Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ARBA Convention 2012

I have no words to describe our first ARBA Convention. Amazing just doesn't seem to do it justice.

First off, it was a blast to finally put faces to names you only see on pedigrees, on facebook groups, or read about in newsletters.  Jacob got to meet someone from CA who has helped his program tremendously, when he purchased a rabbit from her last convention and had someone local pick it up for him and haul it home. Julie is an amazing and fun lady!

This is PART of the youth area.  The Open had an entirely different room, with more rabbits!
To be with people, who are just as rabbit crazy as we are, for DAYS straight, was a blast!  I walked in to the convention building, smelled THAT smell of 21,600 rabbits and thought "I am NEVER leaving here!"

21,600 rabbits.

Jacob competed against 236 Havanas

Tristen competed against 327 Dutch.

This was our first convention, and we had NO expectations. We were just happy to be there at our very first ARBA convention!  We were hoping to stay in the middle of the class, and were fully prepared to have our hind ends kicked repeatedly. For all you non-rabbit people, this is the Superbowl of bunny shows. It doesn't go any higher. Think Westminster.

Tristen walked away with a 2nd place Jr tort buck, which was AMAZING.  He also had several 5th, 6th and 7th place. He has only been actively breeding since March, so he should be pretty pleased with the results! I can't WAIT to see the stuff he's got coming up this show season!

Judge Briony Barnes judging Dutch

I-Pods are a must while waiting on your next class to go to the table!

Jacob's bunnies stunned us all.  He was awarded: 1st place Blue Sr doe, Best of Variety Broken, Best Opposite Sex Varitey Broken, and Best Opposite Sex Variety Chocolate, who has a new home and will be heading to CA after convention!

A flock of Kansas Havana kids, representing their state very well!

Finally, after 9...9!!!..hours of standing around watching the Havana judging, (The judge stopped once to use to bathroom. That's it! No break. No meal.) they announced that the best of breed was....JACOB'S BROKEN BUCK!!!!!  I don't even remember what happened much after, except I started crying and ran to call my momma!! ;) 

Gunner is Jacob's BIS winner I blogged about 2 weeks ago.  Home bred, home grown, and now a national Best of Breed winner.

This meant that Jacob would be putting a rabbit up on the Best in Show table. Yikes. The entire thing felt like a dream to us.

(Melanie--they did BIS judging where Lion King was held, and it was a full house! =) )

They do BIS a little different than we were used to at regular shows. They break the rabbits up into 4 groups, and 4 judges come in, each judging their group. (Jacob was in group 3.)  And then they each pick the best rabbit from their group, announce it, and then another judge comes back in, goes over those 4, and announces the best in show.  The judge that had Gunner got him out not once, not twice, but 3 times! I can't even begin to tell you what that feels like to watch. In the end, the best of group 3 was a beautiful Tan.  It didn't even matter...we had had a bun up there! As we were going down the hallway coming out, the group 3 judge came out beside us.  Danny stopped him, shook his hand, and told him that our son had had the Havana. He informed us that Gunner had been his 2nd choice, and that he just needed to be a bit more finished over the top and he would have gotten it. He had everything else needed. =) I don't know if that makes it better, or makes it worse! HA!!

Group 3 bring in their  rabbits

Allan Ormond looking at Gunner

It is dead silent in the room. Its amazing.

Up on the big screen.

This is where my excitement started leaking out my eyes. hehe  This is him pulling Gunner out for  the 2nd time. (and the photographer.)

Best In Show Youth went the Netherland Dwarf.

The boys had to go back to school today, so we left last night.  Jacob was pretty bummed to leave the bubble of convention. Danny and I went up today to clean coops and feed and water, and...get this...take Gunner to get a professional picture taken with his awards.  Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you? Add that to the list of things I never EVER thought I'd be doing!!

Here are some various pictures I thought would be fun to share with you.

The bunnies are ready to come home.=(

There is a booth about ABRA history. So neat!

Old wooden judging tools

An old Dutch handbook! =)

Jacob and his friend, Hannah, looking over one of her brokens.

Bunny dress up contest!

It will be hard to ever top this experince, and I am pretty sure it can't be done!!

But we are sure going to have fun trying!!


April said...

Those are fantastic results. You guys should be so proud!!! I'm glad to hear tort Dutch are doing well - I mention them because I specifically love them. ;)

Sara said...

I saw a blip about this on the news this morning and they were talking about how it was expected to bring over $2 million to Wichita!! So exciting for your boys...just goes to show that hard work and dedication DO pay off. But, you've set the bar pretty high! You guys are gonna be the MVP's of the bunny bowl! Again, so happy for all of you...it feels good to see your kids doing well at the things they love :)

Melanie said...

Well how cool is all THAT!! Good for you guys!! Sounds like an incredible experience!