Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Showing Rabbits

I have some down time tonight, while we are sitting here listening to the rain and intense thunder & lightning. Yea, there is a tornado watch out for our area.

Anyways, I thought I would post a blog up that I started working on a few days ago . . . on the topic of showing rabbits.

I was not sure what to expect the first time I attended a rabbit show. Of course this has to be in the context that I had been to dog shows a few times before rabbit shows. Dog shows are . . . umm . . . very formal & "proper", to say the least :). I was envisioning that when I went to my first rabbit show.

When we talked into the outdoor cow barn the rabbit show was in, our envisioned "dog show atmosphere" was gone. Dirt floor. Tables set up with coops that the rabbits were put in before the judge. People sitting around in lawn chairs with rabbits spread out all over the place. And, the biggest thing . . . nobody was dressed in suits. What a relief! I did not want to have to show rabbits with the "dog show atmosphere."

Showing rabbits is easy-cheese once you get the hang of things. "Getting the hang of things" doesn't take too long either. Just find a breeder who's willing to answer questions and help ya out. Most rabbit breeders are friendly and willing to help.

The first thing you want to do when you get to the show is check in, to make sure the show secretary knows you are there. Sometimes this is where you will do Day of Show entries as well. Check-in is typically at least an hour before the show starts, but many breeders get there before that.

After checking in and getting your spot set-up, you will want to go see what breeds each judge is going to be judging at their table. There will be a piece of paper hanging on each judge's table listing the breeds he is judging and how many will be in each breed. They will also be in order of how they are judged.

You will want to take note of what order they are in, when your breed will be up and what table they will be at. Check the judges table every so often to see if your breed is going to be up or how close the judge is to getting your breed up on the table.

Once your breed is up, the judge or his helper will place the show remark cards in front of each "coop." You will find your rabbits remark card. The card will have your rabbit's ear number on it. You'll place your rabbit in the coop that the show remark card is in front of. You will then flip the remark card over, so the judge knows the right rabbit is there.

Another thing you will want to note is what classes in your breed are up. There are senior buck, senior doe, junior buck & junior doe classes. Depending on the breed there may be color classes and solid/broken classes as well. Some breeds also have an intermediate class - in both bucks & does. Typically the seniors go first (buck, doe) and then the juniors (buck, doe). In Mini Lops there is solid senior bucks, solid senior does, solid junior bucks, solid junior does, broken senior bucks, broken senior does, broken junior bucks and broken junior does. Get the order?

If your rabbit does not win top place, you will take the remark card when the judge is done going over your rabbit, and your rabbit back. If the rabbit places 1st in it's class, you will leave the rabbit on the table until Best Opposite, Best Variety, and Best of Breed placing.

That's a pretty decent run down of a rabbit show. Have fun showing!