The American Cavy Breeders Association, usually just ACBA for short, is North America’s preeminent organization for cavy fanciers. Think of it like the American Kennel Club, but with guinea pigs instead of dogs.
The ACBA’s primary function is the organization and maintenance of cavy shows throughout the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, in Canada as well. The national organization is divided into regions, and those regions are comprised of local clubs that, for the most part, are responsible for arranging individual shows. The ACBA itself is in charge of bigger-picture type stuff — for defining and maintaining the rules and regulations that govern cavy shows within its jurisdiction. The ACBA determines which breeds of cavy are recognized in the U.S., the standard by which those cavies are judged, and who has the authority to judge them.
It’s worth noting that the ACBA is not an independent organization, but is technically a specialty club within the American Rabbit Breeders Association. The national convention where ACBA officers are elected is actually ARBA’s national convention, which is held each fall. The ACBA is also subject to many of ARBA’s rules about the licensure of new judges and the creation of new breeds, which is why ACBA judges must be ARBA members, and partially why you don’t see some of the breeds available overseas in the U.S.
Though the cavy show at the ARBA convention is usually the year’s largest, the ACBA Specialty show, another annual event, is a close second, and is dedicated entirely to cavies. Both are destination events, and judges are required to attend attend judges’ conferences at these conventions every few years to maintain their licences. Fortunately, both events rotate among host clubs — during even-numbered years, the conventions take place in the west; on odd numbered years, in the east.
Most cavy shows are hosted by a single local club, or by several local clubs acting jointly.
The ACBA also produces a quarterly magazine about cavy husbandry.
For more information about the ACBA, it’s rules, recognized breeds, or for membership information, go to www.acbaonline.com.