Showing Your Rabbits
There are three Clubs located around Perth. The Hills Rabbit Club and the Peel Rabbit Club.
Anyone may join any or all of these clubs and may show at their shows. Non-members may be required to pay slightly more show entry fees and will not be eligible for the trophies or the perpetual point system. If a club holds a closed show then only members of that club may enter.
Each of these clubs usually send out regular newsletters which inform their members of coming events and contain interesting and instructive articles.
Apart from the usual monthly shows run by the clubs, in the later half of the year there are several agricultural shows that people can attend.
The Show Dates are located on the Shows and Event Page.
Ringing or Tattooing Your Rabbits
In order to show your rabbit in the breed classes of a show your rabbit must be “rung” or have a Club sanctioned tattoo in its ear. ‘Rung’ means that the rabbit must have a BRC or other recognized ring on its hind leg. This ring is used for absolute identification of a rabbit.
Rings and tattoos can only be purchased from the WARCI by members of the WARCI. So if you are planning to breed rabbits for showing then you must join the WARCI to buy the rings/tattoos. You can only place a ring/tatoo on a rabbit that you have bred yourself. It is illegal to put a ring on a rabbit bred by someone else. It is also illegal to get rings from other members even if you are a member. Unwanted rings must be returned to the ring registrar first before they can be reissued to another person.
If you wish to purchase ringsor tattoos you can write or phone the ring registrar. Rings/tattoos will not usually be issued without prior payment. The cost of the rings and postage are listed on the back page of the W.A.R.C.I. newsletter.
If you wish to, you may register a unique stud name for the rabbits that you breed. This stud name can be placed on your pedigree, on advertising and you can show your rabbits under their stud name. Send your proposed stud name to the ring registrar and they will let you know if the name is suitable or if it has already been registered by someone else. It costs $20 to register your stud name.
Once a stud name has been registered in your name you can use it on your pedigree and place it in front of your rabbits name. If you did not breed the rabbit yourself you cannot use the stud name in relation to that rabbit. It is illegal to use your stud name with a rabbit you did not breed yourself.
Usually when you purchase a rung rabbit the seller will give you a copy of the rabbits pedigree. This pedigree should state the rabbits ring number, breed, colour and date of birth. It should also clearly show the parents, grandparents etc. of the rabbit you have purchased. This will help you with your breeding as it will give you some idea of the colours the rabbit is – or isn’t carrying.
If you wish to have a pedigree chart once you start breeding a standard pedigree can be obtained from the WARCI or many members can provide you with one. It does not matter how plain or fancy the pedigree chart is, the most important thing is that the information on it is correct. When filling out a chart be very careful that all the details are accurate (as far as you know). If you do not know a rabbits breeding, state this on the pedigree – do not guess.
Transfer of Rabbits
When you purchase a rung rabbit from another breeder you will need to transfer the rabbit into your name. You cannot transfer an unrung rabbit as it has no form of identification. Transfer forms can be obtained from the ring registrar but should be given to you by the seller of the rabbit. The cost of transfer is $1 and the transfer form should be given to the ring registrar.
Before you show a new rabbit you must transfer it into your name. If it is shown by you and it is still in the previous owners name you will have to forfeit all prize cards or trophies won by the rabbit. All major winners at shows have their ownership checked by the ring registrar. Also if you enter a rabbit in owner breeder the mother of that rabbit should be registered in your name at the time of the rabbit’s birth.
On the Day
One of the best things about owning a rung rabbit is that you can show it at shows and have the opportunity to win prize cards or even trophies.
Your club newsletters will inform you of upcoming shows, where they are to be held and who to contact if you wish to enter. Entries to a show usually close several days before the show to allow the show secretary to do all the paper work. Always check to see when the closing date is. Late entries may be refused and always mean extra work for the organizer. If you decide to scratch a rabbit after entering it, it is a good idea to let the show secretary know before the day of the show.
If your rabbit is a standard breed and of good quality, it can be entered in the breed classes. It must be rung to enter these classes. The rabbit will be judged with other rabbits of the same type and if it wins this class it can progress into the challenge classes. You do not enter the rabbits into the challenge classes they are automatically entered into them.
If your rabbit is not a breed rabbit or is a breed rabbit of less than perfect standard it can be entered in the pet section. Pet rabbits are judged on their cleanliness, condition and friendliness. They are not judged against the breed standard. There is a pet class for owners 12 years and under and owners 17 years and under. There is an adult companion class.
Entries may be made in writing or over the phone. The show secretary will need to know the breed, colour, age, sex and ring number of the exhibit. If you are not sure of the class to enter, the show secretary will help you. If you wish to enter the owner bred, junior or pair classes you will need to tell the show secretary.
On the day of the show you will need to arrive at the show venue in time to have the rabbit “vetted in”. Your newsletter will tell you the time for vetting in. At vetting in the rabbit is checked for any obvious sign of illness such as diarrhoea, running eyes or nose, ear canker or fleas. If a rabbit is sick, it poses a threat to the other bunnies and will not be allowed to enter the show.
Once you are vetted in, the show secretary will collect your entry fees and tell you your cage number for your rabbit. Last minute grooming can be done now as once the show starts you may not take your rabbit out of its cage without the permission of the Show Manager. Wood shavings are provided by the club for the floor of the rabbit cage, but if you have long haired rabbits you will need to provide a wire floor. You may like to place some hay in your cage for your rabbit to eat but you can’t put food or water in your rabbits cage. If you think your rabbit is becoming stressed, check with the show manager before you remove the rabbit.
While judging is in progress you are welcome to stand near the judging table and listen to the judges comments. If you would like to steward you will need a white coat and you will need to ask the other stewards about what you need to do.
At the end of the day, you will be told when you may pack up your bunnies. Check to make sure you have your bunny and not someone else’s. If you do not do as well as you had hoped in your first few shows do not give up. Some breeders take many years before they breed a really good rabbit that excels at shows. Just by attending shows, talking to other breeders and listening to the judge you are learning and with that extra knowledge you will be able to breed a winner.