So, I know I promised a post about the show, and some people asked me where we stay and what goes on with all of that, so I wanted to finally get around to that.
We left Friday morning, and because of traffic, drive times, and whatnot, arrived in Jenera, Ohio around 6-7 pm. For some shows, we stay at a hotel. When that's the case, the first thing we do is go to the show hall, drop off the chins, and then go eat dinner and back to the hotel for the night.
This show and some of the Ohio shows are a bit different. We're one of the lucky ones (and I work for Jim, so I suppose I get this luxury all the time), where we're friends of other breeders, and are able to stay with Jim for the shows. He can put up about 14 or so people in his house for the local shows, and often the house is quite filled with breeders! So for this show, we went to the ranch, dropped off the chins in the barn. Hay'd and watered the chins and went up to the house. There was only one other breeder there at the time (people kept arriving until about 2 am), so right then, we all helped with various stuff that needed to be done around the house, in preparation of everyone else arriving.
Eventually, other people started arriving. We'd all go down to the barn to have them put their chins there, and then back to the house. They'd already ordered a pizza by the time I got there, so we had some pizza. Jim has a popcorn machine, so we went down to his Man Cave, had popcorn and played pool the rest of the night.
In the morning was the show. The show was at Ryersons, which is 72 miles from Jim's place. I only know that because he's mentioned it so many times. So, we all drive there. First thing is to go up to the show table and get numbers for the animals. All the animals have a numbered tag on their cages, which also has more info on it (some of which the judge can see, some they can't), about age, sex, birthdate, which animal it is, and so on.
So you get those cards, fill those out, put those on the cage, and grooming begins. For chinchilla grooming combs, apparently there's everything from a size 8 (large spaces between the tines) to a 00 (tiny spaces between the tines), but what I have is a 3, 2, and 1. So I start with the 3, then once that goes through the fur easily, move to a 2, and then a 1. Once those have all gone through the chin, you take the smallest comb (in my case, a 1) and press it against the fur, but just on the top, to remove the dead fur that's sitting there. Sort of how you'd brush a dog or cat. That helps remove more of the dead fur. Then, the tail gets trimmed. There's various ways people do it, but the main thing is that the fur sticking far off the tail is trimmed off (with scizzors, nothing fancy), so as to remove any discoloration on the chins from that tail fur touching the (dirty) shavings. Once that's trimmed off, out come the lint rollers. I used to use one, now I've come to use several, as it is mighty difficult to remove a sheet from a lint roller while also holding onto a squirming chin. The chins get a few rolls with each of the lint rollers, until they're coming off reasonably clean, Then, the chin needs to be fluffed back out, so you take one hand and hold the tail, the other hand holds the ear. You put the front feet of the chin on the ground and you wiggle. No joke. It almost looks like a wet dog shaking, and it helps fluff up the fur back on the chin, and then the chin goes in the show cage.
So, I groomed 9 of my 11, and then classification had already begun, so I figured I would just not groom the last two, so I just trimmed the tails, did the final touch with the 1 comb, lint-rolled the chins, and wiggled the chins, and in they went.
Show started, we took home a Phase Champion with one of our standards, a 1B with another standard, then a 1st with another standard, and then some 2nds and 3rds for some younger animals. Not too bad.
During the show, when a chin places a certain way, they get a colored sticker on their cage. Blue is first place, red is second, and so on. At the end of the show, the show table compiles whatever ribbons everyone has gotten, and that's when everyone picks them up.
We also hadn't yet paid for showing the chins and lunch, so we did that after the show as well. It's usually $4-5 per chin to show, and $5 for lunch at most of the smaller, non-catered shows.
So after the show, since we were at Ryersons, everyone wants to get supplies, myself included, so I picked up some water bottles (the infamous Ryerson water bottles that I sell), along with some extra water bottle parts, springs, rivets (for the collars) and whatnot. Everyone else picked up their supplies as well, and most people who'd been at Jim's the night before, came back, and again we repeat the pizza, playing pool. and generally having a good time... and then we all left in the morning.
More questions? Let me know, I'll write more about it.