Welcome to my Web site!
My interest, some would say obsession, with rabbits dates right from childhood. As an adult I have become involved in breeding and showing, firstly dwarf lop rabbits and then mini lop rabbits.
Other sites have the full breed description, but basically the dwarf lop is a 5lb rabbit, with a rounded, flat face and as the name suggests, lopped ears, which should be wide, flat and lying just to the edge of the eye. The body should be short and rounded, ‘cobby’. They come in a range of colours, from black, to white, ranging through fawn, sable, blue, agouti and many patterns including butterfly, fox and otter. Due to space and time constraints I mainly concentrate on orange, fawn and chocolate in otter at present.
The mini lop is very similar but somewhat smaller. Whilst dwarf lops can weigh upto 5lbs 4ozs for showing, a mini lop’s maximum weight must be 3lb 8ozs maximum. The ideal being 3lbs 4ozs. Again they come in a huge range of colours, but I concentrate on smokes, and sables as they seem rarer colours and therefore more of a challenge to achieve both both good type and good results on the show table with.
The majority of people are unaware that rabbit showing even exists as it does not have the media profile of dog showing, particularly Crufts for instance. However on nearly any weekend around the country there will be a rabbit show. The British Rabbit Council can give details of ones near you. During the colder months the shows are usually held in village halls but in the summer often form part of the agricultural shows. The total number of rabbits entered ranges from 2,000 to 150 dependent on if the show is a championship or local show.
Show rabbits are broadly divided into 3 main categories, fur, rex, and fancy. Lops fall within the fancy section. Sometimes shows have 4 sections, the lops being separate. Lops, and other breeds, are divided into different colour classes, so for instance, REW (red eyed white), sooty fawn, orange/fawn, sable, etc. This schedule as its called varies according to what colours are popular in that area. Within each class the best u/5 month rabbit and best adult compete for a CC, Challenge Certificate. The CC winners then compete for Best of Breed, Best of Breed competes for Best Lop, and finally Best in Show.
A champion rabbit is created when a certain number of CCs are won, under certain judges as detailed by the British Rabbit Council (our governing body) and the specialist club, in my case the National French and Dwarf Lop Club, and Miniature Lop Club. Both these clubs throughout the year hold specialist lop shows, either within a main show or as a separate All Lop Show. Further information about these organisations is available from the BRC website: http://www.thebrc.org.
The rabbit world also has its own Crufts, the Bradford Championship held in Doncaster in January, and the London Championship Show in Reading in September. It is at these and the All Lop shows that the best exhibitors bring out their best stock.
Though I breed primarily for show, my rabbits are also my pets. I was advised by several well established rabbit breeders and exhibitors at the start of my showing, enjoy your rabbits, breed what gives you pleasure and remember you spend 99% of the time with your rabbits, a judge the remaining 1% – but when they give your pride and joy a winning card the feeling of achievement is amazing.
Rabbit showing can be fiercely competitive but for me it is more about seeing friends and making new friends – all with at least one thing in common, the rabbit.