The Nationwide Cavy Show is held annually on the Saturday of Labour weekend.
2021 Show Date is Saturday 23rd October to be held in Whangarei at St John's Golden Church Hall, Kamo Rd, Whangarei
The show will be hosted by Northern Rabbit & Cavy Club.
It is run under New Zealand Cavy Judges Association (NZCJA) show rules and judged by NZCJA Judges to NZCJA Standards.
So, the Show Manager has asked you to steward at a show and you have never done it before. Your first response might be to say you are too inexperienced, only a novice. Take heart. It's not a difficult job. You CAN do it!
There are a few qualifications though. You need to be confident in your ability to actually handle the cavies. If you don't like to pick up other people's cavies, then probably stewarding isn't for you - although you could offer to be a "book steward" - recording the judge's comments in the judging book.
You also need to be tall enough to reach the higher cages easily, so that you will be able to lift the cavies out without problems.
What The Job Entails
"What do you actually do though?" I hear you ask. Well, the judge will tell you the numbers of the cavies required for each class. Hopefully there will be two or three stewards per judge. You have to remember the number of the cavy required (only one at a time) and then go and fetch it from it's pen. Each steward must only carry ONE cavy at a time - so a big class may require several trips to the pens!
Removing the Cavy
To remove a cavy from it's pen, you should put one hand on it's shoulder, turning it so that it faces you. Then slide the other hand under the cavy and lift it up. You then lift it out of the cage, still head first, so that it does not hook it's feet or legs in the doorway. Make sure that the cavy has the correct ear tag, with the number the same as the cage from which you have just removed it.
You now carry the cavy carefully over to the judge.
Never run with a cavy!
Don't groom masses of hair out or otherwise disturb the condition of the cavy. If the cavy has lost the ear tag, write out a new one for it when you reach the judge's table. Place the cavy in the judging box. If their are several cavies in the class, get into the habit of putting them in numerical order - this makes it easier to identify an animal which loses an ear tag during judging.
During the judging of the class, it is your job to make sure that the cavies don't jump out of the boxes whilst they are waiting. You must be careful not to make any comments about the cavies in the judge's hearing. Nor must you make any sign which indicates if one of the cavies is your own.
Returning the Cavies
After each class has been judged, you must return the cavies to their pens. Be very careful to return each cavy to the correct pen - check the ear tag carefully on each cavy.
Longhairs are usually stewarded by their owners or by experienced stewards. If you are new to stewarding it is better to ask the Show Manager to find someone more experienced to steward for the Longhair judge.