Click HERE for a pdf copy of a show entry form. You can email your entries using this form as a guideline - or you can complete this form, scan it, and email it to the secretaries.
When You Want a Show Quality Rabbit:
This is the Standard of Perfection of the American Rabbit
Breeders Association (ARBA). As with most show animals, there is a
Standard that rabbits are shown by. Every ARBA recognized breed (there
are 49 recognized rabbit breeds and 13 recognized cavy breeds) is
judged against a set Standard for each breed, and EACH breed has a different
Standard they are judged by. Rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs) are judged
on Type, Color, Markings, Condition, Fur Quality, and more.
When you buy a rabbit, you need to decide if it will be a pet
or if you might, now or eventually, ever want to show it. If you think
you might want to show a rabbit, make sure you buy from someone who is
knowledgeable about the Standard for their breed. For instance, some
breeds have maximum or minimum weight to be judged on, length of ears is a
consideration in some breeds, type of fur and fur quality, what constitutes a
good color in which breeds, which colors are accepted to be shown, what are disqualifications
in the breed you’re interested in buying, and much more. The best way to
make sure you are buying a show quality rabbit is to buy from an exhibitor at a
show; there are many rabbit sellers who can sell you good pet rabbits but
if they don’t show their rabbits, they don’t know what the judges are looking
for in a show rabbit.
Ask questions of the breeder. For instance, how long have
you been showing? What was the last show you attended? How do your rabbits do
on the show table? Can you show me how this rabbit in question stands up
against the show Standard for its breed? Can you tell me it’s
flaws? Any reputable breeder will be happy to answer these questions and
answer them confidently.
At the same time, it is important that you
understand that a reputable breeder has invested time, blood, sweat, tears, and
money into their herd to get it to where it is. Be prepared that a quality show
rabbit will come at a higher price. Cheap Craigslist bunnies should be shied
Unfortunately, “pedigreed” doesn’t mean that the rabbit you’re
buying is show quality or, even, purebred. It just means that the seller
is giving you a list of the rabbit’s ancestors, and that can also easily be
falsified. If it’s a genuine pedigree, it helps to see what colors,
sizes, etc are in the background of your rabbit and will probably show purity
but a pedigree cannot tell you if your rabbit is show quality. You
do not need a pedigreed rabbit to be able to show them. Buying a
“pedigreed” rabbit from an inexperienced breeder or one that doesn’t show
competitively does not guarantee you will have a show rabbit to work
with. Most likely, it will mean quite the opposite.
In October, 2016, I was helping to work the youth Holland Lop
table at a large show in Georgia. This show has more youth, 4H, and FFA
kids out of any other show in Georgia. I watched a little boy who was 10
years old place his only rabbit on the table for judging. Behind him
stood his parents, little sister, and grandparents who had flown in from Ohio
just to watch their grandson compete for his first time ever. With much
anticipation, they watched as the judge pulled out his rabbit and immediately
disqualified it for being an unshowable color. He took his rabbit off the
table and then they stood there in shock over what had just happened. I
took them aside and their first words were, “We don’t understand. We
bought it from a breeder who said it was show quality. It even has a
pedigree!” Sadly, they bought from someone who doesn’t show at all and
was just looking to sell baby rabbits with a pedigree attached to make the
rabbit appear more valuable than it was. There is a happy ending to the
story, though, because a more experienced breeder gave the boy a quality rabbit
of their own to show in the next show that day. He is still using that
rabbit to show and win with.
This article was written because we have seen many, many, many
other new exhibitors who have come to their first show with high hopes and a
cute bunny that was almost immediately disqualified because the person they
bought it from told them it was show quality, and the seller had no clue what
show quality was. Our goal is to help mentor new breeders become
passionate about this amazing hobby of showing and raising rabbits, and to help
them be successful on the show table.
If you have any questions, before you buy, please contact any officers, directors, members of the GSRCA that are
listed on this website; they will be able to help answer your questions about show
Karin Humfleet and Jodi Adams, August, 2017 - May
be shared ONLY with permission from Jodi or Karin
OFFICIAL SHOW RULES OF THE AMERICAN
RABBIT BREEDERS ASSOCIATION, INC. may be found at the above link. Excerpts of the Show Rules are listed below
for those who are just starting to show.
However, reading the entire list of Show Rules is very informative, and
is highly recommended. In addition, it
is extremely important to read the show catalog for each show that you attend
as individual club rules and information changes for each club. Show catalogs may be found on the ARBA
website under https://arba.net/showsSearch.php#showsearch
SECTION 9. There must be ten (10) or
more animals judged before the sponsoring club is required to pay the awards
required by the Specialty Clubs.
SECTION 11. All ARBA licensed rabbit
judges shall award Best of Breed, Best Opposite Sex of Breed, Best of Group,
Best Opposite Sex of Group, Best of Variety, and Best Opposite Sex of Variety,
when applicable. All licensed cavy judges shall pick Best of Breed, Best
Opposite Sex of Breed, Best of Group, Best Opposite Sex of Group, Best of
Variety, and Best Opposite Sex of Variety, when applicable.
SECTION 26. All animals must be
permanently and legibly earmarked in the left ear. The tattoo is to only
contain numerals 0-9 and/or letters A-Z. The tattoo is to contain no language
of a profane or sexual nature. (A) An exhibitor may not enter more than
one animal in the same class with the same ear number or ear tag number.
(B) Rabbits not legibly earmarked must
be disqualified from the class. Legibility of the earmark is at the discretion
of the judge. This ruling also applies to rabbits with leg bands. In addition
to a leg band they must also have a legible earmark in the left ear.
(C) Cavies not legibly earmarked or
tagged with an ear tag must be disqualified from the class.
(D) Animals possessing an ear number
that does not match the ear number on the exhibitor’s entry form must be
disqualified from the class and the class number reduced.
SECTION 36. The show secretary of a
sanctioned ARBA show is required to furnish each exhibitor an Official Show
Report within thirty (30) days after the close of their show for each animal
SECTION 45. Exhibitors or guardians of
exhibitors attempting to, or actually interfering with, annoying, molesting, or
influencing the judge or judges, or acting in a manner unbecoming an
exhibitor(s) shall have all their stock disqualified by the judge and shall be
ejected by the show superintendent and barred from the show room.
SECTION 47. Each animal must be
exhibited in its natural condition. An exhibitor in violation of this rule will
have their animal disqualified, and the remainder of their entry may be
disqualified from competition and not be judged. Examples include dyeing,
plucking, trimming, or any other action designed to deceive.
SECTION 51. Youth may not enter their
rabbit or cavy in both open and youth classes at the same show, which is
sponsored by the same club. Youth may make entries in both open and youth
classes with different animals. (A) When more than one ARBA sanctioned all
breed or specialty show, not having a youth sanction, are held in conjunction
on the same day, youth exhibitors may enter all additional shows with the same
SECTION 52. Youth exhibitors may enter
sanctioned youth shows between the ages of five (5) and eighteen (18) years. An
adult cannot show in youth classes at any time. Youth exhibitors must be able
to handle their own animals. Youth exhibitors are not required to carry their
own animals to the table. If stated in the show catalog, a show committee may
require all youth entries be carried by a youth.
SECTION 53. All youth exhibitors must
use their own individual name, but may add a rabbitry name when entering youth
shows. Entries will not be accepted in family or rabbitry names. If owned in
conjunction with another youth, the names of all owners must be listed.