A week after the roar of car engines fade from the Indianapolis 500, the sound of ferret dooks will take over Indianapolis with The Ferret 500 ferret show, a first-time event taking place on June 2, 2012.
“We wanted to create an event that would help benefit Five Points Ferret Refuge,” said Staci Sharp, show coordinator. “We also wanted to hold another American Ferret Association-sanctioned show in the Midwest. This is a win-win situation.” She said the name of the ferret show plays off what Indianapolis is probably best-known for — The Indy 500.
The Ferret 500 follows the AFA rules for showing and judging, and judging categories include title bearing, specialty classes and fun contests. So far, everything is on track for it to be a terrific ferret show.
“Donations, raffles and attendance are amazing for a first-time show,” Sharp said. For entries, she said 31 families are confirmed to be showing 110 ferrets, and ferret shelters/rescues from five different states will be attending — The Ferret Villa (Kentucky), Five Points Ferret Refuge (Indiana), Greater Chicago Ferret Association (Illinois), Heart of Ohio Ferret Association (Ohio) and Midwest Ferret Fellowship (Michigan). “It is truly a great place to be and network for the betterment of ferrets in the Midwest,” Sharp said.
Those who love to shop for ferret items won’t be disappointed. Sharp said that 32 vendors will be there offering items from bedding to jewelry to toys and more. And the fun factor hasn’t been forgotten. “We currently have a couple of fun events planned for the day of the show, “ Sharp said, adding that these include tube races, a photo contest and a costume contest.
Prairie Wildlife Research is one of the vendors. Travis Livieri, founder of PWR, said he is looking forward to seeing new faces and meeting new people at The Ferret 500. ‘You don’t have to ‘show’ a ferret to attend,” he said. “Functions like this are a chance to come together as ferret owners and enthusiasts, get cool products for your ferret or yourself, learn, share and simply have a good time. For Prairie Wildlife Research, it is an opportunity to educate about black-footed ferrets and thank the multitudes of folks in the domestic ferret community that support our work with black-footed ferrets.”
As part of The Ferret 500 event, Livieri will be showing a film about black-footed ferrets, Return of the Prairie Bandit, the evening before the show on June 1st at 7 p.m.
At 6 p.m., previous to the film, Joel Vanderbush of Animalia will give a talk about presenting ferrets in an educational way. It’s titled The Way Of The Ferret. “The goal of my talk,” Vanderbush said, “is to give owners and [ferret shelter] operators the skill necessary to present ferrets in an instructive way to help prospective owners make a responsible decision regarding ferret ownership.” He said that he and the staff of Animalia have a particular affinity to the ferret community because they’ve done presentations at so many ferret conferences and symposiums. Plus, ferrets are unique. “Given their renowned flexibility, ferrets are one of our most popular animals in Animalia’s Education Outreach programs,” Vanderbush said. “They are some of the most tolerant and resilient animals, which helps the children in our programs learn how to act responsibly around animals. While I care for over 35 different species of animals on a daily basis, ferrets are one of my absolute favorites…but don’t tell the other animals!”
This is the first year for The Ferret 500, but Sharp plans for it to continue. “It will definitely be an annual event,” she said. “We are not sure about the date yet but having the weekend after the Indianapolis 500 is an idea.”
Sharp can’t contain her enthusiasm about The Ferret 500 ferret show. “This is the first show that I have ever put on and the first one for Indiana. It is exciting and is going to be just a great time!” The Ferret 500 takes place in the Exposition Hall at Marion County Fairgrounds in Indianapolis beginning at 10 a.m. on June 2, 2012. The educational presentations by Joel Vanderbush and Travis Livieri take place in the Exposition Hall beginning at 6 p.m. on June 1, 2012.