Showing your Hamster!

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If you want the dates of forthcoming UK Hamster Shows, please click here!

Here is some information that I thought people might find useful before coming to their first NHC Show. If you have any further questions, please email me by clicking here.

How do I enter the Show?

Simply take your hamster along in his or her normal cage. When you arrive at the show, give your details to the Show Secretary, who will be sitting at a table somewhere near the entrance.. They will need to know your name and the type and sex of hamster, (male, female, long haired, short haired or Dwarf).

At your first show it is probably best to enter your hamster in the Pet Class. That way, you will not need to arrive so early, (entries for the main show must be "benched" by 10.30). Also, your hamster is judged only on their tameness and general health, rather than the show standards used in the main show.

What will happen at the Pet Show?

Once you have entered your hamster in the Show you will be given a sticky label with a number on it. This is your hamster's show or "pen" number and should be stuck on a part of the cage that the hamster cannot reach. (This label is the only way that your hamster will be identified during the show you don't want it to get chewed off!) The Show Secretary, or someone else at the show, will then direct you to the Pet Class table.

Check that your pet has plenty of food and water and then place the cage on the appropriate table. Once you have put your hamster's cage on this table, (called "benching" your hamster), please leave him or her alone. This is especially important during the Judging. To make the contest fair, it is important that the Judge does not know who each hamster belongs to. Use the time to visit the information table, look at the Show hamsters or talk to breeders about any questions that you may have.

The Pet Judge will compare your hamster to all the others, awarding marks for tameness and good health. Once they have finished judging the prizes will be awarded. Everyone who enters the Pet Show will receive a Certificate and, if your hamster is in the top seven in the class, he or she will win a card as well. The absolute winner, (First), will receive a trophy and a rosette. As they say of the National Lottery - it could be you! (Please note that your hamster has a much larger chance of winning the Pet Class than you have of winning the National Lottery!) Good luck!

Getting to know you

As well as the Judges, (usually one each for Syrians, Dwarfs and Pets), there are many people needed to make a hamster show work. All of them are likely to be busy, but please take time to introduce yourself to someone. Like their hamsters, none of these people bite and they are always glad to see new faces. Everyone, at their first show or shows, feels confused, unsure of what is going on and, frequently, left out and lonely. Plucking up courage to say hello to someone can be difficult, but you will find that you quickly make friends. With their help, the apparent chaos of the Show begins to take on a pattern. (Well, most of it, anyway .......!) It may help to visit the web pages on my "links page", to get an idea of what some of them look like. Anyway, look out for the following people.

What can I do to help?

The most useful thing that you can do to help at your first few Shows is also the most enjoyable; get talking to experienced Exhibitor-breeders. You will learn a lot from them and will feel a lot more at home. They will learn about you and, when you go to other shows, will remember you. Not only will this help you, having a familiar face to talk to, but the "old hands" will get an idea of what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Then, after a show or two, they can suggest things that you might like to help with. There are always loads of things that need doing at shows, and volunteers are always welcome!

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