Omg! What an absolute success our Annual Gala was!! I am still blown away by how amazing the day way. So many new people enjoying their shared love for rats and mice. So what happened on the day? Well keep reading to find out!
Well the day started for me by getting up at the ungodly hour of 6am! Krystine and I were not happy by this but we put on our big girl pants (well dresses really) got ready and headed off to the Finnish Hall. Krystine and I got there bright and early to start the set up of the hall, along with many of the other committee members. Our plan was to have all the tables set up before everyone arrived. With so many exhibitors showing and many tables needed to be set up according to our seating plan.
Stephanie from Blazing Tails Rodentry bought along cute little helper by the name of Clover who was more than happy to help us with table cloths and the "don't poke your fingers in cage bar" signs. (Which I managed to break 2 of. but oh well!). All too quickly people started to arriving and I realised we were going to be short on tables. So a few people had to squish and share on a single table and I am so thankful they were so willing to make new friends!
Once we got tables sorted it was time for judges to get to work. Tenille and Sandy were busy judging the 75 rats in varieties and confirmation. Lincoln was judging 93 pet rats and mice. and Caitlin was busy judging 164 mice in varieties with the help of Mixy judging confirmation. So many animal it was amazing!! Thank you to our judges.
I had fun going live again in our Facebook group to give those who couldn't make it a chance to see how amazing the turn out was! After my live video I spent the rest of the day doing the scoring and writing of certificates. I am very proud of the fact that I went away with a few awards including Best Display and Best Breeders Group!
We are a few activities happening on the day to help raise money for the club. Rachel set up a set of canvas's for us to do some painting with out rats. The members of both Queensland Rodent Fanciers and New South Wales Fancy Rodent Society both got a canvas each and the third canvas was put up for auction for someone to win! Tenille was the lucky winner of the third canvas. So each of the clubs and Tenille get to remember this event forever with many rat and mouse footprints!
Tenille also put a lot of hard work into our raffle prizes. Many items were donated by various people and there was a first, second and third prize for both rat and mouse. The raffle was a huge success and the prizes were even won by a few of our new show goers! YAY!
It was so amazing that the some of the members from the New South Wales Fancy Rodent Society were able to join us. We had Kath from Minion Mousery, Jodi from Cyclone Mousery, Sandra from Lucy Lou Rattery and Stephanie from Blazing Tails Rodentry. They all made the long trip from their homes in NSW to join us for the day. They even got to take many awards away with them. I cant wait to see them again and I am so glad they came.
Once the judging was done, the awards handed out and the hall packed up it was time to head home. Or at least we thought it was. Tenille had decided she was holding an After Gala Party so we all headed back to her place for a wind down and catch up for a while until it was time for bed as the NSW gang had a long drive ahead of them.
All in all the day was amazing and personally the biggest and best show I have attended in all the time I have been showing. Going to have to work hard to top it but I look forward to the challenge.
Our next show is the 21st of October with a Halloween/Apocalypse theme and I really hope all our new show goers (the ones that didnt travel from NSW) can make it!
In the mean time. Thanks again for an amazing day!
Little Mischief Rattery
We have officially set the date for our annual Gold Coast Show. Each year Queensland Rodent Fanciers (QRF) hosts a special show down on the Gold Coast (GC) at the annual show. Sadly this year due to issues outside of our control we will not be having a show on the GC.
However!!! Do Not Fear!! We are still holding a show around this time of year., it will just be at our usual location in Mt Gravatt and renamed to Queensland Rodent Fanciers Annual Gala.
This annual show is very important to us as it is the one show a year that our members from the New South Wales Fancy Rodent Society (NSWFRS) joins us. Many of the wonderful breeders join us and its a wonderful way for us to all meet, share experiences, buy animals off each other and have an amazing time.
So when is this special show this year??
It will be on Sunday the 9th of September 2018. Don't worry that is the weekend AFTER Fathers Day. A show theme is yet to be decided but it is sure to be a good one.
Special Rosettes will be ordered for this show and members of both QRF and NSWFRS have jumped on board to sponsor the rosettes as a way to support the club and promote their businesses.
The committee members of QRF are super excited to be having this show and will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
In the mean time please feel free to get excited with us and we look forward to seeing you at our next show on the 29th of July.
Show Days 02 Written by Lincoln Pedersen
I have been going to the shows now for 6 years and enjoy every one. However, this show would have to take the cake. With a fantastic turn out - with plenty of squishy Rattos and gorgeous Meeces to share and cuddle. We’ve had an amazing level of participation in not only the exhibitors but also those learning new roles, such as; learning how to judge in all categories and learning how to Steward. The club looks as though its on an up and up with new faces coming in, even having a new person come in to learn how to judge.
Being the pet judge, I don’t get to see much, but despite my lack of visual attentiveness I can hear a lot of things around me, from laughter and chatter, to when my ears burn when I hear my name being said (all good things I hope). The atmosphere seems lighter and especially after I finish judging 77 pet rats and my job is done.
It’s half way though the show and lunch time is called. Having not quite judged to me desired half way mark, I start to go into panic mode and decide to take a quick break for lunch and continue judging in 15 minutes. However, that wasn’t the case. I got busy talking like usual and must be reminded that I’m still judging, oops. I take the journey back to my seat getting distracted a further 5 times before actually sitting down and starting again, socialising over until the end now.
With less than 3 hours on the clock I start to panic as I have about 55 pet rats to judge so I concentrate whilst being accurate with my decisions. Time goes by fast and before I know it I’m down to my last 12 pets now. Its all or nothing at this point. I start to get excited as the near draws closer. Then… I’M DONE!!! Pens down, answers in and Bobs your uncle I’m finished for the day.
Which brings me to my favourite event. The awards! What a grandiose display! A fantastic spread of rosettes, bedding, breeder’s rodent food, rodent pet food and rodent hammocks and shampoos and mystery prizes for Bests in show and reserves in show! Covering two tables and beautifully spread out with the club’s new banner to the side for the personally dreaded photo shoots.
Highlights of the day – Taking a big sigh of relief and being about to enjoy the rest of the day. Being able to present the awards to those I’ve judged and awarded. Seeing all different expressions when someone’s won an award for a class they thought they do terribly bad in – tots me lol. All these things almost make it worthwhile… almost… it’s the amazing company that makes it all worthwhile. The awesome conversations and the spontaneous laughter and making the occasional new friend along the way. These are the thing I love, and these are the moments I cherish. Well that’s all from me and I look forward to the next show.
My name is Amy and I have been a member of Queensland Rodent Fanciers (QRF) since April 2017. I am also the current Website Editor. A new idea has been put forward for the club to do updates after each show from the point of view of one of our lovely members.
Next show is approaching fast but since we are between shows I thought to kick things off I would start and give you a little backstory into my time as a member of QRF.
As I mentioned above I first started showing my boys in April 2017 after being encouraged by Tenille. She is currently the president of QRF and very passionate about the club and anything rat related (or any animal really). Tenille is always at shows and you'll meet her on the day but she is a close friend of mine and one of the reasons I went from zero rats to 10 plus rats in just over 12 months and started showing my rats.
A little bit about my rats. I currently have nine bucks (boys) and six does (girls). Of my boys I have entered most of them at some point over the last year of showing. A couple I now no longer show due to health issues or age. One of my other boys always has what the judges refer to as a “waffle” meaning his chest sounds a bit rattly. This can sometimes happen on show days as the rats can be a little nervous or stressed out on the day (especially for rats new to the showing world). The judges generally are good at knowing what noises are stresses of the day or if they are health related. Of my other boys who have been to shows they have all won a variety of places from 3rd place to best in their category and reserve rat in show. At the May show my younger boys will also be entered in their first show.
In terms of my girls I have only had them since October 2017 and the February show this year was their first, as before that they were too young and then Christmas happened. So I can only enter my younger girls in the May show and it will be there first show. Of my older girls two are about to have babies. Yes Tenille also got me into breeding my rats. No I am not a regsistered breeder so I CANNOT sell my rats. My other older girl Denali has a head tilt, which is considered a health issue even if it doesn't cause them issues during every day life.
Leading into the show…
Entries are open for a week before the show and usually close the Wednesday before the show to allow for paperwork to be done. All my rats get bathed, nail trims and mite treated before the show. Baths aren’t 100% needed but are encouraged as they get marked down if they are dirty.
Rats also get marked down for having long nails. The judges are handling heaps of animals on the day. It’s not any fun for them if they have to worry about being covered in scratches at the end of the day. Mite treatments are so no one takes home any unwanted “friends” on the day.
A mite check is carried out before the show and any rodents with mites means the whole cage they are in can’t be showed. Which isn’t much fun. Once my rats are entered and prepared it’s time for show day!! :D
Now.. What happens on show days??
Well First.. You show up.. The hall is empty so everyone gets together to help set up tables and chairs for everyone. If you are showing your rats it is best to be there by 9:00am. I usually try to get there around 8.30am to help out more.
Once all tables are set up and payments are made for entries or memberships then the Judges move into their places to start the day. There is generally three judges. One for Pet Rats and Mice, one for Variety Rats and one for Variety Mice. Judging usually takes most of the day. This was something I didn’t realise at first. I thought it was a half day thing so my first show I was a little shocked to be there all day. But, as long as the day is, there is still plenty of fun to be had while the judges are working hard.
We often have cage displays. A theme is chosen and everyone gets right into decorating their cage and table. During lunch break (so judges can eat as well) there’s often some rattie related games. Sometimes Tenille offers a little lesson (if she isn’t busy judging herself) on various things. My first show she showed us all a little bit on what gets looked at during the judging process. Another show she showed us how to clip our rats nails.
Throughout the afternoon there will be some announcements on winners. There is also a raffle that happens. Everyone donates an item for the raffle table, not usually anything expensive just something fun that either a rat/mouse parent or rat/mouse will enjoy. This raffle is a fun way to raise some money for the club.
All throughout the day everyone usually says hi to one another, welcomes in new comers or visitors. And then once the day is done and ratties have won their prices everyone gets in together to help clean up the hall and put tables away. And then we all part ways having had a fun rat filled day! :D
So your next question is probably going to be about what the rats are judged on (or mice if you have those but I dont so can’t tell you too much about the mice).
So there are two categories (or classes) you can enter you ratties in Pet and Varieties;
This class rats are judged on health, temperament and condition. Rats entered in this class must be at least 8 weeks old to be entered. The Pet class is broken up into age groups and then judged by gender as well. They are:
Young Category (2-6 months)
Young Adult Category(6-12 months)
Adult Category (12-18 months)
Senior Category (18+ months)
This class is a little detailed. I find a lot more breeders tend to enter rats in here as they tend to know more about rats “looks”. And in this class they are judged on looks as well as on health, temperament and condition. So the colours and markings of rats are looked at a lot closer in this class than they are in pet. They aren’t judged on age or gender. Rats must also be 12 weeks old to be entered in varieties.
Rats can win in either pet or Varieties and can win anything 1st, 2nd or 3rd places. There is also a “Best” for each category (my Koda won Best Adult Buck for pets in the last show) and a “Best Reserve Rat in show” and “Best Rat in Show”. Basically these are the two rats in the pet class that the judge thinks are the best two rats :D. There is one of these for Rat and Mouse Varieties.
It’s really exciting when your rat or mouse gets an award or ribbon on the day. My Little won Best Reserve Rat in the last two show. Both my boys were rewarded with many cheerios.
I think that’s pretty much it. This has turned into more of a novel than I intended but I really hope it encourages some to come along because it’s a fun day surrounded by people who love rats (and mice). And a day surrounded by RATS!!!!
There’s a lot of QRF Members who have been showing for a lot longer than I have so have different stories and perspectives on everything. I am hoping to convince some of them to share their experiences too. But really the best way to find out is to come along yourself.
I hope to see you there :D