As Kingdom A&S Champion, I am sponsoring a special category in my barony’s arts and sciences competition this year with the hope of inspiring more people to enter. The theme is animal barding:

Bard your dog, cat, ferret, whatever, with heraldry! You can use yours, the barony’s, the kingdom’s or someone else’s heraldry as long as it is registered or in submission with the SCA College of Heralds. Living animals, unless they are working animals cannot be brought to the event, pictures of the animal wearing the item and the actual item are required for the competition. Barding a stuffed or model animal of any kind is also acceptable and encouraged. Children’s entries are welcome.

Some rules:

  1. You need documentation. 2 pages MAX. We want the blazon of the heraldry you are representing, what inspired your design, and how you made the barding. Pictures are awesome. If your entry is barding for a live animal, your documentation MUST include a photo of the animal wearing the barding. Photos of barded cats will be closely scrutinized for image manipulation. Photos of the injuries sustained while fitting and dressing a cat will garner extra points.
  2. Barding must be on a non-human animal. Spousal and child barding doesn’t count. They have their own traditional categories whereas stuffed bears do not.
  3. The judging will be based on the standard Atenveldt judging sheets for heraldic display, but with a great emphasis on creativity. The focus for this competition is on the “C” in SCA. Make that heraldry work!
  4. Points accumulated in this special category will not be eligible to count towards the baronial individual and household champion competitions.
  5. Prizes will be awarded for best overall, most creative, best workmanship, and any other areas we deem necessary.

My not-so-secret agenda: I want to get people entering and writing some short documentation to find it isn’t actually physically painful (unless you are managing extreme numbers of paper cuts or tend to drop reference books on your toes). Also, I think this will be hilarious.