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A Look at a 4-H/Youth Show

My name is Lindsey Lauterbach, and I am 14 years old. I am homeschooled and currently in the ninth grade. I live in Western Washington, where I breed, raise, and show Mini Rex rabbits. I also have a few Japanese Harlequins. I have been raising rabbits for almost a year now and have won many awards.

I am active in my 4-H club, the Sequim Kreature Keepers, where I am the president, teen leader, and Webmaster. I am also quite active in showing my rabbits, sometimes traveling across the entire state just for a rabbit show. My goals are to become a succesful rabbit raiser and eventually an ARBA judge

I just came back from a rabbit show this weekend (April 21, 2001) in Kennewick, WA. We traveled eight hours (one-way) to get there, but it was worth it. The Rada Rabbits 4-H/Youth Show was a big hit. The people were friendly, and the competiton was great! About 150 rabbits altogether were entered in the various breeds. The largest class was, of course, the Netherland Dwarf. They are really popular with younger children. I am finding more and more, though, that the youth are turning to Mini Rex as an alternative to the ever-popular Netherlands. We had about 40 Mini Rex shown at this show, which is fairly small, considering that we have upwards of 150 at most youth shows. I was interested to see the variety of colors, though. Some beautiful reds were exhibited by a breeder who lives in the Tri-Cities area. This was great, considering Reds are quite rare in the Pacific Northwest.

The judge for the ARBA Sanctioned Youth Show was Michelle Uptagrafft, a youth herself. Actually, she is 19 and technically too old to show in youth. She is a great judge, though. She has won the ARBA Queen title twice and has been raising rabbits for 10 years. She’s always very thorough when it comes to comments.

I brought six Mini Rex (my Castors, Brokens, and one Black) and one of my Japanese Harlequins. I was happy with how I did – I placed at the top in most of my classes. I was extremely shocked, however, when Michelle chose my Black Sr. Buck for BOV (Best of Variety), BOB (Best of Breed), and then Reserve in Show! This was my first BOB (Best of Breed) with a Mini Rex and my first Reserve In Show. I was almost crying! It was such an honor. I received a beautiful rosette and a 14-inch high trophy. I was also privileged to receive BOG (Best of Group) and BOB (Best of Breed) Harlequin, though this wasn’t as exciting as my win in the Mini Rex, because I was the only one exhibiting a Harlequin. I did have the opportunity to talk with Nancy Richmond (a very well-known Harlequin raiser) who was there judging cavies. It was great talking with a knowledgable person about Harlequins. They really are a fantastic breed, but such a challenge.

I also signed up for the 4-H Senior Fitting and Showing Class. There were about eight Seniors from various parts of the state, and all of them knew their rabbits. This was my second show as a Senior (I was a Intermediate last year) and my first time fitting and showing with a new Mini Rex (a Broken Tort named “Dot”). I worked hard and tried to study before my turn came, but watching the judging and other distractions kept me from studying as much as I wanted to. That’s why I was shocked when I received Grand Champion Senior Fitting and Showing!

I enjoyed answering the questions that the judge, Mary Ness, asked us. I especially enjoyed judging the Dutch rabbit that belonged to the person next to me. Everyone was very kind and thoughtful. One thing to always remember for this type of competition is to make eye contact with the judge. This lets he or she know that you are secure and confident with what you are talking about. It is also helpful to know about breeds other than the one you are showing when you reach the higher levels of fitting and showing. You never know when the judge might ask you about the rabbit next to you.

I had a lot of fun at the Rada Rabbits 4-H/Youth show in Kennewick. I made new friends and had a chance to talk with some old ones, too. I can’t wait until next year!

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