Preparation of Exhibits by Junior Fanciers
Historically, it has been understood that preparation by adult fanciers of cavies which are being exhibited by juniors should not occur, in order to be fair to juniors who do all their own preparation. However, there are currently no rules or guidelines regarding this.
The Southern Cavy Club strongly believes in encouraging junior cavy fanciers, and as part of this, believes that they should learn to prepare their cavies for showing as well as caring for them at home. Junior fanciers should therefore be given the opportunity to practice the skills needed, and this includes learning by making mistakes!
All juniors should be aiming to prepare their exhibits to the best of their ability and this includes the tricky skill of learning to groom out guard hairs. It is for this reason that children younger than 7 years of age cannot exhibit in JPB classes, as before this age they would need adult help with the preparation.
The Junior Purebred classes are the ideal place for juniors to show their cavies against other juniors, rather than having to compete against adults from the outset.
Junior fancier’s pigs are judged to the same breed standards as those in the open classes, but allowance is made for the fact that they are entered and prepared by juniors, so the quality of preparation (cleanliness and grooming) may not be as high. The judge will also look at the condition of the cavy, as this shows how well it has been cared for on a day to day basis.
From the judges’ point of view, judging cavies in the JPB classes can be tricky, as the age range for junior exhibitors is from 7 to 16 years and clearly the older junior can prepare their pigs to a much higher standard than the younger ones are capable of. The judge, who does not know the age of the exhibitor, will therefore usually err on the side of leniency when considering the preparation of the cavies in this section.
The SCC will be producing guidelines to help exhibitors know what is and isn’t appropriate on this question.