Junior Showmanship: One Junior's Experience...


Published September 2001

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Bailey presents a patched tabby American
Wirehair kitten is from Brillocatz Cattery, one
of two Brillocatz "Wires" she judged that day

My name is Bailey Monroe and I have been a competitor in Junior Showmanship for a little over one year.

I am responsible for my family's addiction to cats. My first word was kitty and I wouldn’t shut up until we got our first cat, a calico named Peaches. Our love of cats grew from there.

Now our family rescues cats and we enjoy showing them in Household Pet classes at CFA shows while also exhibiting with our pedigreed Orientals, Abys, and Selkirk Rex in the regular classes.

But I want to tell you about a day over a year ago... Saturday, August 12th 2000. It probably was a normal day for everyone but me. This day was different. This day I had butterflies in my stomach. So why was I so nervous? Well, I was about to go into a ring. Not just any ring... it was my first Junior Showmanship (JS) Ring.

What is JS? JS is a new program for CFA. The idea for CFA to start JS came from AKC (American Kennel Club). It is an opportunity for young people like me to gain experience in the show ring and show off what we know about our own cat and cats in general.

JS is provided for anyone that is between 8 and 15 years of age. It helps develop confidence and sportsmanship in the next generation of breeders, judges, and cat enthusiasts.

The show season is September 1st through August 31st.

Are there Grand Champion, Champion, and Open classes? Yes and No. There are 4 classes: Novice, Open, Junior, and Senior. But the classes refer to the status of the human exhibitor, not the cat :-)

A novice can be thought of as equivalent to an Open Cat, but instead of getting 6 winners ribbons the Junior must participate in 3 rings.

The next level is a Open. Opens are like Champions. In order to become a Junior or Senior (Grand Champion) you must win 3 rings as a Open.

Competitors in the Junior class are 8-11 and Seniors are 12-15

Then you can get Regional wins or trips to the International Show that is held every November. If you are the top competitor in your region's class (Open, Junior, or Senior) Friskies will pay for airfare, 2 nights at the show hotel, and food stipend for the participant.

So how are the Juniors Judged?

The Juniors are judged solely on their skill and ability to present the cat in proper show manor and also on their knowledge.

The goal of JS is to get a new, young generation involved in the cat fancy and also to educate them on nutrition, vet care, general care, and each breed's standard.

The judge should be interested in the both the cat and its handler. The Juniors are judged on proper breed presentation, skill in presentation, knowledge and breed standards, knowledge of cat care and grooming, and appearance and conduct.


Bailey presents her Blue Aby kitten to the audience at the MoKan CC
show. She judged her Blue Aby against a Ruddy Aby kitten.
She was also required to judge
two cats of another breed
selected by the JS judge.
In this case it was Burmese.

Bailey Monroe, a Senior, presents her Blue Aby, Varajuan's Bakari, at the Midlands CC in Omaha NE.
Bailey Judged Bakari against his littermate, Varajuan's Mali.

What about the cat? The cat is not being judged but it must be registered with CFA. If the cat is registered in regular competition it may still compete in that ring, this is a change. The Junior should know about the cat and how it meets its standard. What is good about the cat? What faults does the cats have? Know what makes the breed stand out from others.

You must own the cat if you are a Novice or Open. If it is absolutely impossible for the Junior to own the cat the Junior should present a written document to the Junior Showmanship Committee for review. If you are a Junior or a Senior it is preferred you own the cat but not a must. However, the Junior should work with the breeder/owner of the cat. The junior should be responsible for some aspects of care.

How do I get involved? First of all, have your club sponsor a ring. The youth can’t join if there are no shows. Any club that is approved by CFA to hold a licensed AB show can hold a JS ring. Just contact CFA at cfa@cfainc.org . If you are 8-15 you can participate. Just email CFA at cfa@cfainc.org or contact a club that is sponsoring a ring. You can find more info at: http://www.cfainc.org/shows/jr-showmanship.html

What can I do once I am 16?Well, you can’t show in JS anymore but you don’t have to forget about it. You can be a CFA Judge. Not a LH, SH, or AB judge. You can be a JS judge! If you have successfully exhibited in JS and no longer qualify to participate as a competitor you can apply to CFA to become a JS judge.

So what happened to me? I was fine. I did great. Everyone else was just as, or maybe even more, nervous as me. I walked away from the ring very happy with a score of 98! If you have any questions you can email me at PiddypatsCats@aol.com or CFA at cfa@cfainc.org

And I have just recently joined the world of clerks!

At a recent show held by Creative Cats Club in Omaha, Nebraska I competed for the first time as a Senior. I was registered with my newest cat, CH Kat n’ Curls Ebony of Wozkatz, a Black Selkirk Rex LH. I would like to thank Roseann Davis for giving me this wonderful curly kitty. Also thanks to all the wonderful Selkirk Rex breeders and fanciers who helped me learn about this wonderful breed. In this Senior division I was told I was to judge my cat against another Selkirk Rex, Mr. Big Stuff, a straight hair also bred by Roseann. Then I was to judge two more cats of another shorthair breed. The judge chose Bombay’s. I would also like to recognize Donna Hetherington/M Bruesch for letting me handle their wonderful Bombay, CH Tamari’s Ravenstar of Blacpurl. I would especially like to thank Patti Dewitt for letting me handle her extraordinary Bombay CH Shadowland Goinwalkingaftermidnite. Ms. Dewitt also helped me learn about the Bombay in the short 5 minute time I had. Thanks to all these people who made it possible for me to get my score of 100! Thank you Judge Brian Pearson.

I'd like to thank Gordon Karre and Chuck Hoppe for letting me have one of their gorgeous Aby kittens. Oh yes, one more thank to all the people who judge, coordinate, and participate in JS.

As for the show itself, it was great. We showed 2 Household Pets and 2 Orientals. Bear one of our HHP’s finaled twice. Our other HHP, Slick, finaled in every ring including one Best in Paula Boroff’s ring. Our Ebony Oriental, GP Piddypat I’m A Workin’ Man, also finaled in every ring also receiving a Best Cat in Premiership in Paula Boroff’s shorthair specialty ring and ended up Third Best Cat in Premiership in Show. Piddypat Deelitefully Earresistable finaled twice also.


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