About The NHC

The National Hamster Council (NHC) is the governing body of the hamster fancy in the United Kingdom, representing the interests of all concerned with the keeping, exhibiting and/or breeding of the 5 species of hamster commonly kept asd pets. As the world’s leading hamster organisation, the NHC has an unrivalled reputation, and its standards and show rules have been used – and continue to be used – by hamster clubs and societies in many countries.

Established in 1949, the NHC is the oldest such organisation in the world and its member clubs cover the whole of the UK and have members throughout the world.

With an established network of experienced and knowledgeable officers and advisors, the NHC and its affiliated clubs offer benefits to everyone interested in all types of hamster. Our clubs organise regular shows in the UK where everyone is welcome, from beginner to experienced breeder. Many club shows also have classes for pets as well as exhibition hamsters and shows are an ideal opportunity to see many colours and varieties of hamster that may not be found in most pet shops.

We have a wealth of experience and expertise within the NHC, with some of our members having kept, bred and exhibited hamsters for over 30 years. This unique pool of knowledge is made available to every club member through our information sheets, by personal contact and through our monthly journal.

The Northern Hamster Club: https://www.northernhamsterclub.co.uk/

The Midland Hamster Club: http://www.midlandhamsterclub.co.uk/

The Southern Hamster Club: http://www.southernhamsterclub.co.uk/

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© 2019 National Hamster Council

COMs, Champions and Diplomas

Certificates of Merit

The Certificate of Merit awards are reliant on the honesty of Exhibitors, therefore the membership of anyone found to be giving false information will be reviewed.

The Judge may only award a Certificate of Merit to a hamster that they consider to be an excellent example of their species. A Hamster must be entered in the Grand Challenge Class to be able to qualify for a Certificate.

At each show the Judge may award Certificates of Merit to those animals which they consider worthy of Champion status at that moment in time.

Poor presentation or dirty staging may be disregarded when awarding Certificates of Merit.

The number of Certificates of Merit awarded may be decided by the Judge, but must reflect the overall quality of the animals present.

Certificates of Merit must only be awarded to animals which, in the Judge’s opinion, represent an overall excellent example of the species.

All Judges must use the NHC Standards and the points system when deciding whether or not any individual hamster is an excellent example of the species or variety.

When two or more hamsters share the same marks, the Judge may use their discretion as to which, if any, they award Certificates of Merit.

Any animal which wins three Certificates of Merit under at least two different Judges shall be awarded the title of “NHC Champion” by the NHC Chairman.

Any animal which wins five Certificates of Merit under at least three different Judges shall be awarded the title of “NHC Grand Champion” by the NHC Chairman.

Each Certificate of Merit will be completed at the show. The Judge will enter all information that they are aware of and the Show Secretary and exhibitor will then fill in the remainder. No changes or alterations are to be made to the Certificate of Merit.

Champions and Grand Champions

For a hamster to be awarded Champion or Grand Champion status the owner must send the relevant Certificates of Merit to the person co-ordinating the Championship certification, (currently Mrs. Susan Washbrook). The co-ordinator will return these to the exhibitor, together with a Certificate recognising the hamster’s new status.

Rosettes will be awarded to Champion and Grand Champions. Rosettes will normally be presented at shows; where members require rosettes to be posted the member shall pay postage costs.

Where possible, the coordinator will also send a copy of the Certificates to the breeder of the hamster if different from the exhibitor.

Championship or Grand Championship status may only be awarded to individually identified hamsters owned by members of a National Hamster Council affiliated club.

NHC Diplomas

Each NHC affiliated club should hold one Diploma Class per section (Syrian and Dwarf) each year and may only be judged by a qualified NHC judge. Hamsters winning this class will be awarded a prize card and certificate but no rosettes are given.

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© 2019 National Hamster Council