On location at Dixon May Fairgrounds, a large group of rabbit enthusiasts gathered – often with a furry friend in their arms, in an auditorium for a day filled with judgment, story-sharing and passion for the breeding and exhibition of rabbits has started.

For the first time in almost two years, the Solano’s Rabbit Breeding Association hosted their New Year’s Bunny Bash.

“Our numbers are a bit lower than normal, but it’s still a good turnout. I think people just want to get back to normal and do these things as much as we can, ”RBA Treasurer Janeen Hermon said of the event’s return.

After having to cancel the event to start 2021, competitors from across the region brought their rabbits for a day of competition.

A selected group of judges are arranged all around the venue, where the competition is divided into two distinct parts – show A and show B. The rabbits are then divided into what is called the variety, which is based on the color of the field. fur, length and even breed where they are tried.

What the judges are looking for has nothing to do with any talent, but what they look like, according to Judge Allen Mesick.

“There are 15 breeds of rabbits, and each breed has a unique standard,” Mesick said. “You name it, other than the performance a bunny is probably judged on that.”

Judge Allen Menick chats with a contestant as he painstakingly judges the Rabbit halfway through the A show (Corey Kirk, The Reporter)

These rabbits are then divided into juniors (six months or less) and seniors (six months and over) with their sex. Four winners are then decided between these rankings, then are able to reduce it to two. Then the judges examine each of the two winners of the different colored fur in a lineup and decide the winner for the best of breed.

If the winner is a male (or a male) then they try to match the winner with a rabbit of the opposite sex.

“They should pick a doe or a female to compliment to go the opposite of that, which we call the best opposite of the breed,” Hermon said.

To end the day, after the conclusion of show B, all the rabbits that have won the best of the breed compete for the best of the show. One of them will then be declared the winner, when the next best is chosen as the best reserve in the exhibition.

Looking at everyone who has signed up to compete, Hermon says it’s typical for competitors, especially adults, to compete with a lot of rabbits.

“It’s pretty common. Most people take more than one bunny to show, ”Hermon said. “The average is about five to ten, or something like that.”

Competitors from neighboring regions come to competitions like these in the hope of a good result. Among them was Isabel Thompson, 18, from Modesto, who has been raising and exhibiting rabbits for over four years now. It was her first time at the New Years Bunny Bash.

“Coming to this show is kind of like showing my stock to see how well they’re going to do,” Thompson said.

With a focus on the New Zealand breed, Thompson was able to win in his first round of competition, struggling to continue with the rest of the day. Although she brought three to the event, she has plenty more at home.

“I have 26 at home right now,” said Thompson.

Although it is a difficult task to maintain, Thompson says she finds ways to adapt by taking care of them in her daily routine.

“I do the things that are necessary to take care of them,” said Thompson. “I feed them at a specific time, then I have to work around a big meal schedule.”

Seeing someone as young as Thompson is what inspires someone like Hermon to teach the younger generation about the hobby to get them excited about the craft.

“For me that’s one of the best parts of doing this, it’s just getting the kids involved and getting them excited about participating in this hobby,” Hermon said.

After COVID has postponed many events in the past, Mesick is relieved to see the return of these shows which will benefit the younger generation who are embarking on the hobby.

“It’s really good to be here today to see the liveliness, the energy of the kids behind the table showing the rabbits,” Mesick said. “As well as adults of course too. “

The greatest mission of those involved in the hobby of showing rabbits is the desire to educate those who are ready to learn.

“Everyone collectively helps the youngsters discover the hobby, participate, get them started and give them bunnies,” Hermon said.

Although Mesick has been an active judge since 2007, he found it imperative to be transparent with the competitors, so that they continue to work to improve in the future.

Exhibitors can learn why they were first or last, and I hope they can take those comments home and improve their game for the next time, ”said Mesick.

While education on how things work throughout the hobby is important, Mesick is very committed to people who continue to be warm to others and make events like this so welcoming. Even when animal rights protesters tried to enter to protest what was going on, he said they could not have been more uninformed knowing how much they loved their rabbits.

“They are some of the most loving and supportive people you will meet in your life,” said Mesick.

Those interested in participating in the hobby are encouraged to check the Solano RBA Facebook page for more information.


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