Vectis Hamstery was established by Rachel in 2009 when the National Hamster Council registered the prefix. Rachel returned to hamster keeping in 2007 after acquiring a Chinese hamster from a pet shop and then taking in a rescue Chinese hamster. These hamsters started the interest in showing; looking for tips on taming Chinese hamsters led to the Southern Hamster Club, and Princess Sparkle the rescue hamster went on to win novice classes at shows. The prefix 'Vectis Hamstery' was granted in perpetuity in 2014.
The first pedigree Chinese hamsters arrived at Vectis in 2009 and they produced the first litter, named the Cocktails. One of this litter, Valium, a dominant spot Chinese hamster, went on to win Vectis's first Best in Show and become the first Champion here. 2011 saw the first black-eyed white Chinese hamster at Vectis and the first black-eyed white Chinese litter. In 2012 Angel Islington, a normal Chinese hamster, became Vectis's first Grand Champion. Vectis Hamstery has been in the top three of the Southern Hamster Club's Annual Award for Dwarf Hamsters since 2010, winning 1st place in 2012, 2015 and 2016. Vectis continues to breed and show Chinese hamsters in normal, dominant spot and black-eyed white.
In 2013 to 2014 Vectis also bred Roborovski hamsters, but no longer continues to do so for reasons of space. 2014 saw the first Syrian hamster litter here. Vectis continues to show and breed Syrian hamsters with a focus on dark grey and cinnamon. In 2015 the first Syrian at Vectis became a Champion. The first Vectis Campbell litter arrived in 2016 and more are hoped for in 2017.
After keeping several exotic rodent species, the first duprasi arrived in 2013. Sirius charmed many and prompted Vectis to branch out into showing duprasi through the National Gerbil Society under the prefix Vectis Exotics. The first duprasi litter was born here in 2014 and Vectis continues to show and breed duprasi.
Hamster Club Roles
Rachel became a Southern Hamster Club member in 2008 and began showing in 2009. She has remained a Southern Hamster Club member and has since become an associate member of both Midland and Northern Hamster Clubs. Between 2011 and 2012 Rachel was show manager for SHC and since 2012 has remained on the committee. In 2013 she also joined the Midland Hamster Club's committee. In 2016 Rachel became National Hamster Council Secretary.
As well as the club roles, Rachel is a hamster forum moderator, moderating on Mad About Hamsters from 2010 until its closure in 2015, and on Hamster Central from 2012 until the present. She was also a foster carer and trustee for a local rescue from 2012 until its closure in 2015. In 2015 she co-founded the Crazy Rodent Ladies who provide rodent education and encounters at events.
Vectis is the Roman name for the Isle of Wight, a place I spent many family holidays. Before my first trip as a young child, I imagined the Island as being somewhere near Antarctica and covered in snow, ice and penguins! Soon after starting to show hamsters I fell in love with black-eyed white Chinese hamsters and knew I wanted to work with them in future. With that aim in mind, I just had to name my hamstery after the Isle of 'White'!