Metallica Hamstery’s show career began in 2015 but the love for the Chinese Hamster began in January 2012. Originally setting out to buy a pair of Russian Hamsters, my eyes were caught by a mouselike hamster. I had never seen one before but I’d fallen in love with his charms so he and his brother came home with me. They were to be named Stitch and Lil’ Meat, The Founding Brothers of Metallica. Much of their life was spent learning a lot about how hamster care had changed and how I could enrich the lives of these tiny bundles of personality. It was during the latter part of the Founding Brothers lives that I discovered the existence of hamster showing and the National Hamster Council. Following the death of Lil’ Meat at the age of three years and seven months, I decided to seek a hamster from a breeder to begin Metallica Hamstery’s show career.
In November 2015, I entered my first show at Wootten Bassett with Lord James being entered into the main show and Lady May being entered into the pet class. Both placed last in their respective classes but it was a useful and informative experience and a thoroughly enjoyable day. Despite coming last in her class, Lady May was awarded a rosette for her ‘Highly Commended’ placing which was to be Metallica Hamstery’s first rosette and Lady May’s only rosette.
During 2016, Metallica Hamstery entered a number of shows developing our experience and knowledge of how showing works and at Dawlish in March 2016, Lord James placed top of his class in Intermediate and Small Hamstery and Metallica has come away with at least two first placings in classes at many subsequent Southern Hamster Club shows in 2016. In July 2016, Lord James won Metallica Hamstery’s first Best In Show at Cardiff.
Whilst at shows with the Show Team, I have been fortunate enough to work with several different judges as a Steward for the Dwarf Section. It was during this time that most of my knowledge about what the show standards actually looked like in real life occurred and still remains to be a valuable experience. In late 2016, I was elected as the new webmaster for the Southern Hamster Club and as a Committee Member of Midland Hamster Club. In 2017 I began the process to train as a Dwarf Hamster Judge and qualified in late 2018. I was also elected as the Public Relations Officer for the Midland Hamster Club. In 2018, I was elected as the PRO and Webmaster for the National Hamster Council.
Metallica Hamstery finally ventured into breeding hamsters in September 2016 after I spent time learning about show standards and speaking to experienced breeders about the risks and best practices involving the care of the mother and pups. Metallica Hamstery’s first litter ‘The Nobrias’ were born in October 2016.