Rabbit knowledge events are a productive way to learn how to raise healthy rabbits. Some clubs hold friendly competitions for youth to show what they know and to hone presentation skills. There are many events: breed ID, judging, showmanship, written knowledge tests, and talking about rabbit care & rabbitry management.
Some of the larger annual shows offer a royalty competition which includes all the events! In this case the hoghest cumulative score earns a royalty title, such as King or Queen, Prince or Princess. I think these events are fun. I'm going to share what I know to help any youth who want to compete.
Breed Identification is the most common, and in my opinion, most important event in rabbit knowledge competitions. Most of the time, breed ID will consist of stating what the breed, showroom variety, and the registration variety of a selection of rabbits is. You will also likely be expected to say whether the rabbit is a 4-class or a 6-class breed. At most competitions there will be a selection of rabbits set aside for youth to ID, but with the rise of virtual shows in 2020, I participated in several virtual breed ID competitions where I was only shown images of the animals. Now, we have returned to in-person breed ID at shows.
General Tips and Tricks for breed ID
1.) Ask the officials what you can and can’t do with the rabbits in the cage in front of you. Sometimes being able to blow into the coat of an animal can help you detect ring color, which can be helpful for deciding the variety. You may be allowed to feel the fur of an animal, or feel its body type.
2.) Read your Standard of Perfection (SOP) before the competition. In the SOP, you can read about every recognized breed and its varieties. This is helpful for learning whether a breed has variety groups, for instance, and differences between breeds.
3.) Keep updated on newly recognized breeds and varieties. If you are a member of ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) you are automatically sent their magazine (Domestic Rabbit) which has an annual list of newly accepted breeds and varieties. One example of a new variety is the Chinchilla in Dutch which was recognized 2 years ago, but it is rarely seen at shows because there are so few of them.
This is the simplest part of Breed ID is identifying the breeds themselves. This is when the SOP comes in handy because it not only has descriptions of every breed, it also has fairly high quality pictures of the breeds. MORE COMING SOON
What is 4-class versus 6-class ?