Interested in showing rabbits? You can't go wrong! Here are some helpful tips when going to your first show. (Click below to jump to certain topics)
I recommend that you go to a few shows and check it out first! Get the feel for things, and possibly even find some nice breeders that you could purchase brood stock from. Don't be afraid to walk around the show and ask breeders about the particular breed they are exhibiting. This will help you decide what breed is best for you! You don't want to buy the first rabbit you see, make sure you look around awhile before making your decision!
It's also a great idea to talk to some judges about the breed that interests you. Watch that breed being judged, you can pick up lots of tips from judges as they go through each rabbit. This can help you learn what to look for in a good rabbit!
*Get a show catalog from the show secretary. This way you will know what breeds are being shown, the judges, and other helpful things.
* If a pre-entry fee is required, make sure you pay. Most commonly you will pay at the show, but make sure you look into it so as not to get to the show and realize you had to pay in advance.
*Figure out your route-Find a hotel if needed, and directions to the show
*Make sure all your electronic items are charged (cell phones, cameras)
*Figure out what rabbits you are taking.
*Make sure all your rabbits are clean and their nails are clipped
Things to pack..for you!
*Book, just in case you have some down time
*Cooler, snacks, drinks, ect.
*Money for food, raffles, rabbit purchases, entry fees, ect.
*Pen and notebook for writing down new things you will learn
*Rabbit Business cards and dry erase board to advertise your "for sale" rabbits
Rabbit items to pack for the show:
*Rabbits :) Make sure you bring the right ones!
*Enough rabbit food to get you through as long as you will be at the show
*Water (I wouldn't recommend using water from the show, bring your own from home that your rabbits are used to)
*Grooming Supplies (brush, comb, nail clippers, paper towel, ect.)
*Tattoo touch up kit, ink, wash cloth
*If you plan to sell any rabbits, make sure you have baggies of rabbit feed to give to the new owners.
*Small fans or spray bottles if it is hot out.
Show paperwork and Rabbitry records:
*Completed show entry form (unless entering the day of show)
*All your rabbits pedigrees
*Standard of Perfection booklet
Show Tips for beginners:
Make sure you get to the show with plenty of time to spare. You need to register your rabbits (if you haven't already) for the show, and get them all settled in. You also want a good spot on the floor near the area that your breed will be judged!
Make sure all your rabbits are groomed and comfortable in their carrier cages. Also make sure they all have legible tattoos in their ears.
Make sure you get a list of when the breeds will be judged. They will not have specific times, but at least you will know that your breed will be judged after Lion heads or Mini Lops. (examples) This will help you get to your class on time. You have to listen closely when your breed is called, the judge will not wait for you. If you miss a class, its not the end of the world, but its not much fun either.
While you are waiting for your breed to be called, walk around and talk to other breeders. Make friends, and possible find a buyer or two for your rabbits. You can also learn many things from other breeders, so don't be shy when it comes to asking questions!
When your breed is finally called, don't take a long time getting your rabbits to the show people. The other breeders as well as the judge won't appreciate waiting. Put your rabbit on the table, and stay right by them to make sure they stay in the box. You also want to be around when the judge fills out the remark cards and gives the places. She will be able to tell you what you need to do to improve your rabbit, and the great qualities of them as well. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask them! Make sure you grab your remark card before you leave. I keep all my remark cards from previous shows.
If your rabbit places well, great job! If your rabbit doesn't do as well as you had hoped, don't get upset and immediately put him up for sale. Maybe there were lots of great rabbits in your class, and that's why they placed the way they did. I have had a buck place 5th in a class of 6th one weekend and then turn around and win BOS at the next show. Also, many rabbits produce better than themselves when pared with the right rabbit. If your rabbit is lacking good depth, find a mate that has plenty of it. Improving the breed is your goal!!
Most of all, don't forget to have fun! After you go to one show, chances are you will want to check out more.