Each North American Quills Association show will be required to divide entries into two primary divisions: Pedigreed and Pet. These divisions are defined as follows:
Pedigreed: Must be registered with a NAQA recognized North American pedigree registry for the species with a complete record of at least four generations of ancestry (parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and great great grandparents), which is then submitted to the NAQA for validation and assignment of a pedigree registration number. Only animals with a valid NAQA pedigree registration number are qualified to compete in the Pedigreed Division and the NAQA pedigree registration number must be provided at show registration.
Pet: No pedigree or pedigree registration number required; this is the category for any animal that has fewer than 4 full generations of verified pedigree from a NAQA recognized pedigree registry.
The reason for these two divisions is that promotion of pedigreed animals and participation in registering animals assists in the betterment of the species by encouraging consistent record keeping and also in recognition of lines that are being built to produce beautiful, friendly, healthy animals. Inclusion of the pet category allows participation and enjoyment of the show process by all enthusiasts. The pet category allows breeders to have external assessment of lines that they are working on, but may not have yet established full pedigrees for, or for breeders who do not choose to register their animals.
Pedigree documents that are submitted for the Pedigreed category will be maintained in a file at NAQA. Participants submit an electronic or paper copy of their animal’s pedigree, as issued by the national or internationally recognized registry with whom the animal is registered, directly to NAQA. Pedigrees may be verified with the registry that issued them, a cross referencing registry, the breeders listed on the pedigree, and the owner. Pedigrees will not be shared with anyone but the NAQA officials, the issuing registry and/or a cross referencing registry, and the owner, unless the owner consents. If unintentional errors in a pedigree are noted (such as typographical error, incorrect information was provided to the breeder), NAQA will assist in facilitating the breeder and registry for those corrections to be made. If it is found that a pedigree appears to have been clearly falsified, any points won by that animal at NAQA shows are forfeited and that animal is disqualified from further NAQA shows.
All NAQA shows will feature a gender division, with males and females being judged and awarded separately. Top animals will be awarded as Best of Show/Best of Opposite Sex in the Pedigreed division, and Outstanding Pet/Outstanding Pet Opposite Sex in the Pet division.
The next category of division is age. Shows must include juvenile and adult categories. Show promoters may also choose to further divide into adult/senior category but this is not mandatory. These age divisions are defined as follows:
Juvenile: A juvenile must be a minimum of 3 months old by the date of the event in order to show. Exceptions for even one day earlier will not be made. A hedgehog will no longer be considered a juvenile on the date that it turns 6 months old.
Adult: Hedgehogs that have reached their 6 month birthday and above are considered to be adult.
Senior: Hedgehogs that have reached their 4th birthday and above qualify as seniors.
There are seven NAQA recognized color classes, as follows:
- Dark Eyed Solid: This includes any hedgehog that has a coat of solid banded quills and exhibits dark eyes. There is no specific expectation for presence or absence of a mask, though uniformity is preferred.
- Red Eyed Solid: This includes any hedgehog that has a coat of solid banded quills and exhibits red (includes pink, ruby, garnet) eyes. There is no specific expectation for presence or absence of a mask, though uniformity is preferred.
- Pinto/Reverse Pinto: Hedgehogs in this category have a pattern of unbanded vs. banded quills that give the appearance of spots. This is the one pattern category where the judge may apply their discretion in assigning points according to what they find aesthetically pleasing. The judge may prefer animals whose markings give a unique and special appearance, that are particularly symmetrical, and preferring markings that are clear and distinct over those that are not.
- Albino: This includes a pattern with all white and zero banded quills, and eyes that are pink to ruby. Bright white quills are preferred.
- Snowflake/White: This includes hedgehogs who exhibit a pattern of quills that are banded, with unbanded quills mixed in. Even distribution is preferred. For snowflake, a ratio of approximately 50% banded vs. unbanded is preferred. For white, there must be fewer than 10% banded quills.
- Odd Eyes: This category includes hedgehogs of any color who exhibit odd eyes, with one dark and one red eye.
- Any Other Color: This includes any hedgehog that does not fit in the other six categories, to include reverse pinto with fewer than 5% banded quills or hedgehogs that appear otherwise albino but have a small amount of skin mottling.
Each hedgehog will be rated by each judge, with two or three judges at each show and the points being averaged across the number of judges. Score cards will kept by each judge and points will be scored accordingly:
Temperament: 35 points total
- Unrolled: 10 points for remaining unrolled, 5 if rolls but comes out within a count of 5 placed on the table, 0 if takes more than a count of 5 to unroll.
- Low startle response: 5 points for zero startle response to sounds in the vicinity and object dropped on the table, 4 points if minimal startle response (lowers forequills or “winces”) but makes no noises, 2 points if ducks briefly and makes some noises, 0 points if rolls into a ball or ducks and makes noises for longer than a count of 10.
- Quills flat: 10 points if quills remain flat during entire time of judging, 8 points if only very minimal, or very brief raising of quills, 5 if quills remain alert but not fully raised for more than half of the time, 0 if quills on constant alert.
- Personality: 10 points if appears friendly and generally agreeable to handling, 8 points if generally friendly but hard to keep a hold of due to attempts to escape handling, 5 if demonstrates disagreement with handling (huffing, partial quill raising) but calms and is able to be handled readily once picked up, 2 if difficult to handle but not aggressive, 0 if will not come out of a ball and huffs/pops/clicks, -10 if bites. If hedgehog will not come out of a ball at all, it is disqualified as it cannot be assessed.
Face: 9 points total
- The face should be short and wide, without being excessively snubbed. The profile should be smooth without unusual dips or bumps. Points should be scored as 9 if appears short, wide, and smooth lines; 5 if short and wide, but lines with obvious lack of smoothness; 2 if excessively long; 0 if nose has snub trait or appears potentially brachycephalic.
Eyes: 5 points total
- Eyes should appear clear and bright, and be positioned so as to not be excessively close or on the side of the head. 5 points for eyes that meet this standard, 3 points if eyes are excessively close or far, 2 points if eyes appear cloudy or asymmetrical, 0 points if missing one or both eyes, or if eyes demonstrate fatty deposits.
Ears: 5 points total
- 5 points if ears are both present, proportionate, symmetrical, and free from blemish, 3 points if ears are both present but appear disproportionately small or large, 0 points if ears fully or partially missing or blemished.
Legs and feet: 5 points total
- 5 points if feet and legs present, groomed, and correctly formed, 4 points if present, correctly formed, but lacking in grooming, 0 to 4 points if any part of legs/feet are missing or malformed.
Quills: 10 points total
- 10 points if quill coat is full and dense, not to be faulted if marked with paint for identification. 0 points if missing quills, quills are broken/damaged, or quill coat appears unusually sparse. Rating from 0 to 10 will be made by the judge based on evaluation of the degree of deviation from the standard.
Color: 10 points total
- 10 points if color is consistent with expectation for its color class (mask variations not faulted), with match between nose, eye, quill, and mottling colors. 5 points if moderately consistent, 0 points if entered in wrong category. Judge can assign points from 1 to 9 depending on level of consistency/inconsistency.
Pattern: 5 points total
- 5 points if pattern is consistent with standard for category of entry, 2 points if low consistency, and 0 points if entered in wrong category.
Skin: 3 points total
- 3 points if skin is smooth, clear, free of any blemishes or scars, and clean. 1 to 2 points can be deducted for minor blemishes or skin issues. 0 points if skin is excessively dry or in otherwise very poor condition.
Form: 33 points total
- Profile: 10 points for smooth flow, 7 points for minor variation, 3 points for major variation.
- Flow, as viewed from above: 10 points for smooth flow and tear drop shape, 6 points if poor flow/lumpy shape, 3 points if tube/cigar shape.
- Skirt line: 3 points if smooth and flowing, 0 points if not.
- Weight: 10 points if hedgehog appears to be in a healthy weight range and can (could) easily roll into a ball, 5 points if mildly underweight or overweight, 0 points if hedgehog is overweight to the point that there is 1” or more gap for rolling into a ball or underweight to the points that bones are protruding.