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Rabbit Show Basics - Part II


Rabbits are always judged in a particular order. For each breed, the judges will judge each variety (color) in alphabetical order and by class. For satins, blacks are first, followed by blues, and so on. Each color is then broken down further into classes.

For 4-class animals, you have four--junior and senior bucks and does. Animals that are 6-class have those classes, plus 6/8 or intermediate bucks and does. Senior bucks are judged first, followed by senior does, and then junior (or 6/8) bucks, followed by junior does, and so forth. You have to pay attention as the "ramrod" or guy in charge will yell out "Satins! Black Senior Bucks!" Listen for it and be ready to take your animal up if you have a black senior buck! If you wait too long and the class is judged without you, you are out of luck. The judges usually call out the class being judged several times, so if you didn't hear it the first time, you still have a chance to get your rabbit to the table.

Judging and Evaluation
Each class is judged by itself. For example, all white senior bucks in a breed are shown together. All rabbits in a class are compared to two "guides" when being judged. First, each animal is evaluated and checked for any disqualifications (DQ) or eliminations. If found, a DQ or elimination will cause the rabbit to be removed from consideration.

All animals in the class are then compared to the breed standard and to each other. The judge will then begin placing them, and when he is satisfied, he begins to call out ear numbers. If there are 10 animals, he starts with tenth place, He then goes to 9th place and on up the line. If your rabbit's ear number is called, remove the animal--his day of showing is done. When the judge reaches first place, the animal is not removed--it is held back.

All first place animals in their respective classes will then compete for Best of Variety (BOV) and Best Opposite Sex of Variety (BOSV)(if applicable). All the senior white bucks, the senior white does, etc. are brought back up and then re-evaluated. The best animal wins BOV and the best animal of the opposite sex wins--you got it--BOSV. The two winners are then held back again, and everyone else is released--their day is done.

If you have a BOV or BOSV you must wait until the judges go through all the varieties and pick BOV/BOSV for each one. When the last variety is judged, you will bring your animal back to the table- where all BOV/BOSV animals then compete for Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex of Breed (BOB/BOS). The best animal coming closest to the breed standard in the judge's opinion wins BOB and the best animal of the opposite sex wins BOS. The BOS goes home, sometimes with a trophy--and the BOB stays held back again.

After all the breeds have been judged, and the Best of Breeds have been picked for all the breeds, the BOB winners compete once more for the final and most prestigious honor- the Best in Show (BIS) award. The BIS is highly coveted and to win that award is a very difficult challenge. However, if you win, you can earn prize money, a fancy trophy or ribbon or other neat prize and feel pride knowing it was your animal that won out over all the others.

Tips and Show Etiquette
All exhibitors must be quiet during judging. The writer who records the placements must be able to hear the judge's comments, and others appreciate hearing without having to strain to hear through rude chatter.

Do not make any comment about rabbit ownership at the show table--the judge should not know whose rabbit is whose, and neither should anybody else. It's done in the interest of a fair, honest evaluation.

If you you disagree with a judging comment, do not make a scene. You can discuss it calmly and quietly after judging is complete; a judge will be happy to discuss his or her reasoning for the placement. Interfering with a judge by yelling/threatening/etc., is in direct violation of ARBA Show Rule 47, and you can be forced to leave the grounds as well as forfeit all winnings and entries.

Keep control of your kids and please leave your pets at home. No one appreciates kids running wild and creating chaos. People aren't likely to appreciate having Fido in the showroom, and the rabbits won't like him, either.

Win, lose, or draw--do it with style and grace. Always be a good sport, and be courteous. Mistakes happen sometimes, and being polite will make things happen much easier (and you will not get a reputation as a hothead, either).

Read the show rules, and ask one someone such as the show superintendant or the show secretary) if you have any questions. They are there to help you and to run a safe, well-organized show!

Have a clean carrier and bring all the supplies you need or think you might need. SaniWipes are wonderful to bring along. A carrier such as a Pet Taxi is fine, but if the rabbit urinates, it will sit in its own urine and you will have a mess (and a nasty, filthy rabbit). So try to obtain a proper wire rabbit carrier with a pan below to catch the droppings. Having a leaky pan--or, even worse, no pan--is something to be avoided.

If the aisles are narrow, please try not to block them. Tempers can get frayed when people park themselves in the middle of a crowded walkway and block others from getting to their animals.

Do not--repeat do not--ever bring a sick or diseased animal to a show! Ever! If ever there is a big no-no, this one is it.

Finally, have fun and enjoy yourself!



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