National English Rabbit Club

~ The 24 Carat Club ~

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Selfs, Could they Play a Part on the Show Table?

My answer would be yes. On many occasions very knowledgeable English fanciers with years of experience have offered their views on why membership is down, why 200 to 300 exhibits at National shows have dropped to under 150. With all their observations having some substance but they were all well wide of the mark.

The real reason why new members and in some cases old English fanciers leave is the way we dispose of stock! The fact is, at birth, we can dispose of, at times, over 2/3 or more of the kittens, in this politically correct world we live in that is a disgrace. OK, we claim that the Charlie is an inferior strain and rarely survives long and to reduce the litter gives the remainder a much stronger chance, which is what happens in the wild.

It’s a changing world, gone are the days when the human beings hunted for pleasure – homosexuality was a crime – murderers were hung by the neck until dead. When I was a kid if something fell off the back of a lorry we picked it up and ran home and hid it under the stairs – now they cordon off the street and evacuate the area.

If you had not been bitten by a dog before you were ten years old your mother took you to the doctor to find out if there was something wrong with you! How things have changed.

No I think it’s time for the English fancy to change dramatically to minimize stock disposal upset for new member and to increase entries at our shows – by putting in self colour classes for all colours! Black, Blue, Grey, Chocolate and Tortoiseshell. Anybody that has run on a self cannot deny that they are a beautiful rabbits, type, coat and definitely colour are outstanding and when forming a standard must take a high points rating. So what would the standard look like?

COLOUR: Black, Blue, Grey, Chocolate, Tortoiseshell…………...................................................................................……points 40
(No other colour eligible or admissible all colours to be solid and bright)

SIZE & TYPE: 6lb to 8lb………………….................................................................................................................................….points 20
(prominent dewlaps and chopped rumps undesirable)

COAT & CONDITION:……………….......................................................................................................................................…..points 20
Exhibits should be fit and alert, with short tight coat and firm flesh

EYES: Dry and bright…………...................................................................................................................................................…points 20

EARS: Well furred with colour of rabbit and not over 4” long. Ears over 4” long deemed to be undesirable…………points 10

RING SIZE: ‘D’ (of course)………………..................................................................................................................…..Total points 100

What about an additional show Sunday morning at the ASS with a notable fur or rex judge to do the honors? This idea would be extra to the main event. A dramatic attempt to increase entries and make the morning more interesting. You all know that a self can produce good spotted rabbits, who knows the winner of the show could breed next year’s Gold Cup winner?!

The BRC tells us when, where and to who we can sell our stock, not helpful. I have learned in the last few days of a very keen member who has called it a day after only 2 years because he cannot continue the deadly deed. It needs to be looked at folks before it’s too late.

THINK EXCELLENCE
THINK ENGLISH

ALAN LAKIN

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