Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Great Trip and Great Memories

Hello everyone!  This past week was the American Rabbit Breeders Association national convention, held in Portland, Oregon!  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go.  Since it was so far away, my mom and I flew out instead of driving.  It was very stressful because I have never flown rabbits before and I wasn't sure how it was going to work out.  I am happy to say the, with a lot of paper work and figuring out, my three rabbits, Nate, Brown Sugar, and Trump, all made it onto the plane safe and sound! 

The day that we arrived, we put the rabbits in their pens to get acclimated and then we went to the youth area so I could check into the youth contest the next day.  I participated in breed ID, judging, team breed ID, team judging, and I also had to take a written exam.  For breed ID, you only have to go in once, but since I was on a team, our whole team had to go in together.  If you are on a team, you do not talk to each other, but your scores are all combined.  Your personal score is what you have for participating as an individual. 

After breed ID, I then went to my judging class.  For judging, you judge four classes of either rabbits or cavies and you have 7 minutes per class.  For team, each member of your team has to pick two of four classes and those are the two classes you judge.  For team, I chose a class of New Zealands and a class of English Spots.  I liked those two classes because they were both interesting breeds and I knew a little bit about each breed.  I was happy to be on my team because we all worked well together and had a great time too. 

On Sunday, all of the royalty contestants had to take a written exam.  I usually look forward to the exam since you learn something new every year; however, the exam this year was very challenging.  It was a little confusing at times, but I now have something to study for next year.  It also prepared me a little for my registrars test that I am hoping to retake in January. 

Once you are finished with everything, you wait to see if you receive a call back for an interview.  I am very proud to say that I was called back for an interview!  That in itself was an accomplishment since I was in such a large group of impressive girls.  I was thrilled with how I did in the interview and then it was time to wait.  At this point, you don't know how well you competed until the banquet. 

On Sunday, the same day as the test, all of my rabbits showed.  In American Fuzzy Lops, Brown Sugar, a solid senior doe, placed third in a class of 14!  Nate, a broken senior buck, placed second out of a class of 8!  I was ecstatic to see how well they did.  For English Angoras, my little white senior buck, who I worked very hard to make it to this show, placed second to the best in show winner!  That is a pretty big deal, I think. 

On Tuesday, I didn't have much to do during the day, so my mom and two friends of ours went to see what all Oregon had to offer.  We only had a few hours, but we were not going all that way without putting our piggies in the Pacific.  So we went to the beach!  It was a very pretty beach, but it was a little chilly.  I am excited that I get to cross that off my bucket list!

That night it was time for the youth banquet where all of the awards were presented.  I am happy to be in District 9 because we all sat together and had a wonderful time.  It was also interesting because all of the teams that participated together sat with each other.  Now, in my opinion, that is what it's all about. 

After dinner, it was finally time for the awards.  They started with the Management and Achievement contest.  It was an honor to be the winner of District 9 and a runner up nationally for both contests!  After that, breed ID and judging awards were announced.  For team breed ID and judging, we learned that our team placed as runner up nationally!  We were all very proud of ourselves.  Although I didn't place for the Duchess category, I think that I, and my team, did very well!

Well, the next day was the last day, and I was happy to know that I was going home, but I was sad to say goodbye to the convention center.  I had a wonderful time and I can't wait until next year!

District 9

Abigail and I ready for our interviews

Before my interview

Caleb, Isaac, Abigail, and I waiting for our interviews

Waiting for English Angoras to show

I am judging a class of Dwarf Hotots.  Doesn't it look like I have a hat on?
Waiting for Judging to start

Piggies in the Pacific!

Taking pictures of the beach

Management awards
Team breed ID

District 9

While we were gone, we lost a great friend.  Dexter walked a little too close to the mailman's car and sadly was run over.  He was 14 years old and was such an awesome dog.  He gave us so many great memories and I will always miss him.  I loved this little guy, but he is in a better place now.  He is now able to see and not have to worry whether he'll make it up the next step or not.  I miss him already!  Bye bye Dexter.  You were the best dog.  Enjoy the Rainbow Bridge.