Entering Your Bunny in Rabbit Shows
It is very easy to enter your rabbit into rabbit shows. These steps are fairly similar regardless of whether it is an ARBA sanctioned rabbit show, a 4-H rabbit show, or a rabbit show being held at the fair. Some fair shows are only for 4-H, but some of them also are open to adult rabbit breeders.
Where Are the Rabbit Shows?
The first thing you need to figure out is where all the rabbit shows are located within your area or within the area that you’ve defined isn’t too far for you to have to drive. There are several ways that you can find out the location of rabbits shows.
- The first place you should visit is ARBA’s website, which lists current shows in your area. You can click this link to search sanctioned rabbit shows: ARBA Sanctioned Rabbit Shows
- Some magazines that cater to rabbits like Rabbits USA magazine or ARBA’s magazine, Domestic Rabbit. You might find shows listed in these magazines.
- You also might look up rabbit clubs in your state or local area to see if there is a group for rabbit breeders. Some states have them, and some do not.
- You can also do a search on FaceBook for “Rabbit shows” + “Your state name”, or “Your rabbit breed” + Your state name”. I’ve joined a lot of FaceBook groups this way, and many of them will post flyers to the group as soon as they become available. In fact, in Oklahoma, this is the BEST way to find out about upcoming rabbit shows.
- If 4-H clubs are big in your area, you might try doing an internet search for “4-H” + “Your city name” to see if there is a local club. If there is, you can either search their site for a listing of rabbit shows or contact one of their leaders via phone or email.
Obtain a copy of the show catalog or flyer
The show catalog or flyer will have all of the information on it that you will need to enter your rabbit into their show.
Items on the show catalog or flyer:
- Date and time of the show(s) – Sometimes shows are multi-days and sometimes there is more than one
- Show location
- An address for where to send your entries if you’re entering them before the show and the name of the show secretary
- Breeds that are sanctioned
- Names of judges
- Sometimes there will be a map of the grounds where the show is to be held
Some shows will start mailing you their catalogs regularly or emailing them to you once you’ve attended it before.
Selecting Rabbits to Show
The thing to keep in mind about entering rabbits prior to the show is that not everything always goes as planned with rabbits. Sometimes a rabbit will get sick prior to the show, get into a fight with a rabbit in the cage next to it and come up with a clump of hair missing, or might start molting out of season. So, I personally like to wait until the day of the show to enter my rabbits, if possible. But, if you do that, you need to make sure you get there early to ensure that you have plenty of time to turn in your entry cards and pay for them. Not all shows will allow you to enter your rabbits the day of the show, though, so be sure to check the flyer to see when entries are due.
I like to wait about entering my rabbits because if you enter them beforehand, you can’t get your money back.
Even if you are entering your rabbits the day of the show, I highly recommend that you fill out all of your entry cards before hand. You will need to enter your rabbits weight on each card. Before you fill out the card, you’ll also want to check your rabbit from head to toe for disqualifications. You can still enter a rabbit that you know will be DQ’d just to find out what the judge thinks about the rabbit overall though.
You can also substitute rabbits at some shows. Just make sure you verify with the show secretary how this should be done. It might involve a change fee.
If you have does that are pregnant, make sure that you make sure they aren’t over 17 days into their pregnancy. Does prior to this won’t typically be showing yet, but after this, it is better for their health and their babies’ health if they’re not exposed to other potentially sick rabbits at the rabbit show.
Submitting Your Entries
Find out the best way to submit your entries by checking your show flyer or catalog. Sometimes you have to mail in payment with your entries, so sending them by snail mail is the best way to enter your rabbits.
If you use a rabbit registry software like Evans or Bunny Trails, you can print out a show entry form from there. Or, once you’ve been to a show, you can grab a few extra so that you’ll have extras the next time you go to the show.
Information required on the card:
- Class of Rabbit – Senior or Junior, Solid or Broken
- Ear Number of Rabbit – Left ear must be tattooed with no more than 5 characters. It can be a word, all numbers, or a combination of both. The tattoo usually indicates a system that the breeder uses to track the rabbit’s dam/sire, odd numbers usually mean the rabbit is a buck and even numbers usually mean it is a doe, and sometimes an initial of the rabbitry is used.
- Breed of Rabbit
- Class in Which You’ll Be Showing – Youth (ages 5-18) / Open (all ages)
- Which Show Your Entering – A or B or C show
- Number of Entries Per Rabbit – If you’ll be entering your rabbit in the A & B show, you’ll need to fill out one entry card for EACH show that rabbit is entered. This is because the judge will have individual comments on each show and will need a new entry card for each one.
Email these entries in, if the show allows it. Most will allow you to pay at the show.