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Old 08-24-2016, 11:44 AM  
Fluffagrams
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Location: Bath, UK
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Default Re: Guide to Hamster Shows - At The Show

What can I show my hamster in?

Hamsters in Pet Class are shown in their own cages or a suitable travelling cage, however it’s worth mentioning that space during the Pet Class can be at a premium at some of the busier shows so it’s best to leave large cages at home. You will need to make sure that they have a water source such as a water bottle or a piece of moist veg and something to nibble on such as a dog biscuit. You can also provide your hamster with a source of enrichment but bear in mind that the judge will have to take your hamster out of their cage/carrier to be judged so anything that your hamster could hide in that you can’t get them out of easily is best left at home.
In the main show there are certain rules to follow about how your hamster is presented for showing to make sure that there is some anonymity during judging.
All hamsters must be shown in special show pens which are available to hire from the club if you do not have any of your own. In these pens you must use either wood shavings (short haired Syrians and Dwarfs) and wood based cat litter (long haired Syrians only) and this must be provided by the exhibitor. You can usually pick up a small pack fairly cheaply if it’s not your usual substrate.
You must also provide a piece of vegetable as a water source with cucumber being the most popular choice and a dog biscuit which is supplied by the club. Nothing else including bedding material is permitted in show pens.

How should I bring my hamster to the show?

It’s safer for a hamster to travel in a carrier rather than their own cage and it’s important to provide them with a source of food and water on the journey to the show as well as during it. Water bottles are not advised during travelling because they are very likely to leak and you don’t want a soggy hamster!

What should I do when I arrive at the show?

Regardless of whether you’re entering the main show or the pet class, you will need to book in with the Show Secretary who will take any payment due and issue you with a pen label which you will need to stick on to your pet’s carrier/show pen. This contains an individual pen number so that the Show Secretary is able to tell who won after judging is complete plus the details of any duplicate classes. Please stick your pen label to the top left of your show pen if showing in the main show.

What is benching and how to you bench your hamster?

Benching refers to putting your hamster on the tables surrounding the judge ready for the Pen Steward to bring to the judge during the show.
During benching you will need to remove your hamster from their carrier and give them a check over to make sure that they’re still in tip-top condition. Once you’re happy you can put them in their show pen with their piece of vegetable and dog biscuit and then pop them on the table with the other syrians/dwarfs. The Pen Steward will arrange these pens in their correct order for the judging so don’t worry too much if they’re not with the other hamsters of their straight class.
Once you have benched your hamster you are not permitted to return to them or identify them in the judges hearing until the show is over and the Show Secretary has given permission for the hamsters to be lifted from the bench.

What can I do whilst my hamster is being judged?

Once your hamster has been benched you are free to look around the rest of the show, have a go at the tombola and get yourself a tea/coffee or snack from the show kitchen. At the show there will be experienced breeders and exhibitors to talk to and providing that they’re not busy with a task they’re usually very happy to share tips with you and chat about hamsters. You’re free to go for a little walk or something during the show but you will need to make sure that you’re back in time for the end of the show.

What happens after the show?

The main show may still be going on when the Pet Class judging is complete so there will be a presentation for the entrants of the Pet Class. If you’ve entered the Pet Class you are free to take your hamster home after this presentation or you can stay to watch the rest of the Main Show.
At the end of the Main Show hamsters must remain in position on the bench until the Show Secretary has given permission for hamsters to be lifted off of the bench. This is in case there are any queries about the duplicate classes an exhibitor has entered and the placing needs reviewing. Once the paperwork has been completed and the hamsters can be lifted from the bench then you are able to get your hamster prepared for their journey home. Presentations don’t often take place until most of the clearing up has been done so please help out with the clearing up where you can.

What do I win?

In the Pet Class the following places are awarded: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Reserve (4th), Very Highly Commended (5th), Highly Commended (6th) and Commnded (7th) and entrants achieving these placings will receive a prize card, rosette and all entrants will receive a certificate of entry.
In the Main Show rosettes are only awarded to the first placing hamster in each class with prize cards awarded to other placings.
The Best in Show and the Reserve Best in Show are awarded at the end of each section.

What is a Certificate of Merit?

A Certificate of Merit is awarded to a hamster that the judge determines to be an excellent example of their species. To be eligible you mush have entered the Grand Challenge class in the main show and if your hamster is lucky enough to attain three CoMs during their show career from at least two different judges then they qualify for the title of Champion and will receive a special certificate and rosette. If that hamster then goes on to win a further two CoMs then they will qualify for the title of Grand Champion and will recieve another certificate and an even bigger rosette.
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Last edited by Fluffagrams; 08-27-2016 at 09:26 AM.
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