Monday, November 19, 2007

The Comeback Kid

This weekend was my first rabbit show in over a year and a half. Most people have no idea what to expect when I say rabbit show. Ever seen Best In Show? Well the rabbit world is not so different. Everyone knows everyone & are very competitive. Even though I have been doing this for 13 years, I'm a relatively small fish, so I fall under most of the drama radar.

Breeders are ranked by district (the US is divided into 9) and then an overall national ranking. My name was finally creeping up the District 2 charts, which is not easily done when #1 in the national ranks is in your district. When I left the scene I was showing almost every weekend & making quite a name for myself. I left completely without warning, but when I was ready to return, I decided to return in the same way.

I have two breeds. One I've had for 7 years, the other I'm completely new to. I decided to only enter the breed I have experience with, my Mini Lops. I had no idea where I'd place in the mix, but at 5am on Sunday morning I loaded up the best of what I've produced this last year & headed to the show.

I didn't have anytime to socialized, my breed was called soon after I got there. I got my stock to the table (we have tables, not rings) & stepped back, eying either end to view my competitors. Three of the breeders there have been in the breed for over 20 years, 2 have national standings, & 2 I didn't know. I wondered if anyone who I knew knew me would say hi... but they didn't til I did, whatever. I'm here to compete anyway.

And compete I did. I couldn't believe my eyes, I'm not sure anyone else could either. First I won 3 of the 5 classes I competed in, and then got 2 Best of Varieties, and then Best of Breed! Seriously, this was amazing... I had rarely done this well when I was at the top of my game 2 years ago. I guess spending all that time in my barn breeding and culling paid off!

But that wasn't the end of my day. I had a new breed and I needed to get to know the other people who are in this breed. Now this is one of the highest priced breeds, with most animals going for between $100 & $200. I bought the best stock I could afford. Instead of buying 10 $30-40 animals and hoping to improve them through breeding, I only bought 4 $100 animals. I brought my first baby that I have produced to the show... to see what the "big hitters" in the breed thought. I was so scared that I'd place my little girl in front of them & they would nod & smile & send me off with a few nice words & a "keep at it, we'll see you later."

I brought up Fizzlybear & set her infront of the highest ranked breeder I knew of, introduced myself, & asked if she had time to give me an opinion on my first rabbit. I couldn't believe her responce! She said that this was a rabbit that I could not buy... she was that good! I asked if she had a buck for sale that would compliment her, & she said nothing she had to sell was as good as this rabbit! She showed her to all the other breeders & everyone cooed over her & congradulated me. The editor for this breed's guide book was there & even had a photographer take a picture of her for the newest issue! Yeah, my FIRST Netherland Dwarf will be in the guide book as the ideal for her color... a huuuuge deal!

So... all in all the weekend was better than I could have hoped. I have 4 shows the second weekend in December. I will be showing my Netherlands for the first time! I'm a little nervous... but excited more than anything. I am hoping that if I am focused & make all the right moves I will be competitive enough to attend 2008 Nationals in Kentucky... we'll see. So wish my Nethies and my Mini Lops luck... we're out to conquer the world... or something like that.

No comments:

Post a Comment