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Dear Member,

Welcome to the Spring Newsletter. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to do a Winter Letter hence I’ve much to report as a number of events have occurred since the Autumn Letter!

  I must start by saying a belated Many Congratulations to our Club President Mr. Brian Emmett who celebrated his 80th Birthday on the 27 April, hope you had a fantastic day?

The Welsh Area Stock Show on 20 November was our finally event of 2010.  This was a big day for Pete Holdaway who was judging his first NACC Stock Show just a mere 42 years after obtaining his first Agouti! Pete found a respectable entry but perhaps not as high as hoped, as a few regular Stock Show supporters had other pre-arranged commitments.   B.I.S. went to Steve Davies’ lovely Lemon adult sow ‘Pandora’ (now very sadly deceased); and on her last show outing Pandora went on to get her second Double B.I.S. by also taking top honours on the Welsh National side.   Best Silver & runner-up B.I.S. went to a fine adult boar from Mary Jaffa who’s good and quickly improving Silver Stud also got Best U/5 with another Silver boar.   It was great to see some Goldens on show from John Archer and Melanie Arnold; with young Melanie’s adult boar being the best and going Third B.I.S.; she also got Best 5-8 with a promising sow. Yet again Penny Bell’s Optimist Stud was the sole supporter of the Solids, with her young adult sow being the best.

Points Competition 2010 came to a conclusion after the Welsh:   GOLDEN: Winner: Steve Davies 89. R/Up: Melanie Arnold 56. SILVER: Winner: Pete Holdaway 207. R/Up: Jane Phillipson 46. CINNAMON: Winner: Dilemma Stud 78. R/Up: Madelaine Coomber 9. LEMON: Winner: Stuart Inch 86. R/Up: Simon Neesam 70.  CREAM: Winner: Madelaine Coomber 46. R/Up: Dilemma Stud 21. CHOCOLATE: Winner: Dilemma Stud 16. SOLID: Winner: Optimist Stud 275, R/Up: Hero Cavies 61. JUVENILE: Winner: Melanie Arnold 40.  R/Up: Bethany Richardson 23.

The Clubs Bi-Annual Ballot result for 2011/12 was the conclusion of 2010 matters.

LIFE JUDGES   Brian Emmett & Peter Gammie      JUDGING PANEL    Malcolm Atkinson & Steve Davies 37; Simon Neesam 33; Tony O’Neill & Pete Holdaway 31; Jane Phillipson 29; Ros Lockwood 23; Diane Nunn 21; Emma Whitcombe & Doug Rennie 20; Katrina Goodship 18; Penny Bell, Stuart Inch & Andrew Pearson 17. NOT ELECTED: Brian Cutting & Eileen Emmett 16; Les Petherick 13; Madelaine Coomber & Peter Wood 12; Ted Williamson 8; Graham Thorpe 4.   COMMITTEE    Simon Neesam 36; Pete Holdaway 33 (Vice Presidents); Malcolm Atkinson 32; Jane Phillipson 22; Ros Lockwood 17; Les Petherick, Mary Jaffa & Emma Whitcombe 16. NOT ELECTED: Katrina Goodship 11; Neill Adams 7.   Ballot papers sent out: 60; Returned: 40.

  It’s been a busy start to 2011 with two Club Stock Shows.

The Adult Stock Show our primary event of the year at the prestigious Bradford Championship Show, Harrogate on 29/30 January opened proceedings with Miss Emma Whitcombe delighted to judge this event for the first time.  The entry was a respectable 44 made up very largely of Silvers & Lemons, with disappointingly no Goldens, Cinnamons, Creams or Chocolates entered of any age!   This event saw a first with an Overseas B.I.S. winner, this being Lena & Cornelia Wilhmensson’s (Happy Days Stud - Sweden) superb Lemon adult boar; they made it a double when their gorgeous Lemon sow took Best Sow award.  Their super boar also saw great success when going Third B.I.S. in the Bradford Champ Show, many congratulations hope you’ll come again?   Best Silver & Runner-up B.I.S. went to Pete Holdaway’s excellent boar ‘Ratzinger’ who wasn’t quite at his best on the day and so just missed out on adding the Adult B.I.S. award to the Y.S.S. he got in 2009. The Solids saw just Penny’s team on show with her Silver sow again successful.   The Supporting Classes saw another Lemon boar triumphant, this being Steve Davies’ awesome (Judges Description!) U/5 ‘Pimpernel’. The quality Silver U/5 class of ten saw Val Pearse’s lovely and very promising sow leading the way ahead of ‘Pimpernel’s’ litter brother.   It was to be a clean sweep for the Lemon and further success for ‘Happy Days’ when their boar ‘Faugrim’ was Best 5-8. Leading Silver 5-8 was Malcolm Atkinson’s boar.

The Club Stand was on display again at Bradford Championship Show and attracted many members and general public which was good. Despite the stand being much admired (including the Club Stand Judges) there was strong competition and it went un-awarded, which was disappointing! 

  The Northern Area Stock Show on 9 April at Yorkshire Champ, Keighley was our latest event. Newly elected panel judge Stuart Inch was pleased to make his judging debut and was given a tough test and made to sweat with an excellent entry of 32 quality Silvers (with strong teams from Pete Holdaway, Mary Jaffa, Val Pearse, Malcolm Atkinson and Jane Phillipson); with a total entry of 42.   Despite the numerous quality Silvers it proved to be another triumphant day for the Lemon with B.I.S. going to Steve Davies’ lovely 5-8 sow ‘Pasanda’. Runner-up B.I.S. went to Pete Holdaway’s splendid Silver adult boar ‘Rivington’. The Silver 5-8 class saw a fantastic and quality entry of 14 with Mary Jaffa’s lovely sow ‘Layla’ coming out on top and going third B.I.S. Another Lemon boar ‘Poacher’ from Steve went Best U/5 which was followed by Steve’s young Silver boar. There was just Penny’s Solid team on show again; whilst Best Juvenile went to Bethany Richardson’s super Silver adult boar.

The Yorkshire Champ Show saw a great result for Simon Neesam with his impressive Silver adult boar ‘Workforce’ who won Best in Section under judge Steve Davies then went on to Runner-up B.I.S.

The 2011 Points Competition is now well under way. The latest positions after Bradford & Yorkshire Championships are:

GOLDEN: Steve Davies 5. SILVER: Pete Holdaway 32; Malcolm Atkinson 14; Jane Phillipson 13; Steve Davies 11; Val Pearse 10; Mary Jaffa 9; Simon Neesam 6. CINNAMON: No entries LEMON: Steve Davies 30; Happy Days Stud 16; Simon Neesam 8; Stuart Inch 5; Rebble Cavies 3. CREAM: No entries CHOCOLATE: No entries SOLID: Optimist Stud 46. JUVENILE: Bethany Richardson 13.

Our Midland Area Stock Show & A.G.M. is our next event and takes place at WyeVern - Cheltenham on 25 June. Mrs. Diane Nunn is kindly judging this show for us and I hope to see a good turnout for her

A.G.M. – can I please have any items for the Agenda by the 11 June, thank you.

The Southern Area S.S. soon follows the above event and is at a new venue for us, Mid Devon on 23 July and it’s great that long Agouti supporter Mrs. Ros Lockwood will be judging. I’m told this is a lovely venue, being a small Agricultural type Show and hope to see a great entry.

Club Handbook – I’m sorry but due to lack of time, many 100 hours spent looking into Club History (successfully) and illness I’ve still not managed to complete the very long overdue Club Handbook. This has not been forgotten and is in progress and will be completed when possible.

Our Club Website is still proving a big success and has recorded an excellent near 2000 more hits since my Autumn Newsletter; current recorded total is 4193 hits. This has helped put the Agouti on the World Wide map and attracted International interest and new members which can be seen by the Wilhmensson’s success at our Adult S.S.  The Site is updated regularly by Pete and me with many photos from Harrogate & Keighley amongst other items to be found. The site also contains useful information on the Club & Breed including events from the Club’s history throughout the 20th Century.  If you haven’t visited the site please do so www.nationalagouticavyclub.com and if you have but not recently, it’s well worth paying it another visit and to do so regularly. Both Pete and I would appreciate any feedback regarding the site and its content and if anyone has any good quality photos past or present or any old Agouti material I would be grateful if you could please forward it.

Club Championships: Pete Holdaway has claimed a magnificent Triple Championship for his outstanding Silver boar ‘Ratzinger’; a Single has been awarded to Steve Davies’ Lemon sow ‘Pandora’.

Golden Agouti: The current situation on this one of the oldest known breeds of cavy is worrying! For many decades this breed was the most numerous and successful colour of Agouti but sadly for a few years now their numbers shown has been very low but they’ve really plummeted in the last couple of years! 2009 saw just one entered in our Y.S.S. (which was absent); 2010 saw just one entered in our A.S.S. whilst there were three (all from one exhibitor) in the Y.S.S.; 2011 has seen this awful trend continue with no entries in our A.S.S. and just one at Keighley! Please try and support this breed if at all possible, it has often seen great show success and this has been seen at the highest of levels including recent Bradford Championship Show B.I.S. line-up places for Katrina Goodship & Kate Duncan; also a magnificent B.I.S. for Steve Davies’ stunning U/5 boar at London Champ Show 2006.

A.O.C.’s: Despite the recent vast improvement and resulting B.I.S. successes for the Lemon (though still in few hands!) the plight of the Cinnamon, Cream & Chocolate remains critical! There wasn’t a single one on show at our opening two Stock Shows of the year and they’ve been a major cause of concern now for near 20 years and are surely still only in existence thanks to the support of Emma & Diane Whitcombe; and more recently Madelaine Coomber. The Cream & Chocolate are relatively new colours standardized in the 1980’s but the Cinnamon has been existent for nearly 90 years, first seen in the 1920’s and developed to standard in the 1930’s; it was shown in great numbers throughout the 1950’s – 80’s often with great success; Di-L-Emma Stud’s hard work with the breed was rewarded when they recorded Best Overall Agouti with their Cinnamon adult boar at the ‘one-off’ Intermediate Stock Show at Fareham in 2009; the previous last top result being Peter Gammie’s N.A.C.C. Southern Area Show (Wessex) B.I.S. in 1990.

The Solid: This Breed is a very recent introduction to our Club but is also seeing very little support! Without the ever supportive Optimist Stud team none would’ve been seen at atleast the last three Club Stock Shows…it would be great to see and Penny would love some competition!

Congratulations to Jane Phillipson & Nick Betts on their Wedding Engagement which they announced at Bradford Championship; we wish you the very best for the future.

Show Dates 2011 for you diary are: Midland Area SS & AGM - Wyevern 25 June (Judge: D. Nunn); Southern Area SS - Mid Devon 23 July (Judge: R. Lockwood); Young SS - Real London 11 September (Judge: K. Goodship); Points Show - Peterborough 8 October (J. Phillipson); Points Show - Scottish Champ 15 October (Judge: P. Holdaway); Welsh Area SS - Newport, S.Wales 19 November (Judge: tba); Points Show - Loughborough 4 December (Judges: M. Atkinson; S. Neesam; J. Phillipson).

I would like to welcome New Club Members: Mrs. Esther & Master Ryan Arnold (Yelverton, Devon); Ian Corri (Penrith, Cumbria); Rex Matthews (Swindon, Wiltshire); Paul Conway & Anthony Oakden (Coalville, Leics); Mrs. Sue Cook (Eastleigh, Hampshire) and Master James Cross (Colyton, Devon)

I will finish by saying I hope you’ve found this letter useful & interesting; good luck with your Agouti’s and hope to see you at shows especially our Club Stock Shows.

Steve Davies (Secretary)