The American Gerbil Society Is a Thing, And They’re Hosting a Gerbil Pageant
Cats and dogs get all of the glory of participating in fancy pageants and winning prizes for their breed and looks. But now, rodents are getting a chance to strut their stuff during the annual American Gerbil Society show, from May 3-4, 2013, in Bedford, Mass.
All of which begs the question: What is a gerbil pageant like, exactly?
“American Gerbil Society-trained judges evaluate gerbils for conformation, body type, build, overall health, color, and temperament. Gerbils compete for ribbons, with Best In Show and Best Of Opposite Sex winners awarded at each show,” according to the American Gerbil Society. The pagent is “…similar to a dog or cat show, except that it is for gerbils.”
This year’s show features a banquet and competitive judging sessions, where the animals will be rated based on certain criteria. Each gerbil will first be subjected to an intense health inspection, where officials will look for “sign of mites, illness, injuries, runny noses, or other potential problems.” Once each gerbil is in the clear, the show will begin, and offer members of the American Gerbil Society a chance to mingle with each other while they wait their turn to have their pets put through the judging process.
For those who are looking to add to their gerbil count, professional breeders and sellers will be on hand at the annual New England event, and the animals can be purchased on scene.
This year’s event will also play host to a new trend in the gerbil community: “show jumping,” the “fast-growing new sport” within the gerbil showing world. The event features “highly entertaining live agility demonstrations,” according to the society.
For competitors, it’s important to try and squeak their way into the hall of champions, a coveted placed where the best gerbils get the honor of putting their pictures online, along with the title they hold. In order to make it into the hall of champions “… a gerbil must receive at least eight points total under at least two judges during his or her show career. Once eight show points are earned, a gerbil retires a Champion,” according to the AGS’ official rules.
Maybe Bedford will turn out a few champion gerbils in May.
Below is a video of what “show jumping” is at a gerbil convention: