whats it all about?
Many people I meet are surprised and interested when I say I show rabbits as so many know nothing of the hobby. I thought It would be useful for those interested in the fancy to have a page here to briefly say just what its all about.
I used to breed for pets many years ago and when I decided I wanted to return to the fancy I knew I wanted to breed to show. Showing rabbits starts right at the beginning which is picking your stock (your foundation rabbits), firstly you need to decide where you heart is and which breed you feel you are the most passionate about as there are so many different ones.
Next if possible find out where your next local show is, this can be found on the british rabbit council website. Show dates are also printed in the Fur and Feather.
This will give you chance to see your chosen breed in the flesh and possibly meet some of the local breeders where im sure someone will be more than happy to advise you about your chosen breed.
There are many more resources to find a breeder such as your local rabbit club and the internet.
Its important to research your breed and the breed standards so you know what you are looking for before going through the internet.
Once you have found your breeder and chosen your colour/s or Pattern/s you would like to work with nows the time to carefully buy in your rabbits that will form your foundation.
You may be lucky enough to find one that has show potential , by no means does this mean he/she will be a show winner but he/she has the right qualities in place to have the potential to develop into a showable rabbit. This will give you a chance to show a rabbit before you breed your own just to get the feel of it and also a chance to steward at the shows which I feel is so important to get a feel and see at close hand what you are aiming for.
Rabbits that are to to be shown are BRC rung. This is a metal ring that comes in various sizes depending on the breed, that is placed onto their feet and sits at their ankle at a young age.
Rabbits are taught to sit or lie down dependant on breed from a very young age, to prepare them for show, they must also be well handled and well maintained
Rabbits are groomed (varies with each breed how much grooming is done) and must be in tip top condition for show, feet need to be clean, coat pref not moulty, completely healthy, no knots in the coat.....
On the day of showing rabbits are given a numbered pen, rabbits are brought to the show table in groups.
In mini lops we have U/5 which is under five months and Adults which is anything over 5 months. Then they are devided into colour classes. Each rabbit is judged on how close they are to the Breed Standards (found on BRC website) untill BOB (Best of Breed) is awarded, next each Best of breed will go against each other to find the Best in show. Certificates, Rosettes, diplomas and trophys can be awarded.
You will need to be a BRC Member to purchase rings and show in the main show.
There are shows taking place all over the country most weekends.
This is just a very brief insight into shows as each show can vary.
Can I show my Pet rabbit?
Yes you can! If you just would like to dip your toes in the water taking your pet out will give you a good insight into a show.
Pets are not BRC rung and you dont need to be a BRC Member.
They still need to be prepared and clean , its always a good idea to try and teach your pet to sit as best as possible and stay calm on a table.
Not all shows run pet classes. Contact your local club.
Our Local Club Stoke and Stone rabbit club does run a pet class, they have 2 shows a year one in Spring and one in Autumn.
What else is there to showing?
Friends ! I have met many friendly people from all over the country that are more than happy to advise or just talk rabbit all day.
I have found the fancy welcoming and it has been lovely to meet so many lovely people that are also very passionate about their rabbits as I am about mine.
Showing is a hobby, it can take a long time and dedication to produce that special show rabbit, but its fun and very rewarding, it does have its up and downs at times but being dedicated is very important and when you first start going to shows as one of my closest friends in the rabbit world says " go for the experience"
There is so much to learn and many Exhibitors that have been doing this for a very long time are still learning.
Genetics is also something worth looking into espcially when starting off so you know what colour/Pattern groups work well together.
See Breeds of Rabbits Page for a look at different breeds of rabbits.