A month ago, our local Agricultural Fair wasn’t even on our radar. Since 4-H has been affected by all the happenings this past year we were unaware of so many opportunities, especially this things called an “open show.” Basically, some shows are only for 4-H and FFA students, while an open show is available to anyone that wants to enter.
Since this happened to be an open show, we decided to go for it! Of course we had nothing specific prepared; many people that show spend the entire year prepping their stock for whatever class they want to enter. All our young rabbits have been gone for a couple months, so we didn’t have any of them to choose from. So we went to our beautiful breeders and picked the one that had the least sunburn on her coat. (Sunburn on their coat is simply fading color, not a sore blistering mess like we get.)
We were so fortunate to have a friend experienced with the Fair come over to give us some pointers, tell us what we needed to work on and walk us through the process of everything from practicing holding the rabbit to placing her on the Judge’s table.
Show day came on Saturday and we had already prepped with family talks of, “don’t expect to win,” and “we could end up disqualified because we didn’t know something.” We went in, groomed Luna, cleaned her cage so if the judge walked through she would be nice and tidy and then we waited. And waited. And waited. And then walked around and looked at the cows and pigs (they spoon each other when they sleep…SO CUTE!!) And then finally it was our turn! JJ so confidently grabbed her rabbit, carried her up to the Judge’s table and placed her in the box. The Judge talked her through what she was seeing as she felt for composition, checked her coat, checked her teeth and belly and all the other things she looked at. Then she moved through each of the others, doing the same things and continuing to explain what she saw in each rabbit. This is the most valuable five minutes of the entire day.
What an amazing learning experience, topped off with the excitement of winning. Thank you so much to our friend that gave us the opportunity!