rallies.
1.4.9 Muzzles, full choke collars, whips or other similar devices are strictly prohibited.
1.4.10 Bibs will only be provided for each Driver by the Rally Organiser when a sponsored or supporting organisation has donated sufficient numbered special bibs. Otherwise, competitors should wear their number allocated to them under the Club’s Registration Scheme. Members not registered with this Scheme will be provided with a numbered bib at the Event.
1.4.11 Clothing for Competitors: Spiked or metal footwear is prohibited. In severe weather conditions, adequate protective clothing will be worn or carried – at the discretion of the Rally Organiser. With the exception of Cani-cross, the wearing of protective helmets is compulsory for all mushers. All helmets must be in good condition with a serviceable chin strap.


2.0 Starting Procedures
2.1 Drawing for Position
2.1.1 Starting position and time for each team will be determined by drawing, or other method as determined by the Rally Organiser. Such drawing is to be held prior to the Rally by the Rally Organiser in the presence of at least two other persons.
2.1.2 Starting times for Events of more than one heat: The starting times for the first heat will be determined as specified in Rule 2.1.1 above. The starting times for the second heat will be determined from the finishing point of the team in the first heat with the fastest team going first, the second fastest team going second and so on.
The starting times for the second heat may, alternatively, be determined from the finishing position of the team in the first heat with the slowest team going first, the second slowest team going second and so on.
2.1.3 Chosen/selected Starting Procedures must be noted in the Club’s Rally Information publication.
2.2 The Start
2.2.1 The Driver is responsible for ensuring that his team is securely snubbed, or otherwise held, at the Start Line.
2.2.2 A team crossing the Start Line five seconds or less in advance of the official Starting Time will receive a fifteen second penalty. In cases of greater violation, a 60 second penalty will result. In the event of a premature start, enabling the team to be returned to the Start Line to comply with the Official Start Time, then that team may re-start without penalty. See Rule 3.7.1.
2.2.3 The Starting Point of the team shall be the front of the brushbow.
2.2.4 The Starting Time of the team shall begin when such team is scheduled to leave the Start Line.
2.2.5 Teams failing to be at the Start Line on time for any heat will not be allowed to start until the last scheduled team of the heat has left and at the prescribed interval. If more than one team should start late, each shall start in the order scheduled. Trail Time for late starters will begin at the official time of departure. See Rule 2.1.2.
2.3 Temperature
2.3.1 When the temperature rises to 15 degrees C at any time during the course of the Event (when taken in the shade at or near the Start Line) the Event shall be reviewed by the Rally Organiser and may be stopped. The Rally Organiser may, however, if he or she feels that the temperature/humidity combination is too high, review the Event before this level is reached. Temperatures will be monitored during the course of the Event.
3.0 Trail Procedure
3.1 The Driver
3.1.1 A driver may ride, scoot or run as and when they wish but see Rules 3.4 and 3.5.3.
3.1.2 Physical and verbal abuse of dogs is strictly prohibited at the Event Site.
3.1.3 Wilful interference by a Driver with other competing teams in any way is prohibited. Teams experiencing difficulty must make every effort not to impede other Competitors.
3.1.4 Drivers must have run one rally season or a minimum of 8 rallies, with the maximum of 3 dogs, before they are eligible to enter the A, B, B2, C, and C2 classes at SHCGB rallies.
3.1.5 Drivers must have run one rally season or a minimum of 8 rallies, with the maximum of 3 dogs, before they are eligible to enter the A, B, B2, C, and C2 classes at SHCGB rallies.
3.2 Classifications
A Class No more than 8 dogs, no less than 5
B Class No more than 6 dogs, no less than 4
C Class No more than 4 dogs, no less than 3
D Class Two dogs only
E Class No more than 3 dogs, no less than 2
Unlimited No less than 5 dogs
.2 Class Mixed Sled Dog Breeds, when Siberian Only
Classes are scheduled
J Class (1) Age of Driver 8-11 + 1 dog (over 12 months)
(2) Age of Driver 12-15 + 1-2 dogs (over 12 months)
Cani-Cross Class 1 dog and a Competitor racing on foot.
Bike-Joring Class 1 dog and a Driver pedalling a bicycle.
Scooter Class 1 dog and a Driver riding a two wheeled scooter
Veteran (V) 2-4 dogs of any eligible breed, the average age of all dogs in the team to be over 7 years on the day of the first stage.
3.3 Dogs
3.3.1 All dogs must be properly harnessed in the team and all dogs must be fastened by a neck line. Exception: Lead dogs must be properly harnessed in the team, but may run with or without a neckline. In cani-cross, bike-joring & scooter classes the dog harness shall not allow the dog to escape.
3.3.2 Any dog suffering injury or becoming unfit to run during the competition must be taken out of the team and may be carried in the dog bag at the discretion of the driver. No dog will be allowed to run free alongside, in front or, or behind the rig/sled at any time. If the dog bag is not used the driver and team must retire from the race, and await assistance.
3.3.3 Any team falling behind the required minimum of fit dogs for the Class entered must retire. If this reduction in number of fit dogs occurs on the trail because of injury or sickness, then no attempt should be made to complete the course. In the event of an emergency, Drivers must use their discretion as to whether to proceed with the depleted team to the Finish (subject to Rule 3.1.3) or whether to alert a passing Driver or contact a Marshal or spectator to seek assistance.
3.3.4 All dogs starting any heat must complete that heat whether running or being carried in the bag (if available) other than Rules 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 above.
3.3.5 After the first heat, a Driver may drop any dog they wish from subsequent heat(s), subject always to the minimum specified. See Rules 3.2 and 3.3.3.
3.3.6 A dog may not take part in more than one Class or Team during any one day other than scheduled Junior/Novelty Events.
3.4 Passengers
One person must be sitting on a secured seat when travelling.
3.5 Following the Course
3.5.1 A Team and Driver must follow the full course as laid out by the Rally Organiser and as described at the Mushers’ Meeting.
3.5.2 If a Team does leave the designated trail, the Driver must return the Team to the point at which they left the Trail. A Team and Driver meeting this condition may then continue the course without penalty.
3.5.3 The Driver must not be forward of his Team unless physically in contact and in control of the lead dog(s).
3.5.4 Both Team and Driver must cover the entire course without unauthorised assistance.
3.6 Outside Assistance
3.6.1 All Teams may receive similar assistance of any kind from Officials stationed at designated points along the trail if so authorised by the Rally Organiser. All competitors will be notified of permissible assistance at the Mushers’ Meeting.
3.6.2 An individual Team may receive assistance from anyone only if that Team becomes unmanageable.
3.6.3 No person is allowed to assist a Team by wilfully pacing it.
3.7 Loose Teams
3.7.1 All rally participants are encouraged to stop and hold any loose team where it is safe to do so.
3.7.2 A loose team interfering with other Teams will be disqualified.
3.8 Right of Way
3.8.1 A Team not leaving the Start Line within 30 seconds of the designated Start Time must retire from the Start Area and await instruction from the Rally Organiser or his appointed Start Marshal. See Rule 2.2.5.
3.8.2 A Team not clearing the Starting Chute Marker prior to the scheduled Start Time of the following Team will be disqualified.
3.8.3 When passing in opposite directions on a single trail: On a hill, the Team travelling downhill has Right of Way. On level ground, the Rally Organiser shall determine the Outgoing or Incoming Team shall have Right of Way and this will be specified at the Mushers’ Meeting. The Rally Organiser will suggest the side on which to pass and this will be specified at the Mushers’ Meeting.
3.8.4 No Incoming Team shall have Right of Way over another Incoming Team from a point to be established by the Rally Organiser, but within 800 m. (0.5 ml) of the Finish Line. See Rule 1.6.
3.9 Passing
3.9.1 An Overtaking Team has Right of Way over the preceding Team when the Overtaking Team comes within 15 m. (50 ft.) of the Team ahead.
3.9.2 Under these conditions, the Overtaking Team Driver should call TRAIL. Upon hearing this call, the Preceding Driver must make way for the Over- taking Team bringing their Team to a full stop, if requested. See Rule 3.1.3.
3.9.3 The Overtaken Team may request and receive the Right of Way to re-pass: In Unlimited Class after 4 mins. or 1,600 m. (1 ml.) In Limited Classes after 2 mins. or 800 m. (0.5 ml.) If the Drivers concerned are in agreement, at a lesser time or distance interval.
3.9.4 Passing Teams becoming tangled as a result of the pass may request the Overtaken Team to wait for a period not exceeding 60 seconds in an Unlimited Class, or a period not exceeding 30 seconds in a Limited Class. If the Overtaking Team should stop for any other reason, then the Over- taken Team may ask for TRAIL and be given Right of Way in accordance with Rule 3.9.2.
3.9.5 Following Team shall maintain an interval of not less than one team length behind the preceding rig/sled.

4.0 Finishing Procedure
4.1 The Finishing Point of a Team shall be the brushbow of the rig/sled, or other point as designated by the Rally Organiser.
4.2 In the event of a loose team crossing the Finish Line ahead of the Driver, then the Finish Time shall be taken as the time the Driver crosses the line.
5.0 Conduct
5.1 For the purpose of these rules, an Event is a Rally organised on behalf of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain, held within the boundaries of the Event Site and for the Duration as follows:
 Event duration is defined from the point when the Organiser or their nominated delegates arrive on site for the start of rally-related activities, until the point when they leave the site at the conclusion of those activities.
 The Event site is defined as the area of land including the trails, any parking/ camping areas and amenities or facilities located within and available for participants’ use.
 Participants include all Club Members attending an Event whether as competitors, handers or other assisting, volunteer officials, or spectators.
5.2 Drivers are responsible for the conduct of their dogs and handlers during the Event. By entering the Event a Driver is implicitly stating that they and their dogs are appropriately prepared, and that they are aware of these rules and the obligations it places upon them.
5.3 If the Rally Organiser determines that any participants conduct at any time in the Event is detrimental to the Sport and/or the image of the Club they may be excluded from that event by the Rally Organiser. The Rally Organiser is required to report this to the Committee in writing within one week of the Events conclusion.
5.4 The Rally Organisers and their appointed Officials shall have the power to stop a team at any point of the rally if in their opinion the safety of that team, or those of other competitors, or members of the public are in jeopardy.
5.5 Mating of bitches during the Event, at the Event site, is forbidden.
5.5.1 Puppies will not be allowed at the Event Site during an Event unless they are fully inoculated/immunised. Persons bringing puppies to an Event without the correct papers will be asked to leave.
5.5.2 Puppies will not be offered for sale at an Event site during an Event.
5.6 Physical or verbal abuse by any person of any person at any part of the Event site during the Event is forbidden.
5.7 Participants are to fill holes dug by their dogs, to clear away and dispose of waste properly, especially dog waste, and to generally leave the Event site in a condition equivalent to that which they encountered on arrival for the Event.
6.0 Protests and Disciplinary Action
6.1 Protests
6.1.1 Any person(s) wishing to protest a violation of the Rules must do so immediately following the heat or run in which the alleged violation occurred. The protest may be verbal and must be accompanied by a fee of five pounds Sterling, which may be refunded by the Club in the event of the protest being upheld.
6.1.2 Any verbal protest must be confirmed in writing to the Rally Organiser within one hour after the end of the Event or Heat, whichever is first.
6.1.3 In the event of any protest or report of an alleged rule violation, the concerned parties may demand an individual representation. Such Hearings must be granted and organised by the Rally Organiser at the earliest convenient time.
6.2 Disciplinary Action
6.2.1 For any violation of the foregoing Rules, the Rally Organiser, with or without the recommendation of any Judge or Protest Committee, may impose a warning to, or disqualify any Competitor at his discretion.
6.2.2 In the event of a Protest being registered against a competing Rally Organiser, then any decision must be confirmed or reversed by the Committee of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain at their next Meeting following the Protest.
6.2.3 Any complaint received against a Club Member regarding trail or site behaviour, via a member of the public, marshal or by another SHCGB Club Member can result in a warning letter from the Rally Organiser (Red Card). Two Red Cards automatically lead to referral to the next Committee Meeting for further discussion and, if necessary, action. If further cards are accrued whilst the first and second Red Cards are still valid then this will lead to an automatic suspension from Club Working Events until the Committee has opportunity to consider the matter. Each Red Card shall be valid for a period of eighteen months from the date of issue. The Secretary will inform SHC Rally Organisers of any offenders.
6.2.4 In all other respects, the decision of the Rally Organiser is final.

Extract from ‘The Joy of Running Sled Dogs’ by Noel K. Flanders: Trail Etiquette is essential for the safety of the dogs and drivers. This sport is fun and everyone should have a good time and enjoy a safe run. There are always beginners just starting out and they should be treated as professionally as the veteran drivers. When a Driver gets so serious about winning that he forget his manners …he no longer belongs on the trail.

Common sense and good sportsmanship should prevail


Code of Conduct for Members of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain when Training Sled Dog Teams:

  1. All dogs must be kept under control and/or tethered at all times
  2. Size of teams should be limited to what is considered safe and manageable on the trails being used, bearing in mind terrain, conditions and usage of the area
  3. Teams must always proceed with courtesy, care and consideration for all other users and land managers
  4. When encountering other users, teams must be kept under control and care taken not to cause alarm, particularly to horses and other animals
  5. Teams must remain on the designated trails and adhere to any specific requirements of the Landowner, including permissions and time constraints imposed
  6. Teams should be clearly visible to other users and if training after dark, lights should be used
  7. Training should only be undertaken if temperatures and humidity levels are appropriate
  8. All gates must be left as found
  9. Do not obstruct access points
  10. Take all litter and rubbish away from the site

Aims for Trails

  1. To have good surface, not too stony or abrasive
  2. To have a looped course with start and finish in close proximity, preferably offering variable distances
  3. To have parking facilities, not too close to a busy road