Big day out for all creatures great and small at show for nation’s top ‘fanciers’

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IT was a big day for small animals as breeders of chinchillas, rats, mice, rabbits and gerbils competed for “best in show” prizes.

The Burgess Premier Small Animal Show attracted around 3,000 animal entries to the Yorkshire Event Centre at Harrogate’s Great Yorkshire Showground.

In the guinea pig section, best in show went to Andrew Sparkles from Walton-on-Thames and the rabbit best in show was picked up by John Fletcher from the North East.

The longest-running animal show in the country – sometimes known as the Crufts for small animals – took place over two days, attracting hundreds of breeders, or “fanciers” from across the country.

The show attracted 1,625 rabbits, 100 rats, 50 gerbils, 200 hamsters, 200 mice, 700 cavies (guinea pigs) and 20 chinchillas.

Experts were on hand to show children and owners how to properly handle their favourite pets.

As well as a battle of the breeds, the event also showcased a trade areas where animal lovers could look at the latest products and there was also an area for various children’s activities.

The event has been a key date in the small animal world since 1921. It is now the largest small animal show in the country.