What can I say? It has been an amazing two weeks for Renaissance Rabbitry & Team Silver Fox. This breed is making STRIDES in this hobby, and I am so thankful and grateful every day for the people that I get to meet & work with to preserve these beautiful animals.
I’m going to separate this into 2 parts, Part 1 will go over the Georgia State Show, which was HUGE for the breed. Part 2 will cover my very first ARBA convention!
GSRCA held a double show at the State Fair in Perry, GA on 10/16. Just the week prior to convention, it was a smaller show, a turnout of around 200-300 rabbits I would guess, with three excellent judges: Josh Humphries, PJ Dvorak, and Jim Rowland.
Silver Fox started out on the table with Jim, where my homebred doe RR WinnDixie took Best of Breed, and my friend Linda’s (Tale of Tails) buck took Opposite Sex. It was reminiscent of when we first started showing Silver Fox, since the turnout was smaller and we only had 3 breeders present (the lovely Victoria of Red Clay was there as well). Jim made a few comments about my doe, the evenness of her silvering, and her solid body. As always, I appreciate the positive feedback.
Our second showing was initially supposed to be under PJ, however things were moving a bit slowly on his table, so we were switched to showing under Josh for show B. Show B turned out even better for RR as my buck from Heather (Rock Hill), Raziel, took BOB with RR WinnDixie earning BOS right behind him.
We stayed for the BIS judging as it wasn’t too late and we were planning to hit the fair for a turkey leg afterwards. I was absolutely floored when WinnDixie earned Best in Show for Open A. Nearly fainted when Raziel won Best in Show for Open B. Double Silver Fox BEST IN SHOW – at an open, all breed show! Far too often I’ve seen these guys discounted or discredited on the BIS table in favor of fancier or more popular breeds. A double win shows how competitive these rabbits can be! Both BIS were followed in Reserve in Show by smaller breeds, a very nice Dutch from Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn’s Bunnies) and a lovely Netherland Dwarf owned by Bruce. Overall, it was an excellent show, and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to attend and present my rabbits. I am grateful I was able to represent the breed in such a manner. I hope more folks will consider Silver Fox as they continue to be competitive on the show table.
So, of course, woe is me, because the requirement for ARBA convention entry is a 2-week quarantine prior to attendance. This took WinnDixie and Raziel out of the running for a trip to ARBA Convention. The two of my nicest rabbits, who I had considered my “B” squad (HA!) were staying at home this trip.
Let me back up, you’re probably wondering what ARBA convention is. This video will give you an idea. It is the largest rabbit show IN THE WORLD. This year, around 16,000 rabbits (& cavies) were entered, which is tame compared to some years. I’ve heard the goal for the 100th anniversary (2023) is 30,000. LOTS OF BUNNIES!
This year, Convention was held in Louisville, KY, at the KY Expo Center. Louisville is a lovely little town, though I wasn’t able to do much sight-seeing with all of my time primarily being spent at the expo center in the show room. We went out and had some good dinners and stiff drinks before the trip was over. I was lucky enough to be joined by my mother, who flew down to Atlanta and made the trek to KY with me. BEST. MOM. EVER.
We left home on Friday the 22 of October and headed North. Had to make a quick stop in Chattanooga for lunch at my favorite BBQ joint – Sugar’s. Got into Louisville around 17:30, by the time we got checked in, set up, unpacked, and my rabbits settled in, it was 20:30, and we were both in need of sleep.
Saturday brought more of the same, BUSY! We got to the show room after a nice breakfast (our ONLY breakfast the entire trip) and began to care for rabbits and set up the club booth. I also had 2 meetings that day which I had to attend. We got everything set up & ready to go for showing on Sunday. We also set up everything for our Silent Auction, which generated a good bit of funds for the club.
Sunday rolled around, and the morning started off early and hectic. We got into the swing of showing, which lasted from 08:00 – SF were one of the ‘starting’ breeds, with 126 open entries – through 14:00 (I believe it was closer to 15:00 by the time things were finished and cleaned up) under judge Dan. My feet were SORE! I was very happy with how well my rabbits did on the table. I’ve posted my results below. Huge congrats to Margaret Funck on her double BOB / BOS win at Convention. That meant that her BOB winning buck – Puma – would head to the Best in Show judging, and also the Rare Breed Champion judging the following day.
Unfortunately Team Silver Fox did not win BIS for open or rare breed, but we are SO PROUD of our representative, Puma! He is truly a gorgeous rabbit. I can only hope to breed some nearly as nice. When you’re competing against the Nation (and some international competition as well), competition is STIFF! Best In Show for open went to a very FLUFFY French Angora owned by ARBA Executive Director Eric Stewart. Rare Breed Champion went to an absolutely stunning Palomino.
I want to say that I am exceedingly proud of our youth as well. Youth showed after Open, and Ethan won Opposite Sex, while Best Of went to young Chloe, who was attending her FIRST CONVENTION with a HOMEBRED! She will find this tough to beat, what an amazing accomplishment. They both give me so much hope for the future of this breed.
We finished Sunday evening with dinner as one big, foxy family. I am thankful to be able to work with such a wonderful community of people.
Monday we had our general membership meeting – my first as President and the first in two years as there was no 2020 Convention due to Covid. Let’s just say I need to study Robert’s Rules a bit more, but I got it done; not without the help of some amazing people. I am grateful for what guidance and assistance I have been provided, and am looking forward to continuing to learn while I lead this supportive and enthusiastic group of folks. I am excited to see where 2022 will take the club.
On Tuesday, I took mom to the airport and headed to the show room to watch the exhibition varieties (blues & chocolates) show. Jo took both BOB and BOS with her chocolates, and Nancy (Five Bucks) and Sherielu were BOB and BOS with their GORGEOUS blues. We also closed our silent auction, handed out awards, and prepared to head home on Wednesday.
Wednesday morning hit early, and at this point I was EXHAUSTED. I got to the show room around 05:45, and was lucky enough to get my rabbits out before 09:00. I believe I hit the road about 08:45, and made it back home by 14:00. I spent another 2 hours unpacking, getting rabbits put in quarantine, cleaning up equipment, and unloading my truck, so I think I finally sat down around 17:00. WHEW.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I am glad to have been able to experience it with the folks I did. Cheers to 2022 in Reno!!