What is a chinchilla show? For over fifty years all over the country there have been chinchilla shows. In the beginning chinchillas were not bred for the pet industry but for the fur trade. While this may offend the current pet owner in today's age, years ago it was a thriving business. Ranchers from all over would gather to show off the best of what they had bred. Live chinchillas and pelts were both shown in an effort to show how those ranchers were improving the breed. Without the pelt market of the past, there would be no pet chinchillas of today.
Today while the fur market isn't what it used to be and most breeders sell their animals to pet homes, there are still chinchilla shows. This is a gathering of people who are passionate about selecting, breeding, and showing the best of the best while simultaneously improving upon themselves. Most shows are held in the northern states during the fall/winter months, only a few are in the south as it can be far too hot. Those that live south usually have to make the long drive out of state to attend shows.
Showing requires hard work, dedication, and preparation from the moment you select two animals to put into breeding. Chinchillas are judged on the density of their fur, clarity of color, fur texture, body size, and conformation. Physical deformities are typically not an issue as long as they do not affect the coat quality or cause the animal to have poor size or conformation. Missing limbs or eyes, torn ears, scars, and behavior have no bearing on the show results for each animal shown. The qualities of a good pet chinchilla are not necessarily what a breeder showing a chinchilla is looking for; personality has no bearing on how well an animal does.
We here, at Sunshine Chinchillas, are always striving to produce the best show quality animals we can. We attend multiple shows each year learning and comparing our herd with what we see on the show table. A number of our kits we hold back each year to take to shows to ensure that we don't become complacent in our breeding program. We are a small hobby breeder and all kits or chinchillas that we feel are not the standards to which we are looking for are adopted out to loving pet homes to live their life
Pictured below are a few photos from the 2020 ECBC Southern Atlantic Branch show we attended.
Please Note: These chinchillas are in show cages. These are only temporary, chins are never housed in these cages.
How Do Show Placings Work?
At both Empress and MCBA chinchilla shows they use stickers to mark what place the animals are taking. The cage cards are placed on the show cages facing the audience with the chinchilla owners information folded over. After each chinchilla has been looked over and judged dots are placed on the cage cards in accordance to how well the chinchilla has shown that day.
Each show in both MCBA and Empress has sanctioned judges who look over various fur points on the chinchilla.
Atlantic MCBA Show May 3, 2014
MCBA Judge Ralph Shoots of Shoots Chinchilla Ranch in Ohio
1 blue dot = 1st place
2 blue dots = 1A
Blue & red = 1B
1 red = 2nd place
3 blue is phase champion
1 blue 2 red = reserve phase champion
4 blue = section champion
1 blue 3 red reserve section champion
5 blue is either male or female of show
6 blue dots Grand Show Champion
MCBA Awarding system guide photo courtesy of Tabitha at RDZC Ranch.
Empress / ECBC Shows:
2 blue = Class Champion
1 blue 1 red Reserve Champion
3 blue is Grand Show Champion
1 blue = 1st place
1 red = 2nd place
white = 3rd place
yellow = 4th place
green = 5th place
ECBC Awarding system guide photo courtesy of Tabitha at RDZC Ranch.