This is the moment you’ve been waiting for so long now. You chose your plumed tamarin carefully at the breeder's, you worked with him and trained him, primped and outfitted him innumerable times, and now it's finally the big show with dozens or hundreds of airborne primates all around you. Anyone who has ever shown a flying monkey of any type can identify the thrilling and sometimes stressful times while one is in the arena. This article will explain how to give you and your animal a winning strategy to beat the rest of the troop and make it to the top bench.
- Selection of show stock. Those based on smaller monkey breeds tend to have superior flying ability and fewer demands in the type of accommodations you need to provide and are good for a flying primate fancier to start with until ready for the larger varieties. These include show stock based on these monkey species:
- Show qualities. Ideally, you want a show animal to be friendly and willing to pose and show off for the judges, less inclined to bite and/or scratch (except for the flying war monkey classification), with a pair of clean, bright eyes, well-maintained teeth, with a strong, flexible back, graceful and powerful wings and legs balanced by a nicely tapered tail. If the wings are avian the plumage should be orderly and sharp, whereas bat wings should display immaculate conformation and proportion when unfurled. Look for these qualities when visiting a reputable breeder/genetic engineer. If everything checks out, ask the breeder to see the animal’s pedigree both on the monkey side and on the bird/bat/insect side. Ask to see (if possible) its parents and siblings and find out about any Best in Show, Best of Breed, or Best of Variety wins among them.
- Training. Start your monkey early in training classes to teach it how to walk comfortably on a leash beside you and how to fly in an enclosed arena. Also get it accustomed to being handled and prodded so that it will not attack the judge.
- Find a show. Seek out a show that is only for flying monkeys or one that allows primates of all types to enter. Specialty shows are sometimes hard to find, so consider giving your creation some well-needed experience in a diverse show first to grow accustomed to the process. When it has proven itself, you can specialize in shows for its special adaptation only.
- Preparation. A few days before the show, wash your animal with warm water and mild shampoo and apply conditioner to the fur to impart a nice sheen. You can try to correct flaws in coloration with dye or bleach though passing this off convincingly is more of an art than a science. You may also style the fur to improve the aerodynamic look and overall presentation. This is also the time to make any final fitting adjustments to the creature's costume to give it a fine tailored appearance befitting its typical role as spy, messenger, attacker, or whatever.
- Handling. Hire a professional show handler if you feel you cannot show your stock well. In competition, the handler must direct the monkey in specific aerial maneuvers which show off its intellect and physique properly. With training, you can do this if you choose, but do not overestimate your ability if you are a novice.
- The money shot. Everything leads up towards the end for the crowning moment of any show; the presentation of Best in Show that is awarded to the top entry among all categories. All animals who win within a category are given a ribbon and a professional photographer will be on hand to photograph your creature, the judge and you. If fortune has favored you, take a picture with your prizewinning charge along with the trophy or ribbon and savor the moment of triumph.
- Progress. As you would expect, the level of competition will increase greatly as you go up at each level of show. Start out by entering your animal into local shows, then, if successful, county shows, then regional shows, then state shows, then national shows, then world shows, and finally interplanetary shows which are the most prestigious and lucrative.
Strokes of genius
- Recordkeeping. Bring all your dog’s required documentation; his vaccination and health record, x-rays and previous show records.
- Provisions. At the how, make sure that you have some electrolytes packed for your monkeys, as the heavy work done during shows will usually cause your horse to perspire, which depletes their systems. Most competitors do not feed their monkeys a full meal before or during a show, as this weighs them down in the air and can make them sleepy.
- Touch up. You can make limited last-minute corrections to the animal's coat but the most important thing is a very light application of baby oil to make them shine. Pay attention to the appearance of the claws, plumage, and face, which the judges will inspect closely.
- Confidence. Don't worry overmuch about the other competitors. Act as if you were working with your animal alone in your home arena, thus calming your nerves and those of the animal. Stay calm and in control even if the monkey strays off. Judges dislike seeing monkeys misbehaving to some extent but are aware of the breed's temperament; more importantly, they certainly will look down on a handler panicking at such a moment.
Traps for mere fools
- Misclassification. Avoid entering your crossbred monkey in a purebred class (at the upper levels of competition), where it won't show to its best advantage. Likewise, surgical creations should not be mixed into a gene therapy class where the judges will just become confused or annoyed with your entry.
- Stock that looks off. Do not ever buy a sick flying monkey, which can infect your whole troop and possibly yourself and those in your lair as well. Do not show monkeys that have visible cuts, bruises, crooked skeletons, missing digits, deep scars.
- Argumentativeness. If you place lower than you expected, do not complain to the judge on why this was, which will make you seem to be a complainer and affect your future chances with that judge in the ring. Remember most flying monkey judges work at numerous shows throughout the year; if you act rude towards one, word is likely to get around to the rest. You risk disqualification if you are rude or abusive to a judge or show organizer, so you should save your revenge for some other venue in secret.
- Your competition. Did you know monkeys can claw or bite? It is true.
Precious and needful
- Monkey treats.
- Muzzle and a chain. (Just in case)
- Face and coat brush.
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Created by: . Last Modification: Saturday 19 of September, 2009 14:22:47 EDT by GrinningSkull.