The Tortoise & White is a smooth coated cavy, carrying a chequerboard pattern of square-cut patches of black, red & white, of equal size, with a dividing ‘line’ formed by the meeting of patches on opposite sides of the body running the length of the cavy both top and underside.
No patches should overlap the central line, either on top or underside.
There is no set sequence for the patches; but in considering the quality of a Tort & White the overall balance of patches and colour on each side top and under is important.
On well marked exhibits 4 or 5 patches on each side would be preferable to three, but not at the expense of a loss of uniformity in the size and shape of the patches.
Each patch should consist of a solid colour, clearly defined from surrounding patches, and with no intermingling of hairs of a different colour.
Because a fault that is seen readily on the top side of the cavy as a greater adverse impact on the overall appearance than one which is ‘hidden’ underneath, preference should be given to a cavy with a good top and less good under than one with the opposite characteristics.
However, patching on the belly must be taken into account when considering overall quality.
When assessing the Tort & White, the quality of the markings is by far the most important aspect of the cavy; and minor faults in type, such as a straight head or ears not drooping, are of very little significance. However, soundness of all of the three colours is important to creating the overall impact of the patchwork.
Because it is extremely difficult to fix the desired markings on the Tortoise & White, judges should not be too harsh in assessing ‘good attempts’ with clear patches and solid colour.
TORTOISE & WHITE BREED STANDARD
HEAD, EYES & EARS 10
Head to be short and broad, with a gently curving profile.
Muzzle to be of good width and rounded at the nostrils.
Eyes to be large, bright and bold and set with good width between.
Ears to be large and drooping, and set with good width between.
BODY SHAPE 10
To have short, cobby body with good width across shoulders and body.
To be fit and of good substance, with plenty of firm flesh.
To have good size appropriate to age.
To consist of square cut patches of black, red and white colour, of uniform shape and evenly distributed on each side of the body on either side of a central ‘line’ formed by the meeting of patches of different colours.
Of which Head Markings (5)
Head ideally to have two colours divided down the centre. A different colour on each side of the head divided by a blaze of the third colour is almost as desirable.
Line and Distribution of Patches (30)
Patches to be placed on each side of the body so as to give no overlaps over the central line top or under.
Each side of the body of the cavy to have three or more patches.
Each side of the cavy to have patches of all three colours.
Shape & Clarity of Patches (25)
Patches to be square-cut with straight edges of equal size.
Patches to be clean-cut and distinct from each other, with no intermingling of colours.
Colour to be rich, even, of glossy sheen and carried well down to the skin to avoid any appearance of flakiness, with patches free from hairs of a different colour (brindled or roaning)
Black to be jet black.
Red should be rich; may be lighter than ESCC Red but must not be pale or ‘washed out’
White to be pure and clean.
Eye colour to be dark, but a blue tinge (when the head has a white patch) is not a fault.
To be soft, clean and groomed free of guard hairs.