NSW Fancy Rodent Society Inc. Showing Guide
Interested in coming to an NSW Fancy Rodent Society Show but don’t know where to start?
This guide will cover everything from identifying what class to enter your rodent in, to entering online and how the day will be structured.
Still have questions? Please join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nswfancyrodentsociety/ or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
At our shows we have categories for both Rats & Mice which are judged separately from each other. For Rats & Mice we offer many different classes.
Variety Show Class:
These are for rodents who fit the show standards for their respective coat, colour and conformation. Each rodent is assigned a score over ten categories (Head, Eyes, Ears, Tail, Conformation, Colour, Markings, Coat, Condition and Temperament) the total score is out 100.
Show classes are sorted into coat type and marking. Check out our Mouse Standards and Rat Standards for details. If you are unsure what category your animal needs to be under, please post on our Facebook Group or email us: email@example.com and we’d be happy to help.
When doing your entries remember Mice must be aged over 10 weeks and Rats 12 weeks.
Kitten class is available for Mice aged (6-10 weeks old) and Rats aged (6-12 weeks old) Kittens are not old enough to be eligible for variety class. This is a great class where we hope to see up and coming champions. Kittens are judged using the same scoring system as the variety class with the exclusion of Markings and Coat.
Limit 4 Kitten entries per person.
This class is designed for those animals that are well conformed, but are mismarked, going through a moult, have a poor coat or otherwise wouldn’t qualify for a variety type class. This class is judged the same as kitten class (all categories minus colours and coats).
Limit 4 Conformation entries per person. With no mixed coat varieties to be entered.
Other Important Information:
There is an entry limit of 20 entries for individual memberships in variety classes (including kitten and conformation), and 30 for family memberships.
There are strict guidelines for what is judged in variety class, please read the relevant show standards for your rodent and if you have any question as to what class you can enter your rodent in, please contact us.
These are for any Rat or Mouse, regardless of show quality. This class is judged on two criteria only, condition (how healthy your animal is) and temperament (how calm and friendly your Rat or Mouse is). This is a judge’s choice award.
Pet classes are divided up into ages.
Rat pet classes:
Young: 12 weeks – 9 months
Adult: 9 – 18 months
Senior: 18+ months.
Mouse pet classes:
Young: 10 weeks – 6 months
Adult: 6 – 18 months
Senior: 18+ months.
There is currently no limit on the number of Pets you can show, these don’t form part of the entry limit.
NOTE: You are not able to enter the same animal on show day in both pet class and variety class.
A class for those exhibiting who are under the age of 15. Judged only on Coat, Condition and Temperament criteria as well as cleanliness of your animal and show tank. Limit of 2 entries per person.
Breeder Group (Rat/Mouse):
This is where you can enter three animals you are exhibiting on the day, they MUST be bred by you, carry your breeder prefix and be directly related to each other. Their scores from their relevant classes will be added together and go against other breeder groups.
Note: This does not contribute towards the entry cap.
A non-awarding class that allows you to sit down with the judge at the end of the day and watch them judge your animal. This category is designed for those new to showing and is available for your first 2 shows. Limit 1 entry per person.
Each club show will have a variety of novelty events available. These are entered on the day, and run during the lunch break, cost is $2 per entry and are loads of fun. Some examples include: Funkiest markings, Longest Tail (Rat/Mouse) Fastest Tunnel Runner Rat and Fastest Tunnel Runner Mouse. The winner will receive a ribbon. These events are lots of fun and entertaining to either participate in or just watch. We announce the Novelty classes before each show so you have plenty of time to decide, practice, train or make relevant props for our costume classes.
After classes have been judged, minor placement awards will be awarded. These are a paper certificate showing how your rodent ranked in its class. Placement certificates are given depending on the entries in that particular category.
When judging is finalised major award winners will be announced. Major prizes are awarded to the highest scoring animal in each variety class as long as they meet the benchmark of 70, also awarded is Best Kitten (Rat/Mouse), Best Conformation (Rat/Mouse) and Best Breeder Group (Rat/Mouse). We also have Young, Adult and Senior Pet awards (Rat/Mouse). Each award winner will receive a prize.
We award Reserve Champion, Champion and Grand Champion Rat and Mouse along with Reserve Pet (Rat/Mouse) and Champion Pet (Rat/Mouse).
Rats and Mice entered into the variety class will earn points that can accumulate each show, these are collated over a 12 month period to find out who our Champion Rat & Mouse goes to. We also have annual breeder and exhibitor awards.
This Rat received both Grand Champion Rat and Best Standard Rat.
Once you have worked out which classes you want to exhibit in you are ready to come to a show, now it’s time to enter!
Step One: Registering
You will first need to register as an exhibitor if you haven’t already. You only need to register once, this will give you an exhibitor number that you will then use to enter your animals in for each show.
Fill in the table and hit “register”.
Step Two: Enter class categories.
Mouse Show Classes: https://nfrs.com.au/orsm/enter-mouse/
Rat Show Classes: https://nfrs.com.au/orsm/enter-rat/
Pet Classes: https://nfrs.com.au/orsm/enter-pet/
Fill in your exhibitor number and start entering each rat or mouse individually. Please ensure if your Mouse or Rat came from a Breeder that you enter the Breeders Prefix, it must be the full prefix i.e Mouseback and then the animal’s name rather than the shortening (not MOU). Click on the class box and scroll down till you find your class.
(Unsure what class your rodent belongs in? Read above or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click add to add additional lines. When you have finished adding your animals click “submit all entries”.
Step Three: Payment
When you’ve done all your entries, head to https://nfrs.com.au/orsm/payment/ to pay for your entries.
Select your membership type, enter the number of entries you have (number of lines of entries, not animals. Click calculate and once it has calculated you can click on the PayPal button that pops up and pay for your entries. Alternatively, you can pay by cash or card for your entries on the day.
Once you have entered your membership type and number of entries, the PayPal button appears.
Can’t remember how many you’ve entered? Head to https://nfrs.com.au/orsm/view-entries/ and enter your exhibitor number.
Made a mistake when entering? Contact us: email@example.com
How do you prepare and what do you need to bring?
Your Rats and Mice will need to be parasite treated one week before the show, as well as directly after. There are two products available that are safe for rodents.
Puppy/Kitten Revolution is the easiest safe product to source. It can be purchased online or at most pet shops. Squeeze out a small drop onto the end of a cable tie and apply between the shoulder blades of the rodent.
Ivermectin is available at Vets or select breeders that sell it at the show. It is applied using the same directions as the Revolution.
Rats will also need to be bathed, tails cleaned and their nails clipped. We have a step-by-step guide for bathing rats available here: https://nfrs.com.au/show-prep-tutorial/
What to bring on the day:
Your Rats & Mice of course! Make sure they are in a suitable cage size for the day and have sufficient food and water.
A show tank: When your animal is presented in front of the judge, they need to be in a suitable size show tank. The club does have some you can hire at shows for a cost of $2.
Some Mice in their show tanks ready to be judged.
A highlighter: On the day you will receive an entry list, this can be a bit overwhelming so we recommend highlighting all your entries to make finding them easy.
Bluetack: You will receive a small piece of paper with your Rat or Mouse entry number and class. This needs to be attached to the top of the show tank when the animal is benched, ready for judging.
Cash: Most members sell rodent items and Registered Breeders are able to sell Rats and Mice at shows. We also run novelty events on the day, as well as a canteen at some shows serving breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Display: Every show has a theme. It can be a lot of fun to decorate your table or Cage for the day. This is not compulsory but a lot of fun. The best display wins a prize!
An “Agriculture” themed cage
Getting to the Show:
All our regular club shows (minus Newcastle Show, Sydney Royal, and Hawkesbury Show) are currently held at Nelson Community Centre, Box Hill. All show locations can be found on the map below, click on the red markers.
For our Box Hill shows, parking is available onsite, if we have large numbers we will open the gate to the grassy area behind the hall where you are also welcome to park.
Show Day Structure:
For our regular club shows, the day is structured as follows:
The hall opens at 7.30am
All judging begins at 9:30am
All exhibitors generally help set up on the day, we allocate half a table to each exhibitor but a full table may be available upon request, you are also welcome to bring your own. Animals can be put behind you if against a wall and under the table if needed.
Generally we don’t have a seating plan unless it’s a full show and this would be released ahead of the show. We always have a designated area for Judging and Steward tables.
The hall is normally laid out as follows:
Once your area is set up you will need to grab the entry list and your benching slips, these will be on the judging or stewarding tables and will be available once paid, the Treasurer will be available from 8.30am to accept payments.
A member of the Club will bring around a small sample bag of Back2Nature Small Animal Bedding for each Exhibitor, please use this to cover the bottom of your show tanks.
Judging will commence at 9:30am. The Head Steward will announce which category classes will start first. Judging will follow the order of the Entry List during the day, make sure to keep an ear out to hear when your relevant categories are being called. Don’t worry, your friendly Stewards are here to help.
We ask that you please do not approach the judging bench or distract the judges while they are judging. If you have a question or concern, please speak to the Head Steward who can approach the judge on your behalf.
Lauren, one of our very friendly judges, is having a ball while judging rats!
When your class is called, check your entry list, place your rat/mouse in its show tank, blue tack the correct bench slip on the lid of the tank (making sure it’s not able to be grabbed or nibbled!) double-check your benching slip and entry list that you have the right Rat or Mouse in the right class, and head over to the benching table. Only 1 Rat and Mouse per show tank. Place your tank in the area marked for that category, there should be a sign, ask someone if you are not sure.
Some rats benched and ready for judging!
The steward will take all the Exhibits to the judging table when their class is ready. Keep an eye on the judging and when your Rat or Mouse has been returned to the stewarding area in the marked area “Returns” you can go and collect your animal, dispose of your benching slip for that exhibit and return them to their cage.
Oh no, I received a disqualification slip?
Sometimes your Exhibit will be returned with a large Disqualification Slip on top of their tank. This means for whatever reason your animal has been disqualified in their class. The slip will always have the reason written on it. Eg: entered in the wrong class, doesn’t meet the variety standard, your Rat or Mouse is showing signs of being unwell. The Judge’s decision is final.
I received a Feedback Non-Judged Slip
This means your Rodent is not up to benching standard. This doesn’t mean your Rat or Mouse is not good, just means there were better animals in that class on the day and the judge chose not to judge your rodent against them, dirty tail/sharp nails (rats only), dirty show tank, and poor condition can also warrant feedback non judged.
If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to the Head Steward on the day.
I received an honourable mention?
Occasionally a judge may award an honourable mention. This is an extra comment a Judge felt was worth mentioning. Some examples include: Great ears, won’t stop peeing on me, and I’m stealing this one.
The canteen runs at most club shows and will run throughout the day. Before Show day, on our Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nswfancyrodentsociety we will release the menu for the canteen for relevant shows. Please vote on the options you want and add any comments for changes or multiples if needed, this ensures that we have enough food for everyone, though there’s always a little bit extra made just in case. The Head Steward will announce when each meal is available to go and be collected. Please pay with cash at the canteen window, or card via the treasurer, correct change is always appreciated. The Canteen always sells bottles of water, canned drinks, tea and coffee and on occasion a variety of cakes. All proceeds go straight back into the club.
We break for lunch somewhere between 12pm and 1pm.
Our members sell a variety of items for your Pet, Registered Breeders are allowed to advertise their Mousery/Rattery/Rodentry as well as sell Rats & Mice at Shows. You are very welcome to walk the tables and browse what is on offer. Everyone is friendly and loves talking Rats and Mice.
You are welcome to sell new or secondhand items for Rats and Mice, but only registered breeders may advertise and sell their rodents.
Interested in becoming a registered breeder? Find out more here: https://nfrs.com.au/registered-rat-and-mouse-breeders/
End of the day Awards:
At the end of all judging (normally around 4pm) we have a small awards ceremony where all the minor and major awards, rosettes/ribbons and prizes are given out.
Club shows are a full, fun day. We are a not for profit Organisation so we rely solely on volunteers to make the day run smoothly. We run a jobs roster for any of our Club members and we appreciate any help with setting and packing up.
Our Annual Award Winners for Best Rat and Best Mouse of the year 2019.
Any more questions? Check out our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nswfancyrodentsociety/