Cavy judge has ball of fun
BEING told you look like a guinea pig might be a little offensive for some people, but for Jaden Hampstead it was just the ticket.
The thirteen-year-old took out the best owner-cavy look-alike section at the inaugural Australian Cavy Association Cavy Extravaganza at the weekend with guinea pig Amber.
It was Jaden's second guinea pig show - which he went to with his nan, the mastermind behind the costume which involved a vintage aviator hat and goggles; one for Jaden and one for Amber.
"It's fast-paced but it's fun," Jaden said.
The cavy-owner look-a-like was one of the many quirky sections in the pet show which also included fluffiest, prettiest face and best butt.
The pet show was the second, less formal day of the extravaganza, with the first day all about pedigree.
Australia Cavy Association assistant secretary Glenys Forrester said the pedigree show attracted entrants from Queensland and across northern New South Wales.
"We have 71 entrants in the pedigree show," she said.
"We had the exhibitor who had taken out awards at the Queensland state titles.
"So the quality we had at the pedigree show was really good.
"They have said they are looking forward to coming back next year."
Mrs Forrester said after months of hard work and weeks of running around, she was "thrilled" with how the show turned out.
She said there were 47 entrants in the pet show which has less-formal sections and relied more on the judges' preference than a list of standards.
"We had mostly locals but there were some from Casino, Alstonville and Kyogle," she said.
"We had a lot of people coming through just to have a look."
Mrs Forrester said she had learnt a great deal from watching American judge Tracy Iverson, who visited Australia to judge the show.
Mr Iverson said he fell in love with the cute creatures as a child and had been judging shows for the past 15 years.
But his visit to the Grafton Community Centre, where the show was held, was definitely a career highlight.
"I am not sure I have ever had such fun at a show as I am at this pet show here today," he said.
"In America we don't have a lot of pet classes; most of ours are pedigree and we take them little more seriously.
"It's kind of fun to see the other side and see kids really enjoying them.
"It's all good fun."
Mr Iverson left behind 400-500 guinea pigs for his two-week trip to Australia.
Mr Iverson gives his guinea pigs water through an automated watering system. It takes him 20 minutes to feed them in the morning and then another 20 minutes to feed them in the evening and he pays someone to clean out their coups once a week.
"It's my hobby. I get a lot of serenity out of doing my chores and taking care of them," he said.