Tag Archives: ARBA

94th ARBA Convention 2017

My first rabbit convention was back in 2011 at the 88th ARBA Convention (Indiana) and it was an experience of a lifetime. Like many firsts in life, I do not think I will ever forget the experience.

And it has not been the same since.

Why?

The friendships and relationships that I had prior, during, and after 2011 grew over the years and it makes me really happy to know that I now have a bunny family across the globe. One that loves me unconditionally – with or without rabbits.

And it is because of this wonderful bunny family that I decided to embark on this “full circle” trip to Indiana once again for the 94th ARBA Convention at Indiana. At the beginning of my journey, I told myself that this could be my last opportunity and I will cherish every moment – come what may.

After more than 30 hours, I finally arrived at my destination. It felt like coming home after a very long time.

After a well rested night, we headed out to the fairgrounds and it felt so good to be back here again.

Approximately 21,000 rabbits from 49 breeds under one roof this time around with the Lionhead and Argente Brun added to the list of recognized breeds since my first convention here.

As usual, there were many amazing animals and the finest representations of each breed.

Besides from seeing my bunny friends from all over the USA, I made new friends and added new members to my bunny family.

The highlight for me personally was meeting the lagendary Kay Miller for the first time. If you have been following my blog, Kay was the generous soul who had been monumental in getting my herd started. Without knowing who I was, she had sent me a top lop in Carmel and my all time favorite herd buck, Clark. To finally meet Kay was truly a dream come true for me. I finally had the opportunity to thank her in person.

 

I truly enjoyed myself throughout the convention which was held from 1st until 5th October 2017. It was nothing short of Friendship, Fellowship, Fun, and Food.

I realized that because I was a new visitor back in 2011, my focus was on rabbits alone. But this time around, it was a lot of fun hanging out with the bunny family. I felt so blessed knowing that not many will have the same opportunities and the experiences that I had.

The feeling ia truly priceless and indescribable.

Only time will tell what the future holds for me and all I have to do between now and then is BELIEVE…

 

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Dream BIG!

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by | September 17, 2017 · 7:44 pm

A Bunny Vacation

After a long, wonderful and productive year of sheer hard work, I decided to take a short vacation. It was a long overdue visit with my bunny family in the USA and I decided that the most appropriate time to visit was during the ARBA Convention since this is the time when most if not all my bunny friends will be gathering at the same place.

My view while having coffee at Terminal 2, Paris CDG Airport

My view while having coffee at Terminal 2, Paris CDG Airport

Unfortunately, not all friends that I met at the 88th ARBA Convention (Indianapolis) attended the 90th ARBA Convention which was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA (October 19-23, 2013) and to make up for that, I met many friends in person for the first time after many years of correspondence.

At the main entrance at 5.30 am.

At the main entrance at 5.30 am.

At the entrance of the Show Room.

At the entrance of the Show Room.

Empty Holland Lop section at 5.30am on Friday.

Empty Holland Lop section at 5.30am on Friday.

Train track over the river.

Train track over the river.

A shop in Harrisburg.

A shop in Harrisburg.

A very busy and full Open section on Saturday.

A very busy and full Open section on Saturday.

My trip to the USA this time around allowed me to set foot in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was Fall/Autumn and all three places were filled with beautiful colors.

Apples at a friend's farm.

Apples at a friend’s farm.

I am so blessed and lucky to have a huge bunny family that not only welcomed me into their homes but also allowed me to visit their rabbitries and showed me around town. I was able to live as a local for a couple of day and it was an experience one will never get being a tourist.

The beautiful colors on the trees during Autumn/Fall.

The beautiful colors on the trees during Autumn/Fall.

Part of the pine tree.

Part of the pine tree.

From within the bridge looking out.

From within the bridge looking out.

Beautiful flowers blooming.

Beautiful flowers blooming.

A tree with senses.

A tree with senses.

Awesome landscape.

Awesome landscape.

The many farm houses.

The many beautiful farm houses.

My favorite white fences.

My favorite white fences.

Silhouette at dusk.

Silhouette at dusk.

After helping with bunny chores at the show room in Pennsylvania, we visited the National Civil War Museum and Hershey’s Chocolate World. We had a lot of fun learning about history and chocolate production.

The monument outside of the National Civil War Museum.

The monument outside of the National Civil War Museum.

Self explanatory photo. :P

Self explanatory photo. 😛

Lots of chocolates!

Lots of chocolates!

One of the highlights of the 90th ARBA Convention was the passing of Tort and REW Lionhead as an official breed.

A very gorgeous Tort Lionhead rabbit.

A very gorgeous Tort Lionhead rabbit.

The other amazing thing that happened was the 1st presentation and passing of the Argente Brun. A truly magnificent  and gorgeous breed to look out for. I look forward to its passing as another official ARBA breed.

A worthy presentation specimen. Such beautiful rabbits!

A worthy presentation specimen. Such beautiful rabbits!

Just before I left the USA, we did a 10 hours road trip from Pennsylvania back to Indiana and the sceneries are to die for!

barn

The barn.

The beautiful corn field.

The beautiful corn field.

duskview

The corn field at dusk.

I must thank my bunny family and friends for their warm hospitality and taking good care of me throughout my trip to the USA. As I continue to miss all of them, I look forward to visiting them again.

It will not be complete without a picture with my favorite breed - The Holland Lop!

It will not be complete without taking a photo with my favorite breed – The Holland Lop!

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PEACE

I believe throughout history, the one thing that follows after chaos is none other than PEACE.

In our own lives, there are many wars and I do not mean physical wars but more of emotional wars. I would like to write more about wars relating to keeping animals as pets.

I am not sure about others, but both my parents have seen me gone through wars growing up having pets throughout my life. The many wars do have a great adverse effect on their pockets too, but that is besides the point. The wars were intense and so much so, they tend to say that I love to “Chook Choong Yap Si Fatt” (henceforth CCYSF in short). CCYSF means “cari pasal” in Bahasa or plainly put, “looking for trouble”.  When translated directly, it means inserting worms into one’s @ss. The Chinese community really have a way of explaining things no thanks to all the proverbs the learned have discovered throughout history. To explain further on the term, worms usually are expelled from the @ss when we go through deworming, getting rid of the “troublesome” worms in the process. Inserting worms into the @ss simply is the opposite denoting how one tries to inject troubles into one’s life. My parents are still clueless as to why I love to keep pets and all the headaches that come along with the hobby. Come to think about it, life could be less burdensome minus all the daily bunny chores, expenses and dramas.

I am sure life for all of us are pretty peaceful if all the dramas did not exist. Somehow, I believe we humans tend to grow restless when there is peace. We need something to jolt us out of our “comfort zone” or peace.

Most of the time, I noticed chaos in a new bunny owner’s life. Mind you, I have had my fair shares of chaotic situations and my wife can attest to that. It boggles her until today why I like to CCYSF just like my parents too. Every pet owner can experience many degrees of chaos while raising their pets. Chaos comes in its greatest force to those who are extra paranoid. Paranoid bunny owners tend to CCYSF more than others. An example would be like those who are so concerned that their doe do not nurse its kits and interferes causing the death of the kits. A grave mistake for not understanding the behavior of a doe in the wild that leaves her nest so not to draw attention to it.

Since 2007, no one can imagine the chaos I went through. But for each chaotic moment, it offered me an opportunity to find PEACE. Imagine that back then, awareness about Hay and quality rabbit food were almost none existent. How far have we come?

There was so much trouble on my mind and the song Bridge Over Troubled Water was just not the song for me.

When we have trouble with finding good rabbit food. THERE IS CHAOS.

When someone acts up and cuts you off rabbit food. THERE IS CHAOS.

When our rabbits go off feed. THERE IS CHAOS.

When someone cheats you by selling you a sick rabbit. THERE IS CHAOS.

When work, family and other life priorities over take our hobby. THERE IS CHAOS.

When our rabbit’s teeth grows awkwardly. THERE IS CHAOS.

When we import rabbits. THERE IS CHAOS.

When we worry for our RM xxxx imported rabbit. THERE IS CHAOS.

When our rabbit dies. THERE IS CHAOS.

When our does are not interested to breed. THERE IS CHAOS.

When our the rabbitry is filled with too many babies. THERE IS CHAOS.

When our rabbit have mites. THERE IS CHAOS.

CHAOS, CHAOS, CHAOS!

There is so much chaos, how can we find PEACE?

For all these CHAOS, I can (not so) gladly say that I have been through them all and have found the best solutions for all of them. What do I do with all these knowledge?

As far as I know, I have poured out into this blog hoping to bring PEACE to fellow rabbit owners.

Unfortunately, sometimes I really feel that by doing so, I have done what I have always been doing, CCYSF! Why do I share information that can otherwise earn me some big bucks?

That is because I love to Chook Choong Yap Si Fatt! I strongly believe that bad breeders, liars and cheaters only deserve to live in my @SS!

2013 continues to be a PEACEFUL year because we have many wonderful products to support our bunny hobby.

Both Genesis Ultra Premium & Versele Laga Rabbit & Guinea Pig food have proved to be very reliable brands. I have PEACE knowing that my rabbits are given the best!

Our very own TinyCritterz.com Timothy Hay have also rise to the occasion in bringing PEACE to many rabbit owners as far as fulfilling the chewing and fiber needs of their rabbits. Whenever you feed TinyCritterz’s Timothy Hay, rest assured that is exactly what I feed at Tru-Luv Rabbitry. My mind would be at PEACE if I were you. We been through the CHAOS, you enjoy the PEACE we found.

TCTimothyHay

Just before I end my New Year’s Day post, I would love to share the best question I received in year 2012.

A few breeders approached me throughout the year asking me, “HOW COME MY DOE IS NOT INTERESTED TO BREED?”

I must first thank the people who have asked me this question. I know they asked because they see me as an expert and could offer help. For that, I must thank all of you for looking so highly on me.

However, when I first receive this question, I was dumbfounded. In actual fact, I do not have the answer and I do not think that I will ever have the answer. At that moment, I can only wish that I can be one of the Transformers robots. If I were a Transformers robot, I would love to be named RABBIMUS PRIME.

I would really love to be a rabbit to know why the doe was not interested in breeding. I would like to be able to have a rabbit to rabbit, one to one talk. Perhaps I will be able to solve one of the biggest CHAOS most breeders go through.

And where does that leave me?

One of the resolutions I have for year 2013 is to be a Rabbit Whisperer and the other is to bring more PEACE solutions to fellow bunny owners’ lives (No thanks, I do not need a Noble Prize)!

May you have less CHAOS and more PEACE in 2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBUN AND EVERYONE!

Be Still, Be At Peace...

Be Still, Be At Peace…

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Take A Bow, Thank You Very Much!

As 2012 comes to an end, so does my tenure as the ARBA District 9 Representative for Malaysia.  I was appointed the 1st ARBA Foreign Representative back in 3rd December 2010. I remember clearly exactly where I was when I received the good news.

Two years has passed and recalling all that has happened since then, it was bitter sweet. I truly enjoyed reporting about all the bunny events that has happened throughout the past two years and I must say that Malaysia ARBA members are pretty much independent/resourceful.

In a relay run, the baton must be passed to the next runner and so it is for me. I am sure that the Show Rabbit Circuit here in Malaysia will only grow in numbers and there will be more enthusiasts/hobbyists that will join in the fun.

I am really glad to have given the opportunity to serve as an ARBA Representative and I would like to thank my boss and District 9 Director, Dr. Jay Hreiz for a wonderful two years. It has been a great pleasure working alongside Dr. Jay and I have learned a lot under his guidance. I would also like to thank all those who I have the opportunity to work with during my tenure as an ARBA Representative.

In Bunnies We Trust, and God Decides…

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Hard work pays!

The 89th ARBA Convention at Wichita, Kansas has just concluded. Technology has made it possible for us living near and far to get almost instant updates on all that was happening which made it more bearable not being there in person.

I am sure the feeling of being present on location is very much different from looking at photos and watching videos. Certain things like the intensity, energy and massiveness of such an event can only be felt on the ground.

Though I have made a promise to myself to try and attend the ARBA Convention yearly with the sole intention of visiting my beloved bunny friends, God had a different plan for me this year. I was blessed with the opportunity to briefly visit 3 different states in the USA and one of which is one of the 7 wonders of the world. Until today, I am still awestruck by how massive it is and its energy is beyond the imagination. Photos are unable to describe how majestic this place is.

The size of the people on the edge only shows how huge this small section is.

This is but only a very small part of The Grand Canyon.

It really feels like I was at the top of the world and the feeling is impossible to describe, simply out of this world. And that was one of the things I was preoccupied with when most rabbit breeders were busy preparing for Convention.

Nice as it may seems, there were hard work involved in everything and in everything there is a price. That brings me to the next part of the intention of this post.

I have known the wonderful family over at the Three Little Ladies Rabbitry since the initial days of my rabbit raising journey. Though younger, the girls have been raising rabbits (seriously) for much longer than me and their collective years of experience surpasses me by many miles.

After such a long time, their hard work finally paid off at this year’s Convention when one of their Jersey Woolly rabbits was crowned Best Of Breed in Open. Their win inspires me as it is a good testimony of how hard work and perseverance can bring about sweet victory. I can always remember that tiny little girl holding one of her rabbits in that news article and I am sure that little girl has grown to be much taller than I am.

Congratulations to the Usakowski family especially Taylor & Jessica!

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The Holland Lop Breed Standards Past & Present

Much has been mentioned about the Standard Of Perfection or SOP in short. It is a booklet published by the ARBA containing very comprehensive descriptions how each of the 47 rabbit breeds that it recognizes suppose to be. Though sometimes it is fairly difficult to interpret and put a physical imagination to the wordy descriptions, it is no surprise that different judges have dissimilar ideas. Though I am far from being a judge, I am guilty of favoring certain physical traits in my idea or version of a perfect Holland Lop.

As of late, I have been a little more than confused than I have ever have been seeing and reading about what is desirable or undesirable in the Holland Lop. My attention is particularly on what “bone” is and how the “stumps” are desirable – I am indeed referring to the Holland Lop’s front feet.

Nowadays, we are so in love with the little “4 studs LEGO bricks” as front legs of our Holland Lops. Having stumps for front legs do look good but if we are not careful, we may overlook the problem of low head mount.

An example of a 4 studs LEGO brick.

Just before I continue sharing my thoughts, I would like to talk a little more about the Standard Of Perfection and show you some pictures to support my observation.

A few months ago, a friend of mine shared a photo of the 1981 to 1985 Holland Lop Standard of Perfection. It was a shocker to me looking at that picture and realizing how much change these animals have gone through. The changes were beyond massive! Let’s take a look at how Holland Lops used to look like in the 80s.

A picture from the ARBA archive/vault.

And as time goes by and with many improvements and upgrades done to the Standard of Perfection, a Holland Lop is now listed as one of the compact breeds. When posed, the front feet must be aligned with the eyes and when that happens, it is said that a Holland Lop “sits up” in an “upright” position. If you have the ARBA SOP, you will find that the Holland Lop looks totally different from the above.

The current 2011 to 2015 ARBA SOP of the Holland Lop breed.

Did the difference shock you as much as it did me?

When I first saw the difference, I was like WOW (or a silent WTF?)!

Alright, let’s come back to the confusion that I have. In one of the recent shows, I hear a lot about the Holland Lops having very long front legs and those that placed well at a particular show have their chest stuck to the “stumps”.

That made me start thinking and imagining how things should really look like. My thoughts were often contradicting and in the end I got an idea to use some pictures to illustrate the concept. I must first admit that my rabbits are no way near perfect and whatever I have done with the graphic tool is solely for the reason of achieving clarity and understanding.

So today I took one of my juniors and started posing her. Of course there are still much improvement needed and nonetheless, I started to pose her like how a Holland Lop should.

This is the best pose I got out of her. She’s a nice Broken Sable Point that I am totally in love with right now.

Then I started imagining “chopping” parts of her front feet off so that I get two “4 studs LEGO brick stumps”. And the outcome…

I hope it wasn’t painful but it does look pretty good…

Alright, here’s a picture of her again before the “chop” off.

She already have nice bone to begin with, don’t you think?

Though it looks pretty good having those “stumps”, there is an adverse effect when you view her from the side (logically, that is). Remembering that when posed properly, a Holland Lop should have its front feet aligned to its eye as stated in the Standard.

This is the best pose I can get with a reasonable alignment.

Another thing that we should remember is that another desirable trait is the 1/3 rule – which is the 1 part head : 2 parts body ratio. Meaning to say, the Holland Lop’s head should make up 1/3 of the body length. Even this little Holland Lop of mine falls short of that by a couple of centimeters as depicted.

Am I seeing 3 heads?

And when I chop off the front feet to achieve the “stumps”, how do you think my little bunny will look like?

My Holland Lop starts feeling lazy and begins to slouch…

More obvious, I no longer can align the front feet with the eye and of course, the length of the body starts to increase, naturally.

Now I am seeing red…

And if we are not careful, we might feel as though we’re in the movie “Back To The Future” and produce our 1981 – 1985 Holland Lop…

A picture from the ARBA archive/vault.

The question is, who is judge and which standard do we follow?

If you have not already notice, like many in the hobby, I am not overly zealous about chasing after these impossible tweak of nature feats. Each rabbit deserves a life just like any other.

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The Best Rabbit Show Thus Far

Today, rabbit enthusiasts from all over Malaysia gathered at Mid Valley Convention Centre for the 2nd MARBA National Rabbit Show. I really like how well organized this show is and kudos to MARBA for such a well organized rabbit show. Having had experienced the ARBA Convention at Indianapolis last year, I felt like it was a mini convention back home!

Prizes and the backdrop

The Show Arena

Nice DIY Show Coops

There are a few things that I really like about the show this time around. Firstly, when I saw the organizers placing comment cards on top of judging coops in the absence of the Judges, I beamed with a huge smile. This is the way it should be as breeders are not suppose to be placing rabbits into judging coops right in front of the judges to avoid any “favoritism” at play. Secondly, even my wife commended on how good the commentary was throughout the show. The general public that attended the show not only was able to watch the judging process but the explanation was spot on which helps everyone understand what was going on.

Comparing to 3 years ago, there has been a huge improvement and this is by far the best rabbit show to date!

ARBA President – Mr. Mike Avesing & Mr. Wade Burkhalter judged really well today and I was able to learn a lot from listening to both of them during the judging process.

The highlight of the day for me was definitely getting to meet both the judges and to have a few words with them. They are both really nice and friendly.

With Mr. Mike Avesing the ARBA President himself!

A photo with the man himself, Mr. Wade Burkhalter!

Another nice thing about the show is that, there were emphasis on pet rabbits too. There was a fancy dress contest and a dear friend approached me to loan her a couple of rabbits for the costume she hand made. She won in the same contest 3 years ago and it brings back a lot of memories. I was excited that she decided to make the 4 hours trip coming down from up north and agreed without hesitation to offer up Pixie Blu and Ivory Joy to be her models.

Busy dressing up…

Pixie Blu the magician bunny garnering 4th place!

Ivory Joy the Dracula Bunny was crowned 1st place!

Nerq & Company. Notice the color coding!

The winners of the Bunny Dress Up Contest!

And then it was time for the ARBA Rabbit Show. Both Show A and Show B run concurrently with Mike judging Show A while Wade judged Show B. I only entered 2 of my home grown rabbits – a 15 weeks old Solid Junior Buck and a Broken Senior Buck that turned 6 months (exactly) today. I did not expect my 6 months old Broken Senior Buck to do well in a class that was made up of mostly top imports in the country. I only wanted him to have more exposure knowing very well he needs time to mature. As mentioned by the commentator, Holland Lop bucks are like wine, they get better as they age.

I noticed that there were many locally bred Holland Lops that are show worthy and competitive. It is very good sign for the future of the hobby knowing that our home grown rabbits are as good as the imports. Right now, it is almost like Perseus taking on the Titans in the movie Clash of the Titans – LOL! Another good indicator is that there are more in the junior classes as compared to the previous shows. Even a first placed junior can obtain a GC Leg now with the rise in numbers in the junior classes.

Mike Judging Murdoch. Placed him 18th out of 19 rabbits in the class.

Wade judging Tru-Luv’s Murdoch.  Turned 6 months today. Placed last under Wade.

On the other hand, my Solid Junior Buck placed pretty well and I am happy with how he is growing up to be a very nice show worthy buck.

A photo taken of Tru-Luv’s Blaze at 14 weeks

Mike judging Blaze. Placed him 4th out of 8 rabbits in class.

Wade judging Blaze. Placed him 3rd out of 8 rabbits in class.

Overall, it was a wonderful Saturday spent with bunny friends sharing and helping each other taking care of the rabbits and having a good time catching up!

Food for thought – “There will not be a rabbit hobby if there is a perfect rabbit”.

Last but not least, congratulations to all winners!

Wade judging Golden Pine’s Gus the little Broken Junior Buck that placed 2nd under Mike Avesing.

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December makes me feel this way

It’s snowing here again (the blog) and December is here already. It is always the happiest month for me and it is also the time for me to recollect all that has happened. It is the time to recall all of the achievements in year 2011. New resolutions to be made just before 2012 comes. Here are the highlights for Tru-Luv Rabbitry in year 2011:

1. Media Coverage

Just before Chinese New Year, I was busy being the chauffeur to the bunnies. They were under the spotlights and cameras for various magazines and local dailies. I enjoyed all the interviews and happy to be able to introduce the Holland Lops to the general public. I am very proud of all my rabbits.

https://truluvrabbitry.com/tru-luv-in-the-media/

2. From USA with LOVE

A few friends put together the most beautiful group of Holland Lops to help me improve my herd further. Thank you very much Momma Cheri, Karen & Dale Bailey, Sydney & Harley Butler, Robin & Josh Laymon, and Shari & Sam Albrecht.

https://truluvrabbitry.com/2011/06/06/i-just-cant-thank-all-of-you-enough/

https://truluvrabbitry.com/2011/05/12/me-cry-a-river/

3. Friends, Fun and Wins at Malaysia’s 1st & 2nd ARBA Show

Had fun hanging out and sharing the “show” experience with friends. Collectively, we took home 3 GC Legs and one of them was a BOSB under Randy Shumaker! We share the joy together as friends!

https://truluvrabbitry.com/2011/06/05/good-show/

4. 88th ARBA Convention Indianapolis

No words can express the experience at Indy. FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS! It gave me reason to miss many wonderful people in my life. I only have friends to thank for this trip because through their generous support, I was able to get myself there! I will never ever forget the wonderful time spent there!

https://truluvrabbitry.com/2011/11/04/88th-arba-convention-through-my-lenses/

5. MROA Officially Registered with ROS

I look forward to get things moving with this association. At the moment we are pretty inactive but it is definitely a platform for all rabbit lovers to gather and have fun. I believe we will be organizing something “soon”.

http://msiaroa.wordpress.com/

6. Building a community of responsible and reputable breeders

“Saving One At A Time” is the motto for the few of us who believe ethical breeding is possible here in Malaysia. We uphold honesty, “sharing is caring”, strive for true quality and not quantity and leading by example. We strive to help and nurture the hobby especially among the new hobbyists and especially the younger generation. In our quest, we are reminded that there need not be many of us just like how “quality is much better than quantity”. I am happy to be able to share with a group of trustworthy breeders who are constantly working to produce the best through proactive research and sharing. The good friends in the hobby makes it all worthwhile even though time is not always on our side.

7. Quality Not Quantity

Coming to the 5th year of working with the Holland Lops, I am glad with the progress of my herd thus far. I do not find myself breeding a lot but with a few litters in year 2011, I am able to produce some very cute animals. I am very pleased with the fact that my rabbits are making individuals and families happy all around. I am proud that they all have a purpose, to brighten up households. I feel blessed to have found wonderful owners and am very grateful that they have found me too.

8. Stay tuned

There is still a highlight and achievement I am anxiously waiting for before 2011 come to a close. At this point of time, there is no confirmation if it will appear but I have promised not to disclose until it happens. I sure hope to materialized and SOON!

https://truluvrabbitry.com/2011/08/13/in-the-studio-we-go/

Merry Christmas bunnies!

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88th ARBA Convention through my lenses

I would like to mention that this will be a pretty long (may not be the best as I cope with Jet Lag) post as I recollect my memories and experience at the 88th ARBA Convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana USA. As most of you have seen in my previous postings, I really had a blast and it was a dream come true for me.

I started out my journey to Indianapolis in the afternoon of 27th October 2011 at 2.30 pm. I arrived at Taipei International Airport for a transit and soon I was on the plane heading to Los Angeles, USA. There was a little delay in between Taipei and Los Angeles and that caused me to miss my direct flight into Indianapolis. I got a little panicky for missing that flight but was fortunate to get a replacement flight. I was stranded at LAX airport from 10 pm until 5.30 am when I boarded the plane to Detroit. It was the longest flight and at this point I was getting really tired from staying up at the airport. I then took an hour flight from Detroit to Indianapolis. I was scheduled to arrive at Indianapolis at 5.30 am on Friday 28th October and because I missed the flight, I finally arrived at Indy at 3.30 pm.

Momma Cheri and Aunt Karen came to pick me up from Indianapolis airport and boy was I excited to see them. My tiredness vanished and I finally found myself being very energetic. Asked if I wanted to freshen up at the hotel, I quickly said no and we were on our way to the show room.

When I arrive at Indy, I was greeted by the most beautiful Autumn or more fondly known as Fall by the locals. The journey to the show room took a little while and I cannot help but to notice all the beautiful buildings. The trees were covered with yellowish leaves which was a clear indicator that it was the Fall season. The temperature was just nice for me as I enjoyed the cool breeze.

Nice architecture all around

Beautiful Autumn trees

Looking at the buildings and surroundings, it does feel like I am in the movie while being here.

Fairgrounds!

A Barn at the Fairgrounds

Love the architecture!

The moment I step out of the car, it feels as though my soul has found its home.

It ain't complete without the PEACE sign!

The Pepsi Coliseum - where the BIS judging took place

The entrance to where thousands of rabbits gather

Since judging only begins on Sunday morning, the show room was a little empty because most breeders will only arrive on Saturday. The South Pavilion entrance leads us into the youth show room and the open show room was further into the building.

Part of the Youth Section

The Floor plan

And since the show coops were pretty empty, I did not go round taking photos of rabbits but instead hang out with my friends most of the time. I was so happy to finally be able to meet everyone in person.

The awards being displayed at the HLRSC supply booth

One of the many show tables

This is where the Open Holland Lop judging took place

First thing Saturday morning, I took my camera and went around both the Open and Youth Show Room to capture photos of all the rabbit breeds.

I started off from the Chekered Giant and Belgian Hare sections

Each section is clearly defined by a sign for each breed

I am drawn to the Chekered Giant breed because it looks magnificent. But don't be fooled by its appearance because I witnessed how one of these hung onto a judge's apron and trashed him with its back legs. This breed is normally judged by the way it moves so a "run way" was prepared for the judging

I love a Belgian Hare when it poses. Very elegant!

The humongous Flemish Giant!

I like the rich grey color of the Giant Chinchilla

If I ever keep one of these English Lops, I will name it Jar Jar Binks!

The huggable French Lop or also known as Frenchie

In between the French Lops and the Holland Lops, it is the Mini Lops size wise

The Silver Fox is a very beautiful breed with "ticking" on its fur. I believe the term "steel" can also used.

The English Spot breed reminded me of the Dalmation dog

I always thought that the New Zealand breed only comes in white color but there were many other varieties as well:

Broken Black New Zealand

The REW New Zealand

The Red New Zealand

The Californian with its distinctive markings

Stunning Silver Marten

This broken black Rex rabbit looks very majestic

Another beautiful Rex rabbit that captured my attention

The Palomino

Blanc De Hotot?

The American Sable

This Beveren is cute!

The Cinnamon rabbit reminds me of Cinnamon Rolls!

The American Chinchilla which is slightly smaller than the giant version

The absolutely gorgeous Champagne D'Argent!

Beautiful Lilac

Creme D'Argent

Harlequin

American

Rhinelander

A Satin rabbit. I really like its plush fur texture

A Mini Satin, smaller version of the regular Satin breed

A beautiful Mini Rex with a unique color

Florida White

Tan

One of my other favorite breeds - Dutch

Himalayan

The third Chinchilla breed, the Standard Chinchilla

I fell in love with the bright red color of the Thrianta

The Silver

Isn't this Havana gorgeous?

A beautiful REW Britannia Petite

An otter variation of the Britannia Petite

I saw many stunning Dwarf Hotot

The big eye of this Netherland Dwarf captured my attention. That is how the Netherland Dwarf should really be!

The posh Polish!

English Angora

I believe this is the Satin Angora

This little American Fuzzy Lop caught my attention. Just too cute to miss!

A friend's beautiful Jersey Wooly

Last but not least, my favorite breed, the Holland Lop section!

#2 Best Fur Holland Lop

At this point I was pretty much exhausted going through every aisle of rabbits in the Open Section so I decided to snap the Youth Show Room in sections instead of focusing on just one rabbit at a time.

Beautiful Tan rabbits

I am in love with this English Lop

A beautiful Jersey Wooly owned by my dear friends of Three Little Ladies Rabbitry!

The amazing thing about Convention is that, you will never find a breed without breeders. That’s what makes the Convention so special because you get to see many breeds under one roof. How I wish we have all these breeds in Malaysia.

On show day (Sunday), I could feel the intensity of the competition as all exhibitors/breeders crossed their fingers hoping to place well with their rabbits. I really enjoyed watching all the judges go through the rabbits and cutting the numbers down to top 10s. After the top 10s has been identified, the atmosphere gets more tensed and after the Best of Breeds are picked, there was a huge sigh of relief from all around.

The District 9 Director Dr. Jay judging one of the breeds

Mr. Allan Ormond working on one of the Holland Lop youth tables

Mr. Scott Rodriguez and Mr. Uno Kivi during the Youth Holland Lop Best of Breed judging

After all the Best Of Breeds has been identified, everyone adjourned to the Pepsi Coliseum for the group and Best In Show judging. In the Open, a White New Zealand was awarded Best In Show while in Youth, a Holland Lop once again was picked as Best In Show.

Group and BIS judging in the Pepsi Coliseum

ARBA Vice President Mr. Erik Bengtson going through one of the Youth groups

Like every other breed, this is the Holland Lop breed Auction where a number of beautiful Holland Lops were sold

That's me again picking the lucky ticket for the Raffles. Thanks to the HLRSC for giving me the pleasure of picking the lucky winning ticket.

At every ARBA convention, the breed presentation is held to pass new colors to existing breeds or passing the new breeds. Unfortunately for the Lionhead, its presentation did not pass this time around.

A cute little Blue Point Holland Lop waiting in the Presentation coop

My last evening at Indy was spent at the wonderful HLRSC Banquet where awards were given out to all who has placed Top 10.

Beautiful awards on display!

The artist who did all these awards is Emily Hromi from Ohio.

More awards!

And this year I have the pleasure not only to attend the banquet but also to donate a Holland Lop painting for the Auction. The highest bid was USD 750 and it was an unforgettable moment for me when the winner of the bid presented the painting to a fellow breeder – the breeder of the rabbit in the painting.

Beautiful framing done and donated by Momma Cheri

And then the day I dread arrived as quickly as how my journey started. It was an emotional farewell for me and I carry with me all the wonderful moments I shared with so many amazing people. I am still in awe by the fact that I was at this place where all the best in the USA gathers. Just imagine the big names in the hobby that I have heard of before this, I am able to put a face to all of them. And the best part is, we get to finally meet each other in person!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I did not know what to expect with this trip and I definitely did not expect to be bawling like a baby. I did not expect such amazing hospitality. I was not only accepted as just a friend but as a part of a big bunny family. I will cherish all these wonderful people that I have met in my heart as each and everyone has earned a part of my heart. I certainly did not expect to miss everyone so badly but I really did. It was indeed a week where I need not explain to anyone why I love rabbits.

I have also learned so much during the entire week and I hope that I will be able to share what I have learned back home. I do have some plans that I would like to present and dreams to be fulfilled back home. I hope to get the MROA up and running so that we can have those visions achieved. Besides from the technical lessons on how to raise quality rabbits, most of what I have learned are life lessons and humility is definitely the one most important lesson that I have learned. You really have to respect a winner that goes, “We did very well, thank you!”. That’s sheer humility and that is what you will get from the Best Of Breed winner!

Last but not least, I must also thank the people that are most easily taken for granted – my family. My gratitude goes to my wife who has been maintaining our household single handed. She is my pillar of strength and her support means the world to me. I would also like to thank my parents and especially my dad for helping me with bunny chores. Yes, that man that paints those beautiful portraits actually helps me with cleaning my rabbit cages while I am away.

Till we meet again USA!

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