How to Prepare for a Rabbit Show
Choosing rabbit(s) and completing show entries
First and foremost you have to choose the animals that you believe will be of show quality and will do well at the show. Some shows, such as county fair shows and 4-H shows, also require that participants carry out additional activities as part of their rabbit competition. These additional entries should not be seen as a daunting task, but instead as a more opportunities to excel in your rabbit project and be rewarded for your hard work. You should complete these entries well in advance.
Here are some time management tips and a bit of information on the additional entries you may submit:
Nutrition and Conditioning
Months prior to the show you should be conditioning your rabbit for the show. Make sure that your animal is getting the proper nutrition. If you choose to feed your rabbit supplements, first contact your veterinarian or use a knowledgeable, reputable source, then follow the instructions given. ALWAYS make sure that your rabbit has water available.
You should groom your rabbit often. Grooming will help your rabbit’s temperament by allowing the animal to get used to being handled. It will also greatly improve the condition, luster, body and texture of your rabbit’s coat. It will also help you establish a trust relationship with your rabbit. The rabbit will learn to trust you and hence not become as stressed when handled. This will also help you to learn your rabbit’s habits. Also remember to cut your rabbit’s nails prior to the show.
Practice makes perfect! You should practice posing your rabbits properly and going through the routine that the judges will use to check your rabbits for disqualifications and placings. This is also great practice if you will compete in rabbit showmanship. If you plan to compete in rabbit showmanship, you should say aloud each step as you practice checking and posing your rabbit. This will help you build your confidence since you will need to do so during showmanship in order to demonstrate to the judge that you know your rabbit stuff!
Some rabbit breeds are posed in a specific way, while some are not judged in a posed position. It is important that you know the proper pose for your rabbit and set the rabbit in this pose during the judge's evaluation. Practicing posing with your rabbits will help keep the animals calm while the judge is handling them. A rabbit that has not been handled will be scared or aggressive and will make it difficult for the judge to evaluate it. This could hinder your placing because it will not allow the judge to see your rabbits best qualities. The Domestic Rabbit book has a tutorial that states the pose and handling of various rabbit breeds on pages 227-231. It also has detailed information regarding the different poses and how to set the rabbit on the pose from pages 221-226. Use this resource to learn how to pose your rabbit.
Register for the show
Some shows require that you register in advance and may require that an entry fee be paid. Make sure that you complete the registration in advance and whatever additional requirements there may be in order to participate. If your entry is submitted late, you may not be allowed to participate in the show.
Transporting the animals to and from the show should be done as comfortably for the animal as possible. Exposing the rabbit to extreme heat or cold can be damaging to both the animals condition and health. Make sure that you take water bottles, feeders, feed and water to rabbit shows the rabbit show. If the rabbit it traveling in an air-conditioned car, make sure that the A/C vent is not directly blowing air at the rabbit as this can make them sick.
Be on time
It is your responsibility at a rabbit show to make sure your animals reach the judging table at the appropriate time. In order to accomplish this, one must pay attention to the order of judging, which judge will be handling your breed, and which variety and class is to be brought up for judging next.