What Winning Means To Me?

I suddenly felt the urge to write a long post today. I hope this post would serve as a reminder for all of us what it means to have a hobby.

Let’s begin with a few questions:

1. What is the price to pay for winning?

2. What are the reasons for winning?

3. Why is winning so important?

As you all may know, I am currently taking the lead to get the ARBA Sanctioned Rabbit Shows up and running come 4th June 2011. It is not an easy task but I am really looking forward to it.

Also on the other hand, many people approached me and said to me, “Now with so much hype and publicity surrounding you, how would you feel or what will you do if you do not win?”. My answer is pretty simple, the hype and publicity is not about me, but my rabbits. All the newspaper articles was really featuring my rabbits, not me! I am but an instrument to bring forth the realization of the general public of this hobby and the Holland Lop breed.

Do allow me to answer the above questions one at a time:

1. What is the price to pay for winning?

I believe the 3 questions above are very much related. We have to first ask ourselves, why do we want to win so badly?

There are many rabbit breeders in this world with different intentions. My main intention is to build a community of rabbit lovers (I repeat, rabbit lovers) that emphasize on the well being of the rabbits regardless of breeds. For breeders, I hope it is a platform to build a community of ethical and responsible breeders working hard towards improving the breeds of their interest.

With that said, I really do not mind who takes home the largest trophy of the day because we all should be proud that we have really good rabbits that will be given due recognition for their close adherence to the Standard Of Perfection.

But I must say that most of the time, winning is a pride thing.

Some want it for all the wrong reasons. Winnings can bring a windfall to rabbit sales, that we cannot deny because everyone wants a piece of the winning cake. But this reason for winning may get the best of us. There are many things one can do for the sake of getting to the top.

Honestly, if I really want to win the following are some of the things that I might have done or will do and I do not mean to question the integrity of the judges:

1. Engage someone who have sold me some rabbits to judge and make sure I win. With the win, I can boast to the world and mark up the prices of my rabbits.

2. Import all the Grand Champions of the world to stay a Grand Champion in the circuit.

But hell no, the first thing that came to my mind when we decided to organize a show is to do some homework and find out which judge/judges has not send anything over here. We want everyone to compete on the same level. And to be very honest, I really hope that a Malaysian homegrown rabbit would win BIS.  Which means a rabbit that has been bred from imported lines and possesses/retained the good traits fit to compete with the imports. That is utmost important. Of course that would be ideal but not realistic at this juncture as many has only just started importing.

2. What are the reasons for winning?

When we seek to improve, competition gives us the platform to do just that. Firstly, we will not know what we are lacking without an examination. A conformation show is nothing but an examination of our rabbits against the standards laid down. Winning will only tell us how far or near we are to being perfect. Nothing is perfect of course.

At the end of the day and as I have mentioned countless times, this is but a hobby for me. But to some, hobby may be turned into business. The main reason for winning sometimes may be the recognition needed to boost business. Making it a business while still holding steadfast to the major principle for breeding (improvement of breed) would be acceptable (I guess). The problem arise when we abandon the quality for quantity that can be translated in to riches.

3. Why is winning so important?

Perhaps this question is related to the preceding one. But really, we must ask ourselves why is it so important to win. Winning is a prideful thing. It gives us affirmation that we are the best. Now you should have noticed that I use – WE and I. Who are WE and I? Yes, we humans desires the win. Do you really think that the rabbit knows? Perhaps some would know as some pets are known to yearn of affirmation and praises.

The hobby turns ugly when winning becomes important. The attention shifts from the rabbits to their owners instead. “My rabbit wins BIS”, “I am the best breeder in Malaysia” and the I continues to be amplified.

Lastly, I would like to use the 3 words my dear Momma Cheri uses all the time:

Fellowship

Without the fellowship, Frodo can’t get to his destination. Whether you are the organizers or not, let’s look out for each other, laugh and cry with each other, enjoy the moments with each other and surround ourselves with people who understand our craziness over the rabbits. This is the place where we all speak the same bunny language (there will be a lot of humans doing binkies when winners are announced).

Friendship

Let’s ask ourselves this question, “What is the average lifespan of a rabbit against the average lifespan of a human being?”

Yes, we must build this community of PEOPLE with the SAME HOBBY. Rabbits come and go whether or not they are Best In Show winners. Even reputation last longer than rabbits. Without the human, there will not be a rabbit hobby. It is the hobby that sustains the friendship.

Fun

Not forgetting to take things less seriously and have fun. Congratulate a winner, laugh hard at all the shortcomings (not without landing a hand of course) and savor the joyful moments.

In competition there will always be winners and losers. And as Momma Cheri always say….

At any given day, any given judge and given rabbits…

A show that everyone enjoys to the fullest and to crown (as winners) the most beautiful rabbit among all the beautiful rabbits present is WHAT WINNING MEANS TO ME…

P.S.: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA CHERI! We love you tons and millions. One of my biggest pillars of strength in this hobby. This post is also inspired by Rev. Fr. S L. Inspiring sermon today. Yes, we are called to be gatherers!

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3 Comments

Filed under Rabbit Show, Random Topics

3 responses to “What Winning Means To Me?

  1. This is well-written and needed to be said. You’re absolutely right and these questions you’re asking have been rolling around my head for a while now. Why are people SO unethical? Why does everything have to be so cut-throat? These are rabbits, we should be helping each other improve, so the breeds improve! Lasting friendships, lasting memories… that’s what matters.

  2. Timothy,

    Awesome article. Everything is well said. I hope that all your hard work pays off with a wonderful show in June.

    Rob

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