Our first time out to the 4-H show with Christopher’s bunnies was full of highs and lows, riding the wave of the learning something new. He learned allot from other competitors who shared grooming tips and from the judges who explained technical terms to him. We had a great week of seeing friends and watching many of our friends win prizes and get more confident with their animals and projects. This is one of our families favorite weeks of every year and helping Christopher learn about showing animals was a blast.
Our family originally bought our rabbits as dual purpose animals. First and foremost they are pets for my son. The other purpose for having these little guys around is to have off spring, which we will use for food, sale and to show. This has been a year-long project as we started off writing about the rabbits as babies and we now have two mature bucks that are ready to breed in the spring if we can find a nice female to start our herd off with. So over the past year Christopher has shown both rabbits a couple of times. He finished the year with his 4-H clubs end of the year show ” The Jamboree”. This is where all the kids who are part of the county 4- H bring all their animals and projects for judging and prepared to go on to the State wide fair competition. At this years local show around 45 rabbits got displayed. Christopher being the youngest competitor at age 5. Because of his young age he was in the “Open Class” this class is open to any one who wants to show an animal. The class includes children, teens and adults it is open to any competitor. Some years we have had several disabled adults show in this class and lots of under age children compete for prizes and ribbons. It is a great place to train a young person about how judging works, how to care for you animal and how to win and lose with Grace. The week starts with setting up animal pens and cages and getting the animal inspected for sickness and sex. Then listing the breed, age and class the child plans to show in. After check in the animals stay in cages on the show grounds and will be in the barn for the next week. Above is a photo of Diesel in his cage at the fair grounds.The fallowing evening we got to help Christopher show his Rabbits. With help he got his rabbits groomed and clean for the show. We then helped him carry the two 10 pound rabbits into the show ring with Christopher leading the way.
The judge inspects the animal and gives the competitor information about the animal and scores its condition, coat, conformation.
In this case Christopher was the only competitor so the judging went fairly fast with him winning 1st and 2nd in breed and Grand Champion and Reserve for the class of Open Rabbits. It was a joy to see him get a chance to show off his rabbits and get his picture taken with the ” Queen of the Fair” and receive a large collection of prizes for his first attempt at showing off his rabbits
The one thing I have learned about Christopher these last few days is when he is unsure of himself he tells me that he can’t do something.The night of the show he told everyone that he could not walk his bunnies alone across the area. Even though he had done so several other times over the course of the summer at different events. So this time he needed a little help holding the bunnies because they had gotten so large and heavy he was afraid he would drop one of them or they would struggle and scratch him. It was an easy fix for me and a friend to help carry the heavy guys to the judging table and back to their cages. I just hope that the support this time will make it easier for him in the future. It is all about learning and growing with 4-H and I was lucky to learn something too. Hopefully some time in September he will receive his trophy photo plaque and we will have a wonderful time at his awards banquet. At that time I will get a photo of him winning his first show and it will remind me of how small he was when we started teaching him lessons about sportsman ship, compassion, responsibility, team work, and love for animals. I am a happy and proud 4-H supporter. I know that 4-H has changed the lives of both my boys for the better and I will be part of my 4-H family for a very long time.