Showing in the UK
Firkus and Linda Kinart, WI
Have you ever wondered about the Holland Lop in other countries?
What about the showing or selling process, or the breeding
standard? While Tortoiseshell dominates the table in North
America, what about in a different part of the world? Are
Hollands even called Hollands somewhere else? For the curious
minds, we would like to share our experience with a Holland
Breeder from England named Glen Walters.
A few months ago Linda Kinart received a phone call from Glen
Walters. Glen lives in the UK but was visiting family in
Wisconsin. She was very interested in viewing the
"American" rabbitry and of course, the rabbits. She had
lots of questions, but so did we.
The Mini Lop? . . .
In England, Holland Lops are called Mini Lops. Mini Lops are
called Dwarf Lops. Interesting? Glen was amazed by the fact most
breeders use cages with wire bottoms. In her rabbitry and many
others in the UK, the Hollands are kept in cages with wooden
bottoms and have no use for nest boxes.
Local shows consist of about 15-20 Hollands. At Nationals, the
number is much greater. All shows are pre-entered, local and
national level. All rabbits are cooped at each show. The coops do
not have the exhibitors name on a card, but instead a number. The
exhibitor does not carry their rabbits to and from the show
table, carriers are assigned to this duty. Rabbits are never
tattooed. Instead, they use leg bands. These are plastic bands
that go on the left hind leg of the rabbit as a junior. Usually
the rabbit doesn't grow out of it's leg band but if it does, then
it must be replaced with a larger band. The band has numbers
printed on it.
Standard of Perfection . . .
The English version of the "Schedule of Points" system
is much like ours. Most of the points are placed on the front end
of the rabbit. While we are culling for "a Holland has to
have a head," in England the emphasis is "a Holland has
to have a crown . . . a perfect crown." They, too, like to
have the Hollands sit up and pose. There is a 3 ½ pound maximum
weight limit. Because of this 3 ½ maximum, senior does are
rarely shown because they tend to go overweight. The ratio would
be something like 20 senior bucks for every 2 senior does. Also,
unlike our 6 month senior age, theirs is 5 months. A common age
to start showing juniors averages about 13-14 weeks old.
Hollands are shown in solid and broken classes at smaller shows.
At larger or National shows there is a system to break down the
classes. Varieties are broken down into seven groups: Agouti,
Broken, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, and Wide Band.
Chestnut Agouti is among the most common colors shown. Torts are
about as popular as Blue-eyed Whites, Pointed Whites, Martens,
and Otters. That's correct, the Tan Pattern is recognized. I'm
jealous . . .
And the winner is . . .
ARBA awards legs when we win a first place at any ARBA sanctioned
show. All you need are five rabbits and three exhibitors. We are
also awarded sweepstakes points to fifth place at a local show,
tenth place at Nationals. Glen informed us there are no
sweepstakes points nor quality points awarded, although she
though it was a great idea. They also do not have our ARBA leg
system. Instead they are awarded "stars." A rabbit has
to obtain 32 stars to earn the honor of Grand Champion. Stars are
only awarded to the first place animal. At smaller shows you are
awarded three stars, larger shows and Nationals, five stars.
There has to be a certain number of Hollands and exhibitors
entered to obtain stars, whether it be a first place or Best of
Selling/buying Hollands in the UK
In America, it's the seller's responsibility to give the buyer
the purchased rabbit's pedigree. In England, when you sell a
Holland there is a Commission that takes care of the paperwork
for you and sends it to the buyer themselves. How much are these
Hollands going for? In England you can buy a very nice Holland
for about $50-$75. Imagine that! At our Nationals $75 is a down
payment on most stock. Another interesting fact I wasn't aware of
is the process of obtaining stock from England. Shipping to
America is not a problem, but if someone from England wanted to
buy American stock it would have to go through a six-month
quarantine before they could claim the animal(s). For that
reason, not many England breeders import.
I hope you find this information as interesting as we did. Thank
you for letting us share it with others.