"In My Opinion" 6-8 Classes, GCH Classes, Color Classes

Deb Jones, Wyoming writes:

Intermediate classes for Hollands

For those of you that are not familiar with an intermediate class, it is a class that some rabbits compete in at ARBA shows. Some rabbits have four classes to compete in, senior buck, senior doe, junior buck, junior doe, some have six classes, senior buck, intermediate buck, junior buck, senior doe, intermediate doe, junior doe. Rabbits currently are an adult weight of 9 lbs to be considered a six class animal. However, with the changes in showing I think a change to make the intermediate class available for all animals not able to compete at a young age with seniors would be a great improvement. Many shows now have BIS and runner up, or reserve BIS, or are opting to award to the new "groups" and then a BIS. I believe because of the trend in popular breeds, in many areas, 4 class animals make up a larger entry than 6 class, the revamping of the intermediate class would even the scales a bit.

Why an intermediate class for hollands? In our area, we don't usually have a problem with having 5 rabbits in the senior class so a first place can earn a leg at an ARBA show. Yes we all have juniors that win BOB, but we also all have some that could use the intermediate class. What we have problems with is trying to get that 3rd leg on a young senior buck. An intermediate class, for bunnies that are at least 6 months old and not over 8 months, would give the young senior animals an opportunity to earn that third leg, without having to compete with the more mature animals exhibited in the senior class. How many times have you heard disgruntled exhibitors complaining about "how am I ever going to finish this 7 month old holland when he has to compete with all the older bucks?"

I think the intermediate class would be a good addition to the holland competition at ARBA shows, just to get that young senior finished, get his GCH on his pedigree, and then keep him at home till he can compete with the big guys. Hollands are not the only breed that could benefit from an intermediate class, any breed that is slow maturing and improves with maturity should have an intermediate class. Especially those with head development and balance that improves with age.

The intermediate class would not be a mandatory class, for those concerned with not earning legs with too few animals in a senior class, you could still enter young seniors in the senior class, the intermediate class would just be another option.

The Grand champion class has been suggested for hollands, but would be less likely to be accepted by ARBA, since there is no GCH class in ARBA competition. A grand champion class would be made up of rabbits that have earned their GCH title, thus leaving the senior class to those needing legs to finish. Much like a specials class for those of you familiar with dog shows. The intermediate class could serve the same purpose as a grand champion class, giving those 6-8 month old hollands an opportunity to earn legs competing with animals more equal in maturity with themselves.

Showing hollands in color groups in lieu of just varieties would also be an added bonus in competition IMO. With hollands being one of the biggest entries at shows, right up there with ND, who show in color groups, and with Mini Rex, who show in individual colors, hollands miss out on the opportunity to promote diversity in color. With the opportunity to compete in their own color groups at shows, the type would also improve with the numbers of unusual rabbits competing.

In the beginning it may be difficult to finish a chinchilla holland in its own group: agouti or a pt white in the AOV group, but with time, this would encourage breeders to include different colors in their breeding program, so they wouldn't have to always beat the torts for a leg. Those only interested in breeding torts, or the more common colors would still have sufficient numbers to compete, and those of us interested in diversity of color could compete within the color groups.

I would not favor showing in individual colors, because of numbers not being there for legs at many shows, but groups such as: agouti, shaded, self, and any other variety, such as dwarfs show in (and eventually we can hopefully add the tan pattern) would also cut the numbers in the sometimes huge classes of hollands. These huge classes, which are usually mostly torts, because they have been the most uniform in type, could then be cut to a more manageable number for the judges consideration via offering different color groups for competition.

Floyd Edmondson, Arizona writes:

Showing hollands in color groups:

Debbie has asked for comments pertaining to approaching ARBA about the possibility of showing Hollands in color groups.

I am happy with the present system of solids and brokers as I only show torts and broken torts. However, I would not be adverse to having them broken down into the several color groups, but showing each individual color would be a far too long and drawn out process.

But showing in groups would help those breeders of rare colors to have their Hollands better evaluated by judges. As a result, more rare colors would be shown with the chance to get grand champion legs.

While we are on colors, I noticed brown eyed whites were moved from the self group to frosty under the proposed color guide. That is fine if they are pearls. However, I think brown eyed (pure whites) should also remain in the self class along with blue eyed whites. Since I have not bred any brown eyed whites, in my opinion, they should be easy to develop simply by breeding broken to broken (with brown eyes) to get "Charlies" together until all color is bred out. Using ruby eyed whites to hasten the process would be a "no-no" as the ruby eyes could go recessive and appear in future generations, whereas breeding from the broken with brown eyes could carry the eye color through all generations. Note... be certain there are no Albinos in the pedigrees of the brokens you use.

As a teenager, (long long ago) I bred pure white Dutch rabbits from mis-marked Dutch carrying too much white altogether, until I finally got a pure white. I started with the black variety, so I believe my whites must have had brown eyes. I don't remember as I was only breeding for white color. It is worth a try.

On the intermediate class subject...

At first, I thought definitely no, but after considering it for the past month, I realize it would give the young seniors between six and eighteen months a chance to compete in a class by themselves. This would preclude their battling with more mature seniors who have developed the bolder heads the young seniors do not have as yet. YES, I would favor an intermediate class including six month to one year or even eighteen months.

Exhibitors would be on an HONOR system, but actually we are on an HONOR system now in showing juniors. There are many young seniors now shown as juniors that could be advanced to the intermediate class, whereas now they do not have a chance to win against the more mature seniors.

Sam Albrecht of Colorado writes:

An Intermediate Class for Hollands

I had to take some time to weigh the pros and cons of this subject. I've got one of those bloodlines that has a late developing head. So the possibility of showing my stock without having to compete directly against the older bucks seemed appealing. In fact, 2/3 of my senior bucks didn't even win a leg until they were a year old. My best rabbit was winning BOB's as a junior. So I can't see a whole lot of advantage here. In addition, I'd rather not mix the Hollands with the commercial breeds that show an intermediate class. I'd rather see us show by color groups and if we were to show Hollands by color group and have an intermediate class, I think we'd have a judges revolt.

Showing Holland Lops by Color Group

I'm in favor of showing Hollands by color groups because I feel it would increase the number of breeders who might focus their effort on increasing the approved color varieties. How would it do this? I think we'd see breeders begin focusing their effort on making the best black Hollands possible, or the best Chestnut Agouti's, or any of the other color groups, if they had a chance to win legs and Grand out animals in these varieties.

Let's face it, if you want to be competitive in Hollands, you breed torts or broken torts. Now I'm sure that there are some really nice non-Tort Grand Champions out there, and I applaud the efforts these breeders have undertaken. But how much incentive for a newcomer is there to continue in a breed when you're facing a class of 25 Solid Senior Bucks? A beginner might feel more inclined to concentrate on making the best Orange possible if the group is only 10 animals. One of those animals is going to get a leg (if there are three exhibitors), and that breeder will be proud of it.

Looking again to dwarfs, there are breeders who concentrate on breeding the best Chocolate variety dwarfs in the country. Their animals usually won't compete at the same level of the Ruby Eyed White variety, but they have a niche, they enjoy that niche, and they do a good job of producing quality rabbits. Now I don't want to give the impression that the Dwarf people are perfect, they certainly are not.

I raise both Hollands and Dwarfs and my barn is about 50/50 in each breed. What's interesting, is that I've got roughly the same number of animals in both breeds who've gotten legs. In Hollands, I show both broken and solid. In Dwarfs, I show in 4 varieties and 2 groups.

I think Torts will continue to be the dominant color in Hollands for quite a while, even if we start showing in color groups. But I also think that we would have more breeders competing and see more and better quality non-tort colors.

Mike Avesing, Iowa writes:

I found the ideas on a 6-8 class for Hollands most interesting. I understand where some of that discussion comes from. When Megan and I started raising and showing Hollands, it didn't take me very long to figure out that you showed juniors until they reached their limit, then you took the bucks home and stuck them in a cage until they got to be about 18-24 months of age before they were shown again. That way they could be competitive.

Having a 6-8 class would give young senior bucks a chance, and it also may serve as a place for people to show some of those "well-developed juniors" that are occasionally shown. I do however see some serious drawbacks to the suggestion. If the purpose of raising and showing rabbits is to develop the very best animals that you possibly can, how does adding another class so that an inferior rabbit can win aid the breed in the long run. In a breed such as Hollands or Dwarfs, when it is a well established fact that the older senior bucks are the rabbits that most often come closest to the ideal, those animals should be rewarded and deservedly so. The mechanics of adding a 6-8 class would also be difficult under our current judging. You would almost have to make all breeds have a 6-8 class, not just Hollands.

I do disagree with the theory that adding another class would make judging slower. Unless the 6-8 class caused the total number of entries to increase, the amount of time spent judging would probably decrease. Splitting 100 Hollands into 12 classes instead of 8 would make it faster to judge, not slower. Just about any judge will tell you it's a lot faster judging several small classes than it is one large class.

I think the main reason that Hollands are getting better and better all across the country is the quality of competition. If you can take any old rabbit to a show and win, what incentive is there to breed a better animal. In the Holland classes where you often have classes of 25 or better at larger shows, you must breed or buy an excellent rabbit to be competitive. That is what make the breed stronger and stronger. We have a couple of very old bucks at home that were national winners in their younger days. There is no doubt in my mind that both would be lucky to get in the top 25 at a National show now, even if they were in their prime.

Now on to your other topics. I'd like to start by saying that I think it is currently way too easy to make a rabbit a Grand Champion. It is so easy, it diminishes the value of the Grand Champion award. With that in mind, I do think the GC class idea has some merit. There are several questions that come to mind. How would the show determine which rabbits went in the class? Would they have to be registered with a GCH certificate prior to being allowed to enter? If that is true, how would you handle the rabbit that has ten or fifteen legs but has never been registered? What would keep an exhibitor from not showing their qualified rabbit in the GC class if they thought it had a better chance to win in the regular senior class?

The GC class idea would work best if we restructured the way grand championships are earned. An idea might be to stay with the current system, only the rabbit would be a Champion after they met the current requirements. You could then have your Champion class for rabbits that had earned such a designation. Any animal that then won 3 (?) Champion classes (with some minimum number in the class) would then be declared a Grand Champion. I would then propose that any rabbit that attained the Grand Champion status would then be ineligible to be shown at any show except National shows. That way, new breeders would have a chance to win Champion or Grand Champion status at local shows, but the very cream of the crop would still be shown at the national level.

While I'm rattling on, I'll comment on your other topic. "Why do people keep showing their Hollands after they have become Grand Champions?" This is one question that has puzzled me for the entire time we have raised Hollands. I tend to look at it from an economic and genetic standpoint rather than from a competitive standpoint. I've always believed that the best rabbit should win, regardless of how many times they have won before. From that standpoint, I understand why breeders show tier best senior bucks time after time. However, considering the costs of Hollands today (I would guess an excellent senior buck is worth $400-$500 or more), why would anyone risk an animal of that value to win a $5 rosette? Also, think of the setback your breeding program would suffer if something happened to that excellent senior buck. Most breeders didn't have a barn full of excellent bucks to fall back on. It doesn't make sense to me to risk your best animals at local shows. National shows are a completely different story. At the National shows, you should bring the best you have.

Kim Williamson Indiana, writes:

What you said, Deb, about arriving at a show by 8:00 a.m. only to find you sitting around all day, and ending up showing at 5:00 pm really bites! I really do think shows could start giving groups of breeds their show times stated in the catalog. One show that particularly is in my mind that I am not sure I will ever go back to do this: They put the show order up, then they changed it constantly and kept moving Hollands down further and further! What makes the difference? Put the show order up and go with it! I hear a lot of you talk about dog shows, I have never been to one, but I show horses. I think a lot of Rabbit Show committees could do something similar to what horse shows do. Here is a typical horse "show bill' as they call it. This is just a sample O.K.?

Show starts promptly at 8:00 a.m. with Halter classes first. They will list all the halter classes they are having then it will say for example, performance classes not to start before 1:00 p.m. Then they list them in order. (Never changing that order.) And all Contest classes will not start before 5:00 p.m. That way if you am only showing Performance, you know what time to absolutely be there by and if Halter goes over, so be it, but at least you don't arrive at 8:00 a.m. to show Performance or Contesting!

I would like to be able to send for Rabbit "show bills" for upcoming shows and have them look like this: All Four-class rabbits of these breeds (listed) be in by 8:00 a.m. All Six class rabbits of these breeds: A, B, C, D, etc... will not start before 12:00. Breeds of M, N, O, P, will not be judged before 3:00 p.m. Then list the show order and go with it!! Do not change it. I cannot understand why I can't get a show order in my hands before I attend that show. So what if only 3 Palominos show up and only 20 Hollands and 500 Californians.

Shows usually know their strongest breeds for their area from previous shows. I agree that we should do something about these huge classes. Whether it be intermediate or GCH classes. I hate the thought of individual color classes though, it seems too lengthy and confusing! Solids and Brokens only folks!

I do agree with everyone on the fact that there seem to be so many GCHs that are not necessarily that! Adding that 6-8 class would just give us more Grands. We need to make it tougher or not include junior legs in GCH qualifications. Or add a GCH class and call it a special (or something like it), is not a bad idea either. ARBA maybe could add a fourth leg to GCH qualifications. Call it a champion, then win so many of the "Champion classes" to get your Grand ???? A lot of different things we can do. If you think about the term GRAND CHAMPION, it sounds a lot more grand than it really is under the current system.

Also, letting GCH with 20 legs keep on showing really is doing the same thing if you think about it. You are just toughening that class of rabbits. It SHOULD be challenging. Anyone complaining about it will just have to work harder. That's what is supposed to be fun about competing, is the challenge to obtain a better rabbit. Without the challenge I wouldn't be there. Yes, it is frustrating, but there would be nothing to work for. Think about it folks!! If you want it easy, pick a breed that is not common for your area and you can compete against a hand full of folks and grand all you want!!! But if you can't grand a rabbit because of the competition, you need to look at the competition and see what IS winning and why you are not. We should not lower the standards so more people can Grand. If you are new, talk to those breeders with 20 leg rabbits, buy form those folks, read your Hollander. I live in an area that is very competitive, and I will be passed by if I don't start improving and culling hard NOW. If you look at these breeders that are showing those GCH's over and over, it probably took them 10 years or more to earn that status and those rabbits!! Just keep plugging away.

On Registrations, YES! Let's have registered rabbits only in shows! I have long wondered about that. You guys wanna save time? I have seen too many DQ's going on the table that the judge does not catch for some reason (usually because he is human, or not knowledgeable on the Holland breed, (THAT is another whole can of worms!))

Show table coops with tops on them? YES! Good idea and the coop # instead of the ear # that is a must at national shows. Also at cooped shows, care needs to be taken that the coop is safe for small breeds, let's not forget what happened in Louisville last time with the youth coops!! That should never happen!

Marie Heath writes:

I just can't picture having an intermediate class for Hollands, or ARBA going for this. That is a class for meat rabbits that have not yet reached full weight, not for late developing heads. And as for color groups, some people have to scratch their entries now, with the classes so large that a judge could start with Hollands first and still be at it at 6 p.m. Yes, we all have to wait for the most part to finish our senior bucks unless you have that rare exception. After all the work put into the top lop program, people don't want to compete against a grand champion? If you're in this only for self satisfaction I guess so!! Some people will call a show secretary 3-4 times asking if so and so is going to be showing and which animals they have. Anything to win a Sr. leg.

Some judges don't have reading comprehension as it is. Take the new rules for brokens, I had a very nice holland doe with a very small nose marking right on the nose, not near it. This doe was dq'ed. I asked the judge why? The answer was that it was not enough of a spot! Excuse me, the standard says complete absence of color, not what size the spot is to be. This was an isolated time as most judges agreed that this doe's markings were not a dq. Put a new rule in and some people will just not follow it, but still make up their own.

Gail McDonald, California writes:

In response to the column on the GC class designation in the Hollander, I, for one, am a strong proponent of the idea. I feel strongly that like animals should be competing on the show table. I don't understand why someone needs to get 1,000 legs on one animal. Once a rabbit gets its GC, I think it should be put into a breeding program to hopefully propagate its good qualities. However, since there are always going to be breeders who insist on showing their GC's in open shows, then I feel those animals should compete against animals that have reached that same plateau of success.

In the horse world and in the dog world, like accomplished animals are shown against one another. Why not do it in the rabbit world? It makes a lot of sense to me. It can be set up where if a rabbit wins in a GC class, it can be awarded a special ribbon or trophy to recognize its accomplishments. In this way, GC's are not competing against younger, lesser accomplished animals, and the younger animals have a chance to win over animals of its equal accomplishments.

That's my input, plain and simple. I've tried to get that concept off the ground by getting petitions signed and sent in to ARBA, but even though I got the signatures, ARBA has sort of ignored the idea. We need to make it a nationwide, all breed effort to get their attention regarding this matter.

Deb Jones, Wyoming writes:

GMTA...Great Minds Think Alike....and maybe ARBA should unify all the breeds, do away with the 6-8 class, and do only color groups and add a GC class... I like the idea of having ALL rabbits at Nationals and Convention be GC...

Chris Zemny, ARBA Judge, California writes:

SHOWING GRAND CHAMPIONS... Reading about this in the last Hollander, I had to smile. The HLRSC Top Lop Contest encourages the showing of grand champions. In order to place in this contest, a Holland has to win several BOBs and BOSs. I would also guess that anyone placing in the top 20 in sweepstakes shows grand champions. It is very hard to do well in sweepstakes contests without showing animals that are older and have won on several occasions. The problem with Hollands is that the two or three year old bucks tend to be the ones that win. They are awesome and deserve to win. If you have kept a nice buck that long, why shouldn't you show him? I strongly believe that you show your best. If everyone kept their best at home, because they were grand champions, I really believe that the quality of the breed would decline. Competition pushes quality up. If you reduce or lower the competition, you will find lesser animals winning on the show tables.

Linda Mazlin, California, writes:

Regarding the GCH classes, I think it would be great to add the class. I would make the award for that class something really special including a leg of course. I believe that would motivate the people with those rabbits with many legs to enter that class. I do however feel that any rabbit should be allowed to enter the National shows. Some animals were not shown enough even though they are superior animals, to earn their GCH. Also, some people may want to save a few of their best bunnies just for the Nationals. Kind of a “secret weapon” for fun. Besides, I am sure the National shows enjoy the extra entry fees and the vendors reap the rewards from the people that come along with all those Hollands.

I also believe we don’t need the 6-8 class. Mostly for the reasons Mike Avesing stated, it would allow lesser quality animals more of a chance for a GCH. If you have a good animal, it can win as a junior and a senior.

Valerie Harrell, NC writes: 

Intermediate Classes for Hollands: I am one among many Holland breeders that  know  their  young  senior  bucks  cannot compete with the old timers and thus leave the 6 to 18 month olds home from the shows till they get their head growth spurt. But here is a new twist to the idea. Since the judges may not care for extra classes to judge, what if there was an intermediate class for bucks only? Maybe for young'uns 6-12 mo. old? Our breed is known for the cute bit headed bucks but there is very little change in does and it wouldn't make a lot of sense to worry about an intermediate for them. This would be a classing specifically suited to our breed.... but will ARBA go for it?

Valerie also writes: 

Hollands Judged by Color Groups: Being a Holland breeder that enjoys the challenge of improving the type on difficult recessive colors I would very much like the opportunity to show my rare ones in a group that would give them a sporting chance at a leg. I am working on chocolates, blues, pt whites, BEW's, tri-color and opals knowing that improvements in these animals is only for my own satisfaction at the accomplishment and it could be many years before the difficult recessive colors, such as chocolate and BEW, can compete up on the show table. Many showing breeders don't want to use their barn space to work on a color that they cannot win with, so color grouping would encourage more Holland breeders to branch out and try competing in other areas. It could do wonders in improving the rare Holland colors. It still would be a while before these could ever hope to be BOB, but wouldn't it be nice to say "I have a GCH Chocolate!"

Sandra Luning, Texas writes: 

Adding a 6-8 class, in other words, a new class with animals 6 to 8 months of age, presents many possibilities for thought. This would involve adding 4 new classes to the judging schedule, and make a total of 12 classes that would now have to be judged.

For those breeders who have very slow developing head lines, this would give them an opportunity to put those animals on the table who otherwise would just be put back and held for a number of months until they develop enough to compete at the senior level. I know I have one line that develops very slowly as far as heads, and sometimes don't even try to put those bucks on the table until they are between 7 and 8 months old. A 6-8 class would be great for them.

And since a 6-8 class win is counted as a senior leg, it would possibly allow a breeder to grand champion out a young senior very quickly. But it would also allow a lot of 6-8 seniors to grand out who probably are not grand champion material. I think that the senior leg, especially in bucks, should come from competition against the best.

Deb suggested to me that by adding another class of 6-8, it might reduce the huge numbers usually found in the senior buck class, and thus allow the judges to do a better job in selecting the placements of the senior bucks. Sometimes in those huge senior buck classes it does seem to be a hit and miss affair. But down here, most people don't put those young seniors on the table anyway, so I don't see how it would affect the class size all that much.

But I think those beginners who don't have all that much to show yet would love to have an opportunity to show those buns in a 6-8 class before having to throw them into a senior class of very mature animals.

Another thing to consider is the extra time and expense involved in adding 4 more classes. This would have to involve at least another hour or longer. And if you are at a double or triple show, that could make it a very long day. We recently made a double show involving driving 5 hours just to get there. We usually spend the night before the show at a motel, then drive home after the show is over. Lots of times we don't get home until 1 or 2 in the morning, and we don't usually stay for BIS judging. A longer show would involve having to stay 2 nights at a motel, and would make it much more expensive. Add in the entry expense of probably another 4 entries or more and this could add up into quite a bit of extra money at those doubles or triples.

So, in my opinion, considering what adding 4 extra classes would cost me, plus the fact that I feel that senior leg should be a real leg against tough competition, I would have to say emphatically NO. I am not in favor of adding a 6-8 class in the Hollands.

Ronnie Benware, NC writes: 

It's so hard for us "newcomers" to compete with the rabbits that are 3-5 years old. I've only been showing for the last year and breeding for the last year and a half. There's just no way that my new senior bucks can compete against the bucks that have 500 legs! And let me tell you-they are at EVERY show and they always win! 1 wish there was a way to have GCH classes. I think it would benefit every breed, not just Hollands. I feel like I have no chance. The only luck I have is with juniors. Iíll NEVER get my bucks finished! I used to show dogs and I think that the GCH classes, like "specials", would be excellent. Well, thanks for the opportunity to speak my mind.

Sam Albrecht, Colorado writes: 

Showing Grand Champion Hollands: I certainly think this is a personal decision.  Iím chasing a Best In Show, and therefore feel that I need to show the best Holland I have, which happens to be a solid tort buck. The little bugger has 16 legs, 6 BOBs, a 2nd Reserve BIS, and took 1st out of 17 in an all-breed Grand Champion Class that we held this year-just to do something different.

What have I sacrificed? I've probably forfeited getting legs on some of my other Hollands. And some people may think I'm not playing "fair" by showing this guy. What have I gained? I think I've helped the price of my breeding stock. By having this guy on the table all the time, people are starting to seek me out and ask if I have any of his offspring for sale. Also, this guy certainly doesn't hurt me in the sweepstakes and quality point tallies.

 I have often wondered if the system of earning your GCH leg is not somewhat backwards. After you win that senior GCH leg, and have shown under at least 2 ARBA judges, you must then have an ARBA registrar go over your Holland to qualify it for its registration. Isn't this saying the registrar is more likely to find DQ's than the previous judges that have judged your Holland? I would say after you win your GCH leg, your rabbit would qualify for an automatic registration. Perhaps changing how we register rabbits could be an improvement here. If you had to have some sort of a registration to show your rabbits, then the registrar could be required to make sure the young animal measures up to whatever standard is called for. For instance, it could be a rule that the rabbit would have to be at least 3 months old to be registered and shown, this would alleviate the babies that sometimes show up on the show tables. This would also alleviate rabbits with some DQ's being shown, thus saving time at the shows. Then after a rabbit wins its GCH leg, its automatic GCH registration would prove it was worthy of registration. Those that only have the young registration would have just that. I know, this makes things more complicated, but it's just an idea...

Deb Jones, Wyoming writes:

Why do breeders continually show their GCH Hollands? This is a very common question newbies often ask. No offense intended with the newbie term because we have all been newbies :) remember thinking those breeders must not have anything but old bucks to show, and how do they ever finish their young seniors? It can be very frustrating to a new breeder. Until I had a better understanding of how our breed matures, and continues to compete, I was at a loss to why breeders would continue to drag their herd bucks to show after show. It didn't take long however to figure out that if you wanted to compete for BOB in Hollands, you had best join them. And to compete for a BIS, you must also show GCH, generally speaking. To compete in sweeps we must show GCH Hollands. Many of us have been caught up in the sweepstakes competition, and it is fun to see your wins in print. It is interesting to see how many shows different breeders attend, and how many quality points they accumulate along the way. However, attending umpteen shows is not possible for all of us, so remember to keep it friendly, and set those different goals most of us continually do for our herds, but don't get too serious about points. Most of us breeders also do have those "retired" herd bucks that are more valuable at home, breeding, and we make the decision to miss out on a few wins, to keep our buck healthy and around as long as possible, lending his genes to the next generation.

Why should ARBA toughen up the rules for winning a GCH leg? We all know you can get a GCH leg without having the animal be truly that "GCH" holland, you just have to be persistent in showing, and many times, you can squeak by. A holland with a GCH number and 20 legs Is more impressive to have on a pedigree, than just the GCH number. That, in my opinion, is because a GCH can continue to win legs. ARBA needs to make the GCH title a well earned title. I would not like to see ARBA increase the numbers of animals you would be required to beat order to win the GCH title. A GCH title would then prove to be too difficult to win in some regions of the country. ARBA could set the points up like they do in dog shows, setting it up by region, making it somewhat more fair, but again, that depends on what "region" you happen to be in, and what state within that region. You have to win two "majors" to earn a Champion title on your dog. Setting up a regional point system would add much more paper work also. My "region" now includes states that have more people and definitely more rabbit shows to attend than I do in Wyoming. Thus I am at a disadvantage. I also think that at many of the smaller shows having more rabbits in a class to win a leg, or more breeders would make it impossible for any but BOB, and possibly BOS to win legs.

I would rather see ARBA implement a change in titles. Perhaps you would win a Champion title with the existing system. Then you could win GCH with a major win, such as winning over 10 or 20 GCH Hollands in a GCH class. This would "split hares" so to speak, the Champion quality Hollands from the Grand Champion quality Hollands. Maybe this is the direction we need to follow, thus making the GCH title a well-earned title. I remember when I used to show dogs, talking to a well-known breeder about two different dogs I was considering using for stud to my female, and the comment was that one dog was a champion, but the other was a "special". Meaning that the champion was a nice dog, but not a group winner, or BIS contender. So why not add "specials" to our rabbit shows? Adding a GCH class would do this, and make the GCH title a more competitive win could be achieved by having a Champion title as well. This would also stop the multiples of legs being awarded to GCH rabbits, and would make winning them available for less mature animals to earn their Champion title. Then the truly GCH quality Hollands would continue to compete on their own level. If a Champion holland would win BOB over the GCH winner, wouldn't that be a feather in its cap? And maybe that win would automatically give it its GCH title? This would add another class to the judging schedule, but since these animals are usually already entered in shows, it would just make the classes more manageable.  

Lots of different ways to go here, lets hear some input from you Hollanders. This could affect you and your rabbits! Like I said, change can be good!!! Remember, AREA and HLRSC is YOU. We all should be interested in improving our hobby.

The Hollander / Fall Issue - October 1998, The Hollander / Winter Issue January 1999, The Hollander / Spring Issue - April 1999, The Hollander / Summer Issue - July 1999 & The Hollander/Spring Issue - April 2000