February means it’s time for “The Big Show” in Turlock at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. Technically, it’s conferences, a “town hall,” three youth contests, and four shows over three days. It is always big, with many show-goers seeking local motels for lodging for themselves and their rabbits/cavies.
Friday, February 24th begins with the showroom opening at 5:00 p.m. and an ARBA Judges’ Conference that is open to all at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 25th the showroom opens at 7:00 a.m., and at 8:00 a.m., Show A begins as well as the youth contest check-ins.
The youth contests include the 2012 Youth Achievement Contest, which “acknowledges outstanding achievement and leadership by . . . youth members in the rabbit and/or cavy industry, as measured by activities in organizations and associations, performance on the show table, and achievements in breeding and raising animals.” Contestants submit up to five pages in essay responses to application questions including visual aids and are judged on a standards point system according to their achievement, leadership, goals and plans for the future.
The second contest is the 2012 Youth Management Contest to “acknowledge the excellence of management style by . . . youth members in the areas of housing and equipment, feeding and animal care, disease control, record keeping, breeding, and genetics for the care and productions of rabbits and/or cavies.” Contestants submit up to seven pages in essay responses to very technical application questions including visual aids and are again judged by a point rubric measuring their record keeping, management methods, procedures, and results.
And the 2012 Youth Royalty Contest, the one most anticipated in the rabbit community will “acknowledge excellence among . . . youth members, and to allow these members to demonstrate a working knowledge of the rabbit and cavy industry. To explore critical thinking skills, demonstrate personal initiative and provide problem-solving, decision-making and goal-setting activities for these youth members.”
Winners of the Royalty Contest are awarded the coveted titles of King, Queen, Duke, Duchess, Prince, Princess, Lord, and Lady. The winners really enjoy their status and are treated as celebrities in the rabbit/cavy circles.
The application for the Royalty Contest is judged by a similar rubric as the other contests, but there are added challenges of a timed judging of four classes of four animals per class, a breed identification contest, a written test, and an interview. The California State Rabbit & Cavy Breeders Association is seeking the “best and brightest for the continued strength and growth of our organization,” and the competition is tough. These kids really have it together and know their animals.
The raffle is always impressive with vendors, breeders, and participants contributing to raise funds for the Royalty Committee. There is sure to be table after table of rabbit/cavy trinkets, cages, and bargain animals all just waiting to be bid on with $0.50 tickets.
And if that isn’t enough for one day, the Pizza Party is at 4:30 p.m. followed by a highly anticipated “Town Meeting” on new laws affecting rabbits and rabbit shows. Even if you have not been following the recent developments in CA regarding SB 917, this is not to be missed.
Day two includes Double Open/Youth Shows with distinguished judges and youth and yet another raffle. At noon the Cal State General Membership Meeting wraps up the weekend.
Don’t miss the fun! Hop to and register your buns for a road trip. Postmarked entries are due Friday, February 17th and email entries are due Monday, February 20th by midnight.