Out of interest, I have always follow Holland Lop shows in the US. I find it very interesting to know. Although I am not yet an expert in this field of showing rabbits (no practical experiences as yet), I will try to discuss what I know to the best of my knowledge.
The order of judging is Solid before Broken, Senior before Junior and Buck before Doe.
The show for Holland Lops starts off with 8 groups as listed below (in judging order):
1 ) Solid Senior Buck (SSB)
2 ) Solid Junior Buck (SJB)
3 ) Solid Senior Doe (SSD)
4 ) Solid Junior Doe (SJD)
5 ) Broken Senior Buck (BSB – not Backstreet Boys okie!?)
6 ) Broken Junior Buck (BJB)
7 ) Broken Senior Doe (BSD)
8 ) Broken Junior Doe (BJD)
In each group after they are judged, the best from each group will be called Group Winners.
The 8 (4 solids & 4 brokens) Group Winners then compete to get Best Of Group/Variety (if I am not wrong) and Best Opposite Sex of Group. There will only be 2 Best of Group rabbits one coming from Solid and Broken. And 2 Best Opposite Sex of Group rabbits again one coming from Solid and Broken. Only the 2 Best of Group & 2 Best Opposite Sex of Group will go on to compete for Best of Breed (BOB) & Best Opposite Sex (BOS).
For example, if out of the Class Winners, a Solid Senior Buck won Best of Group in Solids and a Broken Senior Buck won Best of Group in Broken, any one of them winning BOB would mean that their opposite sex rabbits will be chosen for BOS.
Rabbit shows normally have many breeds and all the BEST OF BREEDS will come together to compete for BEST IN SHOW (BIS) and also BEST RESERVE IN SHOW (BRIS).
Then how do your rabbit get Grand Champion?
It take 3 GC legs from 3 shows under at least 2 different judges to grand your rabbit. GC legs can be awarded starting to Class Winners. So it is not surprising if a rabbit can earn a few legs in a show. Rabbits with junior legs must have at least 1 senior leg to grand.
But there is a clause to awarding the GC legs. The requirements are that there should be at least 5 rabbits competing and at least 3 breeders represented. For example, 5 rabbits should be competing in the Solid Senior Buck category and they should be owned by at least 3 breeders. So the winner of this category will be able to earn a GC leg.
Important procedures before showing a rabbit:
The main reason that one shows his/her rabbits is to obtain a Grand Champions status. In order to grand a rabbit, the breeder will want to get it registered. The Registrar is the person that helps breeders in registering their rabbits. A registrar must register your rabbit by tattoing its right ear. These registrars are registered under ARBA and they will go through your rabbits physically to ensure that they do not have any disqualification. The rabbits that you desire to get registered must have a complete pedigree stating 3 GENERATIONS of rabbits (yes, all the way up to Great Grandparents).
So now you see why a PEDIGREE document is so important when you desire to get your rabbit on the show table. Not just a birth certificate but something that will show you reliable information of the lineage. It is to ensure you show a purebred rabbit instead of hybrids and mixed breeds.
Why 3 generations of rabbits in the PEDIGREE you might ask. A purebred rabbit is one with 3 generations of purebred ancestry. Meaning to say, all the way up to the great grandparents must be at least Holland Lops. Why wouldn’t they be Holland Lops? That is because, Holland Lops are still being developed and they may cross breed with another breed to enhance the color or fur texture. For more information on this topic, please refer to an old post I posted previously called F1, F2, F3, F4, Hybrid & Purebred?
Another interesting thing is that, the rabbit that you desire to show DO NOT need to be offspring of a show rabbit or even a registered rabbit (but they must be pedigreed). Whether showing rabbits or dogs, the sense of integrity and principles of a person is always put to the test. Show breeders that cares a great deal of their reputations will uphold good sense of showmanship.
What I have witness and have the honor to know about the local dog showing world is that, there are bound to be some breeders that do not take to not winning that well. They just cannot lose and therefore, may “tweak” the pedigrees just to get through the procedures. Unethical dog breeders in order to get their dogs registered has also resorted to using a dead dog’s pedigree to get pedigrees for some mixed breed puppies. I know of many dogs without pedigrees having pedigreed puppies.
So the best thing to do is not to take winning or losing that seriously. Just have FUN and in the midst of that, have a great FELLOWSHIP and make many great FRIENDSHIPS!