Tag Archives: Indianapolis

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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The Amazing 2011 ARBA Convention Experience!

What did I do for the past 2 days? Well let me see…

I have been showered with so much LUV here to a point that there is no jet lag from the 12 hours difference. Partly because I don’t sleep much anyway. Words just cannot explain how I feel so far. I first thought that there will be reservation on everyone’s part since we only got to know each other through the internet. I was so wrong! I now know for sure that I have so many friends out here.

I have the pleasure to meet so many friends here and finally put faces to the many names that I know. It feels almost surreal and each time I feel like I am in a dream, I get a hug and that reminds me that I am really here in Indianapolis attending the grandest Rabbit event of the year! One huge unbelievable thing that struck me while I am here is that, this is THE place to be because this is where the BEST in the bunny world gathers. Just thinking about it, all the names that I have known from back home, most of them are here!

The hospitality that was extended to me was absolutely fantastic and words just cannot express how happy I am to be here right now. All that I can say for now is that, I am LUVed!

As you can see, it’s very easy to be distracted with so much LUV going on around here and let’s get back to the real topic. I am happy to say that I “ran” my first rabbit today. ROFL. It’s a new term to me as well. Running rabbit means that we help look for a rabbit and put it into the judging coop. It’s a very nice and efficient way of getting involved at a show. As we all know, judges must not know whose rabbits they are judging and so, in order to avoid having the breeders to put their rabbits in the judging coop themselves, everyone is given a card so that they retrieve the rabbits and place them into their respective coops. That’s exactly what I did today besides from being so busy snapping pictures, I took a little card, go look for a rabbit and put it in its coop.

There were so many beautiful rabbits in both the Youth and Open category. And there were also some breeds that have captured my attention. I do hope that there will be Malaysia breeders that will show interest in working with these breeds other than just the Holland Lops and the Netherland Dwarfs.

Being here really gave me a clearer picture how this rabbit hobby really is and also dispelled some of my misunderstanding about it – much are not what they seemed to be from how I look at things back in Malaysia and that in itself is very interesting!

Part of the Show Room!

Cavy!

Wheek! Wheek!

Cavy section...

Youth Holland Lops Judging!

Getting ready for the big show!

Very Cute Holland Lop!

Bunny hopping!

Beautiful Belgian Hare!

Beautiful Mini Rex

Jersey Wooly

Nice Hollands!

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Reporting From Indianapolis 2011 ARBA Convention

My beloved fellow Malaysians, I have touched down in Indianapolis and had quite a eventful traveling experience. I will not divulge for now because I really do not have the time to stop and type long. I will just share some photos for now. Enjoy them!

A dutch - the first rabbit I see here in the Youth Section

Lotsa Rabbits!

Brittania Petite!

Lilac

Champagne D'Argent

Palomino!

Blanc De Hotot - The REAL deal!

Nice Mini Rex or Rex, I can't remember!

Californian!

New Zealand White!

English Spot

French Lop

English Lop - this is for you Khairul!

French Lop!

Flemish Giant!

Chekered Giant!

Holland Lop!

My boss Dr. Jay and I. I was wonderful to meet him in person!

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A Bunnyman’s Dream Do Come True

A taste of what's coming soon - photo courtesy of Julie

Around this time last year, I met a special person online. It was also the time of the 2010 ARBA Convention where a Holland Lop won BIS in the Open Show. The special person planted the idea that I should make a special visit to ARBA Convention. And as some of you might know and did follow my quest, I also attempted in the DiGi Youth – Free Your Ideas contest to win some funds but it was unsuccessful.

Little did I know, this little idea soon took a gigantic twist when my special friend started a Facebook group in hope to raise funds to make this idea and dream a reality. Some took the Facebook group as hard begging on my part but the immense support proved that I was LUVED! It feels like my dream has already come true being at the receiving end of such generosity and immense support. Some donated financially while others provided their moral support. I truly appreciate the support no matter what form, shape and sizes they come in.

The funds soon started pouring in from rabbit friends all around the USA. Soon more fund raising ideas were suggested and one in particular was to put a Holland Lop painting by my dad as an auction item. The auction went really well and in total, USD 1108 were raised for my air ticket to Indianapolis! Although, the amount did not cover the entire cost of my flight ticket, it was a mighty BIG help. And the shortage motivated me to work my butt off to save up more money for my DREAM TRIP. And that is the reason why you might have noticed that I have been inactive as far as blog updates is concerned.

For next few days, I will try to update my blog with photos from the 2011 ARBA Convention in Indianapolis. To date, over 23,000 rabbits has been entered in what is known as the MOTHER of all Rabbit Shows of the year.

I ask for your prayers for a safe trip and all of you fellow Malaysian bunny friends will be in my thoughts. I hope my trip will help me increase my knowledge in this hobby so that I can share with all of you.

I do not know what to expect for now but all I know is that, the average Joe in me will have a life long dream fulfilled in just a couple of days away. This is very exciting indeed and I cannot wait to meet all my friends in person. I also look forward to meeting new friends in this journey.

As I make my pilgrimage to the land of Milk & Honey, a place where I do not need to explain why I love rabbits, I would like to again share this video that I have put together in dedication to all my supportive friends in the hobby. Watching the video again, I cannot help but to feel moved and emotional. WHAT A JOURNEY IT HAS BEEN!!!

Thank you all very much for all the immense support! God bless you!

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Filed under Friends Of Tru-Luv, Rabbit Show, Rabbits Around The World