This weekend, we did really well at it! Two of Ruth's ferrets took first place in four of the specialty rings. Dementor took first place in Green Card (for ferrets with at least 25% foreign bloodlines) and in Black Sable (which Ruth has wanted to win for a long time now!). And her 6 month old little girl, Myfanwy, took first place in the Chocolate and Point rings! Considering that it's only Myfanwy's second show, and she can still be a holy terror, that's absolutely fantastic!
The crowning glory of the day came at the end, when they announced the winners in the Breeder championships. (Brief explanation -- in the championship rings, the ferrets are examined and scored by three separate judges. The ferret that scores the highest across all three rings is the Best In category winner. There are 4 championship categories -- Companion [for ferrets neutered before 12 weeks old], Alter [for ferrets neutered after 12 weeks old], Adolescent [for intact ferrets under a year old], and Breeder [for intact ferrets over a year old]). The championship rings can be split into male and female if there are enough entries. At this show, the championship rings were combined -- there were nearly 80 entries in the Breeder category.
We had 5 boys entered in the Breeder category. When we got their scores, we could tell from experience that only one of them was likely to place, my boy Taranis. He's placed before, but never in the top three, so I was just hoping for a top three placement in at least one ring, so that he could get his Gold championship once he has enough points. They called the list of numbers (each ferret gets a number, and that's how the judges know them so there's no bias in the judging), and sure enough, Taranis was called back.
The first judge started handing out her ribbons, and for 10th place, she called Taranis' number. I was thinking, well, they must have been scoring really high today. Then she took another look and said, "Oh, that should have been [another number]. Sorry!". No problem. She called everyone who won a ribbon up to third place, then called the second and first place ferrets up together, without saying which was which. And Taranis was one of them! So I'm thinking 'Cool! He's got his top three placement -- I'm good!'. And then she said he got first place! Well, I was in shock, but very happy.
Just a quick piece of info -- when they call the list of numbers for the winners, it's a combined list for all three rings. It doesn't matter if your ferret places in one ring or all three -- the number will only be called once, so you have no idea how many rings the ferret has been called for.
So the judge for the second ring started ribboning, and the same thing happened -- Taranis was called up for the first and second place ribboning. This ring, he got second, and I was floating!
Then came the third ring. I was not expecting anything -- I was perfectly happy with the placements I had. And once again, Taranis was called up for the first and second place ribboning. And he got first!
By this time, I was in complete shock. And I was thinking 'Okay, that's two firsts and a second. But that can't possibly mean what I think it means....'. And just about the time I finished that thought, the judge announced that my boy was Best In Show Breeder! She called him a 'joy to judge'!
This is my very first BIS Breeder. I've had a BIS Alter before, and Ruth has had BIS Breeder and BIS Adolescent, but this was my first! I knew Taranis was looking good this weekend, but I never expected anything like this. I'm still flying, and I'm so proud of my boy!
BIS TCF's Taranis Thunderer of RN, with his trophies and ribbons: