Nebraska 4-H

Video Companion Animal Showmanship Contest

mice peeking out of toy house

The Nebraska 4-H Video Companion Animal Showmanship Contest provides youth an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills they have developed in their 4-H companion animal project. The contest is open to youth ages 10-18 who are enrolled in a companion animal project.

Videos should be recorded at the youth’s home and submitted following the instructions outlined below. Entries can be submitted starting June 1st and are due by 5:00 PM CST on August 10, 2020.

Age Divisions

  • Intermediate: 10-13 years of age before January 1 of the current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

Classes

Note: Any classes with fewer than 5 entries may be combined.

  • Cat
  • Ferret
  • Guinea pig
  • Pet rabbit (rabbits who are kept as pets and not used for rabbit show)
  • Rodents (guinea pigs, mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils)
  • Birds (parakeet, cockatiel, canaries, finches, etc.)
  • Reptiles & Amphibians (snakes, lizards, chameleons, turtles, tortoises, etc.)

General Rules

  1. Eligibility - The exhibitor must be currently enrolled in the 4-H companion animal project. Each exhibitor may only submit one entry. Participation is free.
  2. Age - Intermediate contestants must be at least 10 years of age and under 14 years of age before January 1 of the current year. Senior contestants must be at least 14 years of age and under 19 years of age as of January 1 of the current year.
  3. Animals - Animals shown should be owned by the 4-H member or a member of their immediate family and must be healthy (free of internal/external parasites and infectious diseases).
    • Cats and ferrets require a vaccination form submission. Proof of current records (dated and signed by a certified veterinarian) must be submitted with the participant’s registration. Failure to submit vaccination records will impact the showman’s final score.
    • Rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other companion animals do not require a vaccination form submission.

Video Guidelines 

Videos should be recorded in the youth’s home by a family member following the guidelines listed below:

  1. Presentations should be recorded in one take.
  2. Videos should be recorded in the landscape orientation (ie. the horizontal position if shooting from a smartphone).
  3. Presentations should take place in a relatively quiet place without excessive outside distractions.
  4. Certain accommodations or items should be utilized to optimize control of the animal and view of the presentation (ie. cats/ferrets should be shown on a leash, small animals and their cages should be shown on an appropriate table, etc.).

Post-Presentation Questions 

After the exhibitor’s 3 to 5 minute presentation, a family member is requested to ask the following questions as one of the contest’s components.

Note: Failure to ask or record the participant’s answers will influence the overall score.

Intermediate Questions

  1. Describe the bond you have with your animal. Why is it special?
  2. What have you learned from working with your animal?
  3. What do you think is the hardest part about being a pet owner?

Senior Questions

  1. What did you do to prepare for today?
  2. What did you learn most from your 4-H experience?
  3. What is one welfare issue related to your animal? What is something you can do to help improve it?

Video Submission

Contest registration and material submission can be done all at once! Submissions will be accepted from June 1st through August 10th.

Enter Now!

Scoring

To prepare for the contest, participants are highly encouraged to utilize the scoresheets and judging criteria of their respective animals for suggested presentation content. See How to Show Your Cat in 4-H for supplementary demonstration ideas. Exhibitors are scored on the following:

Cat & Ferret

Cat/Ferret Judging Criteria - PDF | Doc

  • Appearance of Exhibitor: 15 points 
  • Handling/Appearance of Animal: 15 points
  • Vaccination History: 5 points
  • Presentation: 35 points
  • Presentation Length: 5 points
  • Knowledge: 25 points 

Other Companion Animal

Other Companion Animal Judging Criteria - PDF | Doc

  • Appearance of Exhibitor: 15 points
  • Appearance of Animal and Cage: 15 points
  • Handling of Animal: 5 points
  • Presentation: 25 points
  • Presentation Length: 5 points
  • Knowledge: 25 points

Awards

Grand and reserve champion certificates will be awarded to the top two exhibitors in each division. Each participant will be awarded an electronic certificate.

Resources

For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact: