|It's Show Day! What to Expect|
|When you first arrive, you will check in with the Show Secretary. Before the show, she will have transferred your information onto the judging cards and organized them by class. She will confirm your information at check-in. She can also answer any questions you have about your entries and make any changes necessary. You will pay her for your entries (as well as for membership, sales permits, and show box rental if applicable and not paid previously by check).
Once you have checked-in (and check in starts at 8:30 or 9:00 and ends promptly at 9:30 for a 10 am show), your animals will be health-checked. We will inspect each hamster brought. The goal is to detect problems before any other animals are exposed. We will use a disinfectant before and after handling each cage of animals. They will part the fur, turn the hamster over, etc. to look for any potential problems such as mites, wet tail, Papova, wounds, tumors, etc. If any problem is found which could be transferred to other animals (i.e. mites), the entire cage of animals will be immediately removed. You may either take them home or they will be kept for you in the far corner under some of the tables used for sales. Problems which are not contagious will be addressed on an individual basis. We encourage you to watch this process and ask questions so that you will better be able to inspect your animals on a regular basis.
If your animals are on cedar or pine bedding, you will be asked to change the bedding. We will have aspen available at the show for you to use. After your first show, we ask that you always bring your hamsters to a show on either aspen or carefresh (or other non-pine or non-cedar beddings such as Yesterday's News).
Any animals for sale (and please check the rules for selling hamsters) will be placed on a special table. All show animals will be in a different location.
Space is limited at shows. We ask that you don't bring large cages for your hamsters or you will probably need to keep them under the tables. Some people bring their hamsters in their show boxes which is fine. We recommend the "small" critter keeper for dwarves and either the "small" or "medium" size for syrians. If you bring your hamster in his show cage, please provide a bit of food and a small chunk of fruit/vegetable for him during the day (apple seems to work well). You may only use either the critter keeper or an official show box for showing your hamsters. This is to help keep them anonymous during the judging process. Official show boxes are available for rental at $1 per box.
Our judging is done a bit differently than the judging at most clubs. Since we are such a new club and have a lot of new members, we talk through the judging and allow questions from members. You can gather around and listen. The only request is that you do not identify the owner of any hamsters on the table - either yours or others. We try to keep the judging as anonymous as possible so that there is minimal chance for partiality in the judging process. Feel free, though, to ask about anything said. The goal is to help everyone learn. You may also ask questions at the breaks or after the show.
We like to take photos of all winners to put on our web site. We typically do some photos at lunch and some at the end of the show. If at all possible, please remain for this with your hamsters if they have won first place in any of the categories.