Schedules for every NMC show are published in advance in the NMC News, the NMC's official monthly magazine. These show the classes that will be judged at the show and tell the exhibitor which class to enter their mice into and who to contact to make their entries.
General Information and Prize Money
The top box on the schedule gives a variety of information.
First of all, this schedule tells us that this show is held in cooperation with the Bradford Small Livestock Society. The big bold title is of course the name of the show, and the lines underneath this tell us where and when the show is to be held.
The names by the various five sections are the judges who will be responsible for judging those sections. BIS means Best In Show and it is normal to appoint a separate judge for this at larger shows, as well as a reserve ('res.'). As you can see above, there is always a specified time by which judging should begin. This means that by this time all mice should be present on the tables, correctly labelled and ready.
'Block entry' just means that the entry fee for each mouse is whatever is specified here, usually 60p. The next two statements are self explanatory. As you can see, prize money for mouse classes is not a lot and often does not cover entry fees. The object is not to win money - only the more important shows have extra prize money available as you can see from the schedule extract below.
'Marked Section guaranteed' means that the person guaranteeing the section puts up the prize money. Individual classes can also be guaranteed.
Below is the schedule for the Satin Section. The two columns of numbers are the class numbers. The left hand column is for the Adult classes and the right hand column for the u/8 classes (under 8 weeks). This enables an exhibitor to enter their mouse in the right class for its age.
Some classes contain two colours, for example, the first class is for both champagne and silver satins. It is up to the show organisers whether or not to group two colours together. If two colours are put in the same class like this then they should be comparable. For example, there would not be a class for champagne and agouti satins.
'AOC' means Any Other Colour. In the schedule below, any colour of pink eyed self mouse not already mentioned above would go in the AOC PE Self Satin class.
'AOV' means Any Other Variety. As with AOC, any variety not specifically mentioned in the schedule will go in this class. It is usually the rarer colours and varieties that end up in the AOC and AOV classes.
The 'Satin Challenge' is judged last. All the class winners are brought back to the judging table and considered against each other. The best mouse wins Best In Section. Depending on the age of this mouse (under 8 weeks or adult), the best mouse in the section of the opposite age is chosen as Best Opposite Age (BOA) in Section.
These extra classes are not eligible to win BIS, with the exception of the Grand Challenge, which is where the Section winners are judged against each other.
Unstandardised classes allow exhibitors to show mice which have not earned an official standard. This might be a colour, a coat type, marking or any other feature that makes them unique. Mice with provisional standards (for example, currently the Hereford) are shown in the appropriate section rather than unstandardised (in this case the Marked Section).
The Rare Variety class is there to give special recognition to the breeders of rare variety mice. It also helps makes them more popular and allows other exhibitors to see mice that they wouldn't usually see.
The Juvenile class judges the best mouse exhibited by a juvenile member. 'Stud Buck' is a class for the mice which will produce the best progeny, not necessarily the mouse that conforms most closely to the standard. A stud mouse should be a big buck with a wide skull and good bone structure. It has often been said that a good stud buck will be 'a macho mouse, a real brute'!
The auction class is for trios of mice that can be purchased at the show. They can be of any variety but should be a matched trio (2 does and a buck, preferably the same age - either adult or u/8).
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