Walcha has had its fair share of Sydney Royal Easter Show champions in the past – and this year is no exception. However, this time our returning local hero will be found in his owner's lap, not the paddock.
Local cat fancier Trish Scrivener took her American Shorthair cats to Sydney a fortnight ago and came back with a bag of bling.
“We took our stunning boy Ozki Rocky Road ‘Rocky’, my home bred girl Bonnybrooke Florida Keys ‘Floki’ and our spoilt desexed pet Bonnybrooke Denny Denver ‘Denny’ to the open championship cat show at this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show, ” said Ms Scrivener.
“Rocky was awarded ‘Best In Breed’ in rings 1,2 and 3, then ‘Best Entire Cat’ in rings 2 and 3 and ‘Best Group 3 Cat’ in ring 3. Finally, he was awarded ‘Supreme Exhibit of the Show’ in ring 3, which is the most prestigious award of the show.”
Ms Scrivener says this is only the fifth time she has shown Rocky and already he has won at the 2017 Australian Cat Federation National Cat Show in Melbourne and locally in Armidale in the same year.
“But Sydney is his best effort so far,” she said.
Ms Scrivener’s obsession with American Shorthair cats began in 2016 when she purchased her first two females.
“I started breeding cats after a promise I made to my sister when I was nursing her in her end stage of metastatic breast cancer,” she said.
“The breed was introduced into Australia in 2012 and it is an extremely healthy breed of cat that comes in 84 different colours and patterns. We specialise in the black/silver classic tabby, and our lines are tested free genetically by DNA.”
Preparation is key according to Ms Scrivener and the grooming routine includes brushing and a shampoo.
“I wash them a week out from a show. At the show they are placed in their show cage and the judges ‘bench them’ and offer their critique,” she said.
“You just have to be passionate about cats. My two sons show with me. The show side really is our hobby. We meet up with friends and we have a wonderful, fun time.”
There can be challenging times though she says – like when show spectators make sudden loud noises that upset the cats – but on the whole Ms Scrivener finds it a rewarding experience.
“Getting the judges critique is one of the highlights of showing so you know where you're headed in your breeding program. But the best thing about showing is getting a supreme rosette.”