First, check to see if the show has been sanctioned by NAQA. Participation in a sanctioned show ensures that the show will follow NAQA guidelines, with trained judges and according to the NAQA show standard and code of ethics. Only points that are earned at shows that are NAQA sanctioned will accrue toward championship titles.
Submit your entry form, which will be supplied by the show sponsor, and entry fees. If you plan to show in the pedigreed category, your entry must be received at least 30 days in advance in order to ensure that there is time to obtain verification from the registry. Any hedgehog with previous verification on file does not need to repeat this step. Pet entries and pedigreed animals with previous verification may register in advance or at the door.
Obtain an appropriate enclosure for your hedgehog to utilize during the judging, an XL Kritter Keeper is preferred. Absorbent bedding and small dishes of food and water should be provided for the duration of the show.
The night before or morning of the show, bathing your hedgehog, trimming its nails, and utilizing an old toothbrush to remove debris from feet or quills will help to present your hedgehog in its best light. In order to keep judges blind to the identity/ownership of animals in the show, do not put your or your hedgehog's name on their Kritter Keeper where it can be seen. It is acceptable to tape a folded piece of paper with your name and contact information on it to the Kritter Keeper, but no personally identifying information may be visible.
When you arrive at the show, you will check in at the Show Steward's table. Your and your hedgehog's information will be entered in the show registration book and assigned a code that will be attached to the Kritter Keeper. You will be given a claim ticket with that code, so that you can pick up your hedgehog at the end of the show.
Once your hedgehog is checked in, it will be placed in the show area, where only show staff are allowed, to await judging. The judges will observe your hedgehog in the Kritter Keeper and will also take the hedgehog out of the Kritter Keeper and place it on a table if closer observation is needed. Hands and table will be sanitized between each animal. Judges will rate each hedgehog according to a point sheet and awards will be based on the total number of points for each hedgehog.
While you are waiting on the judging, enjoy the show! Shop the vendors, meet other enthusiasts, and take in the educational programming.
Once the judges have completed their ratings and scores have been tallied, the judges will present the awards and explain about the show system. Awards will be presented in the order of honorable mention, 3rd, 2nd, then 1st. When your hedgehog's code is called, you will show the assistant your claim ticket to claim your hedgehog and its award, then return to your seat to await the Best Of awards. Remember to be quiet and keep cross talk to a minimum so as not to distract others. Please do not leave early as the show promoter would like to get a picture of all participants with their humans, once the award ceremony is done.
Next, the judges will present the age/gender/pattern awards. If your hedgehog is a recipient of one of these awards, claim your hedgehog, then stand by in case your hedgehog is the recipient of additional awards.
Judges will introduce best male/female in each of the age categories. If your hedgehog receives one of these awards, please step forward with your hedgehog to receive this award, then return to the audience and continue to stand by.
Finally, best of show and best of opposite sex will be presented. If your hedgehog receives one of these awards, please come forward with your hedgehog to receive your award.
Following the awards ceremony, the promoter will ask all participants to be in a group photo. Then, photos will be taken of the age/gender/pattern winners as a group, of the best male/female group, and both individual and group photos of the best in show.
After judging, take some time to visit with fellow hedgie enthusiasts, go get that thing you wanted from the vendor, and have a great time!
Within a week, show results will be posted on the NAQA website and Facebook, and photos will be posted on the NAQA Facebook page.