Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rabbit show 101


I talk about going to rabbit shows often here on ye old blog. Many of my friends ask what is a rabbit show like, so today I thought I would try to explain...briefly. I mean, I know it is a different kind of hobby and those of us who have obscure hobbies tend to go on about them...

The American Rabbit Breeders Association, or ARBA, recognizes 47 different rabbit breeds. Every breed of rabbit has a written standard found in the Standard of Perfection.

All rabbits are shown in classes. These are age and sex classes. so boys, bucks, against boys, girls, does, against does. Rabbits 6 months and up are seniors, rabbits under 6 months are juniors. Large breeds have Juniors Intermediates and seniors.

All Rabbits have an ear tattoo in their left ear. That is how breeders can tell their rabbits form other peoples rabbits.

We show Min Lop  and Min Rex so I will just show you the first page of each of those breeds standards.

So we have boys and girls, junior and senior classes,then the breeds are broken into varieties, The Mini Rex are shown in 16 color variates. So Schultz, our white senior buck was shown against all the other white senior bucks at the show, and the best white senior buck is chosen then the best white senior doe , best junior buck, best junior doe. Then from those four the best of the white variety is chosen. After the judge has gone through all the varieties at the show he or she will pick the best of breed from the best of variety winners. Best of breed will then participate in best of show.

yesterday there were 160 Mini Rex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Min Lops are a little easier. Their variety is solid coat pattern or broken coat pattern (spotted). No color variates. Still boys against boys, ages etc. There were 32 min lops yesterday.

This is a judging table. The rabbits are put into the holding cages in the foreground of this picture. The judge will take each rabbit out one by one and set them on that carpeted part there. First she will check to make sure the rabbit is healthy, no broken bones or toes, then she will start looking at the rabbit and how well it matches the standard for it's breed. In this picture she is judging the curvature, roundness of the rabbits body. She will place the rabbit that matches the standard the closest as first and then on down.

The little girl is clerking for the judge, she is writing down what the judge is saying on a card with the rabbits ear tattoo number on it. 4-H leaders love to have our kids clerk for the judges, the kids learn so much about rabbits this way.

The rabbits owner is on the other side of the tale listing to the judge...not supposed to let her know which bunny is yours!

So yesterday my Mini lops did pretty well. They were entered in three shows.

Henry won his class, solid junior buck in one show.

Blue boy won his class Broken Junior buck in 3 shows

Olive and Oliver won their classes, solid Junior buck, in 2 shows and solid junior doe in 2 shows, the judges really liked them, called them promising.

Their dad here, Magellan, won Best opposite of variety in one show. So he was the second best broken out of all the broken mini lop bunnies!  In this picture you can see how rounded hes face is, that is one of the things the judges look at in mini lops and where his ear falls along his cheek.

Their aunt Gigi won Best opposite sex of variety in one show too! That means she was the second best solid mini lop out of all the solid mini lops. See the ridge along the top of her head, that is called a crown, that is another thing the judges look at in mini lops.

One thing to remember at a show, judges are human, rabbits that won on one table can be in the middle or bottom of their class on the next judging table.

I always have a great time at shows talking to my rabbit friends, listening to the judges and looking at all the rabbits. I hope this was somewhat educational and not to boring...I said we nerds tend to go on...


  1. I loved this post. Congratulations on all the wins. Win or not however, your rabbits are beautiful. I'm sending a link of this post to my daughter. She will find it very informative and will certainly enjoy seeing the rabbits.

  2. That was interesting Jenean... at the top you wrote the American Rabbi Breeders Assoc...I had a good laugh at that...
    Well done on all the ribbons...

  3. Now I feel's more complicated than one might think. Happy for your wins, Jenean! Early this morning, I saw 2 wild little rabbits down the drive and thought of you and yours!