|Posted on September 28, 2013 at 4:15 PM|
I have now worked with three ARBA judges as required for my registrar's license! It was a blast, I learned a lot from each judge and enjoyed handling so many breeds of rabbits.
I was able to assist Steve Zaruba for my first show, Troy Ihrke for my second show, and Vic Vogts for my third show. I appreciate the time each of them took, giving me pointers throughout the day. I learned how to handle the large breeds, DQ's to watch for on specific varieties, and how to pose Netherland dwarfs, Britannia petites, and Jersey woolies. Each judge had their own style, and I enjoyed working with all of them.
With Steve Zaruba I did Polish, rex, champagne D'argents, harlequins, Flemish giants, Californians, Netherland dwarfs, Havanas, a Jersey wooly, a Britannia petite, and a French angora.
We started with Polish, he had me check each rabbit over for DQ's, then checked them himself to make sure I didn't miss anything. After a few classes he just let me do all the checking while he judged. If I got far enough ahead of him he'd have me place a class the way I wanted, and tell him why I placed them that way. He would look them over and tell me if he agreed or not and why. If there was a single rabbit in a class he'd have me give comments on it. With the Polish I learned that the broken color can be tricky, the pattern made it hard for me to see their type properly. The judge told me to close my eyes and feel the rabbits to get a better idea of their shape.
I wasn't used to handling large rabbits, since I've only raised mini rex. I had a little trouble turning over the large breeds at first, but the judge showed me a better way to do it. With practice I got better, but I was covered in scratches and my arms were quite tired after doing big rabbits most of the day!
For my second judge assist I worked with Troy Ihrke. We did English angoras, Himalayans, Netherland dwarfs, Americans, and Holland lops. Only five breeds, but there were a lot of them(except the Americans).
The classes were large, so I would check each rabbit for DQ's, then the judge would give me a few rabbits to place while he checked the rest of the class. After I placed them he'd ask me why I placed them that way, and would tell me if he agreed or not. If I found a DQ on a rabbit he'd have me give the comments for that rabbit. He kept me on my toes, too! While I was busy concentrating he'd suddenly quiz me on correct color, or whether a certain variety was showable in Netherlands, or other tricky stuff. I'm glad I studied so hard! He also let me look at the Best 6 Class and Best 4 Class winners. I thought the 6 Class winner was best and he agreed.
I learned a lot about posing and judging Netherland dwarfs and Holland lops. It was my first time to see the American breed, too. I didn't have any trouble handling the rabbits this time.
To finish I worked with Vic Vogts. I had a lot of different kinds of rabbits to work with this time: Dutch, Florida whites, Netherland dwarfs, Jersey woolies, American fuzzy lops, and Belgian hares. Talk about variety! This time I again checked each rabbit for DQ's, with the judge checking them all after I did. Then he'd have me place at least one class in each breed, often a class in each variety or group. He'd have me tell him why I placed them the way I did, and then he'd have me give comments on the class.
I enjoyed judging the Dutch, their markings kept me from getting bored (as if that's possible). The American fuzzy lops were feisty that day, some were growling at us and even trying to bite. I learned how to pose them and what their wool should feel like.The Belgians were pretty neat, I've never handled one before. Turning them over was tricky at first, with their long legs poking out, but I got the hang of it eventually. Posing them was even more difficult, some were more interested in sniffing the table than sitting up tall.
Now the next step is to work with a registrar! If at least two of the judges and the registrar pass me, I will get my license!