Guinea pig show a first for Ipswich
THE proud owners of Ipswich's cute and cuddly guinea pigs can show off their pets in the first competition show in Ipswich on Sunday.
The inaugural show is being run by the Ipswich Cavy Club, with organiser Veronica Micallef hoping the show will give some of the younger guinea pig owners a chance to see what "showing" your pet is all about.
The Ken Roberts Pavilion at the Ipswich Showgrounds will host the event, which will include a demonstration on the importance of grooming your guinea pigs.
Ms Micallef cares for about 120 of the animals, which live under her Eastern Heights home.
The furry creatures form a big part of her life, spending up to an hour feeding and cleaning the animals each day.
She cares for many different breeds from the long-haired Shelties and curly-haired Texels, to the Dutch and Roan breeds with red, cinnamon, chocolate and black coats in both kinds.
Ms Micallef first owned a guinea pig as a 10-year-old and began pedigree breeding in 2007.
She has shown her own guinea pigs throughout south-east Queensland and felt Ipswich was missing out not having a show of its own.
"There are breeders in Toowoomba and there is a lot of travelling for people who want to go to a show," she said.
During the show, the guinea pigs sit quietly on a table, with the judges assessing how well-muscled and groomed each guinea pig is.
The categories include the best plain Jane, for a single-coloured guinea pig, the most colourful, the best boar and sow and fancy dress to the theme of autumn.
"They sit on a table and the judge will come out and see if they are well muscled," Ms Micallef said.
"We'll call out who is in that heat and they will have to bring it up to the judge's table. They will be judged on what fits the category the best."
Taking a guinea pig to show can be a special moment for a child with their pet.
"It is the enjoyment of being able to spend some time outside of their home with their guinea pig and the thrill of putting them on the table knowing they have done that," she said.
Organising the show from scratch has been a challenge for Ms Micallef, but it is an experience she has relished.
If anyone is interested in entering their guinea pigs email Ms Micallef at firstname.lastname@example.org before Sunday morning.