Rabbits hoppin' to center stage in Duncan
DUNCAN Their breed names are varied and exotic: Mini Rex and Netherland Dwarf, Wooly Jersey and Fuzzy Lop.
They come in all sizes and colors, and they have been well-trained to catch the eye of the judges in the "show ring."
There is another livestock show coming up at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center, but don't expect to see steers and hogs, or sheep and goats. On Friday, the 2017 Stephens County Rabbit Breeders Association Triple Show begins a two-day run in the north barn at at the expo center.
"We started this about 16 years ago. There was one show (hosted by the rabbit breeders) at the start, and then we had two shows, and then we had three shows for a while. But we've cut back to two shows each year," said C.J. Carroll, the Central High resident who is a longtime officer for the Stephens County Rabbit Breeders Association and helped create the Triple Show.
"The Triple Show is the largest of the two shows we have. The county show in the spring is smaller, but at the Triple Show we'll have 1,300 or 1,400 rabbits entered, and we'll have breeders from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas and other places."
For two days, a group of eight judges will assess rabbits that have been sanctioned by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. "Anyone can enter their rabbits," Carroll noted, "but they have to be purebred and they have to be tattooed on the ear."
While the rabbits may not be as physically imposing as animals competing in other livestock shows, the judging is based on similar principles.
"Basically, the judging is the same as any other animal show," Carroll said. "The rabbits have to be uniform in size and, although the characteristics are different for each breed, they have to have a consistent body type; they can't be big built in the front and skinny in the back.
"The rabbits have to be clean and well-groomed. Each breed has different colors and different markings that the judges will be looking for."
On Friday, all entries for the first of the three shows must be registered by 5:30 p.m. Competition begins at 6 p.m. in the Open and Youth divisions.
There are two shows set for Saturday. For the morning event featuring Open and Youth divisions, registration must be completed by 7:30 a.m., with judging beginning at 8 a.m. After a short break, the afternoon session will also be for Open and Youth divisions.