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Tips for showing at Convention.

 

One month before convention 

You must submit your entries by the deadline.
I would suggest entering a few days before the deadline incase you have trouble.
Too many people wait until the last day to decide on which animals they’re going to bring and they risk not being able to log on to the website.

You must get a confirmation for your entries and be sure to print off a copy to bring with you to convention. If you are entering On-line, a confirmation page should pop up after you check out and pay for your entries.

You’ll need to bring a copy of your confirmation sheet with you to convention; this is your only proof should there be a problem when you arrive.
Last year, there was a few clichés with the entry system.

When I finished my on-line entries I didn’t get a confirmation page the first try, just a blank page after I hit send. Without delay I contacted the fellow in charge of Entries. And I continued to nag until I had confirmation that all my rabbits where entered. The first time I sent my entries it was a blank page on my end and showed up as one rabbit entered for $156.00 on the Convention entry end.

My friend printed off the Shopping cart page. She claimed there was no other page, the confirmation sheet that may or may not have shown up (since it didn’t in my case). When she got to convention she was unable to show her rabbit since it was placed in the wrong class. Her copy that she’d printed off was the “Shopping Cart”. So even though it showed her entries correctly, the Convention Officials wouldn’t accept it. Her rabbit didn’t get to show.


Your confirmation page Will Not have a Shopping cart icon.

You need to show your ARBA card at check in. If you can't find your ARBA card then contact ARBA and get them to e-mail you a copy before you leave home. Print out the whole e-mail from ARBA and take it with you.

Check in 

When you get to Convention find the Check in Booth.

You’ll want to have your confirmation print out and your ARBA card with you.

You’ll be asked for your ARBA card and then you’ll be given a folder.

In the folder are the following:
A sheet of blank sale receipts.
If you sell a rabbit you’ll need these slips.
You’ll receive two copies of your entries and your assigned coop numbers
.

You need to carefully check and sign one copy of the entry sheet and give it back to the check in booth. You keep one copy for yourself.

You need to check that the information on the coop tags matches the information on the sheet before you sign the sheet.

You’ll keep a copy of your entries, which will come in handy when feeding time and check out time comes around.  

You can’t make any further changes once you’ve signed the sheet and handed it back to the check in desk. Therefore make sure you check it well.

On your check in sheet; you need to make sure tattoo numbers are correct. If you entered 10 rabbits and brought only 8 with you then you need to write Scratched on the sheet beside the rabbits that aren’t there. If you don’t do this you’ll have a problem when you go to check out and two rabbits aren’t accounted for. Many rabbits get dumped at convention each year. So if you have a sheet saying you brought 10 rabbits when you only brought 8 you’ll be in for a delay. Make sure you write Scratched beside the rabbit on the sheet before you hand it in.

I arrived two days early so I didn’t hand my sheet in until the next day. That way I could check it after I’d had a rest. Last year the show started Monday. I arrived Sunday afternoon and put my rabbits away. The rabbits get a full day to rest this way and I don’t risk arriving too late to get my entries in (Car trouble etc.).

I was surprised at how fast my rabbits lost condition at convention. I had a doe I didn’t enter because she’d gone 4.2 pounds after her litter and was well padded but not fat. She was 2 ounces over the limit though. Now I know I could have brought her. She would have easily been less than 4 pounds by Monday’s Show.

You are allowed to make changes to tattoo numbers only.  
For example; if your Solid Sr. Doe (Tattoo T45) molted, you can bring another Solid Sr. Doe (tattoo H36) as a replacement. You cross out Tattoo T45 and write the new tattoo number (H36) next to it, on the sheet that you sign and hand back. You can’t change the class or variety, only the tattoo number.

You must write your rabbit’s coop number in his or her left ear
Most people use a black marker. The judge will read out the coop number instead of the tattoo. The runners use the coop number in the ear to match rabbits to their coops. Even scratched rabbits need the coop number incase it gets loose. 

The coops are sorted by class. Your rabbits will not be altogether. They will be scattered among the isles assigned to your breed according to class. For example all Solid Senior Bucks are in one section. This is designed to make it easier for the runners to get your rabbits to the table for judging.

Each coop will have a tag with the coop number, breeder’s name and entry information.

Coop Markers. It can be difficult to find your rabbits at feeding time. Most breeders personalize their cages to make them stand out. I used baby blue risers. Other breeders attached homemade signs, silk flowers, and Dollar Store decorations. One thing I did notice was some of the rabbits being able to get a hold of the markers and where eating them.   
Whatever you decide to use to help you locate your cages make sure it’s bunny proof and bunny safe. I was constantly pulled foil signs, plastic dollar store toys and decorated paper away from other breeder’s bunnies during convention.

Set-up your coops.

Bring bottles of water from home. The water the rabbits is used to drinking.

Pellets are provided at convention but you can bring some from home. 

Bring your rabbit’s favorites treats with you. Hay, Parsley etc.
Many rabbits refuse to eat while at convention and they can quickly lose condition.
Treats can make a difference. 

Bring cardboard dividers. Many breeders bring pieces of cardboard to block off contact with the rabbits next to theirs. This provides a barrier if the rabbit beside your rabbit is possibly sick or sprays urine and it helps stressed rabbits relax a bit better. They feel they can hide and don’t feel so exposed. You cannot block or cardboard the front of your cage, just the back or sides. 

Wool rabbit breeders need to bring their own risers. ALL coops have solid bottoms. Risers are wire floors to keep woolen breeds from coming in contact with the bedding. Shaving and pelleted wood bedding is provided.
Keep in mind that the risers you make or buy need to fit through the cage door. Most are in two pieces or fold in half. Coop sizes vary; the coop sizes are announced closer to the convention date. 

You’ll need to contact a cage company with the your riser dimensions and have them made well in advance. 

Make your risers an inch smaller than the cage dimensions to make sure they will fit inside. You can adjust a riser that’s smaller but it’s a lot of work to adjust a riser that won’t fit inside a coop. You can bring some thin board cut to length and insert it into any gaps between the riser and the cage if need be.

Some clubs offer a limited amount of rental risers. 

You can’t use hay or straw as bedding this is against Fire regulations  

You can't leave your carriers under the coops or they will be gathered up and put in lost and found.

Many breeders zip tie their cages shut when they are not around.

I’ve found my zip ties had been cut, so next year I may bring locks.

The day of the show you must make sure your zip ties are off all cages.
Runners are not allowed to cut zip ties. Your rabbit will be skipped and not judged. 

The Day of the show

Make sure you’ve removed all locks and zip ties from cages.
Otherwise your rabbit will be skipped and not judged.

Depending on the amount of entries, you may have more than one judge to judge your breed. For example last year we had two tables with a judge at each table judging the same breed. One Judge would get Solid Senior bucks and the other would judge Solid senior does and so on. 

You will not bring your own rabbits up to the table the day of the show.

You can and should volunteer to be a runner for some part of the show.
A runner is a breeder that volunteers to get rabbits from the coops and bring them to the judging table.
 

A helper behind the judge’s table will hand out slips of paper to the runners thatl have the coop number on it. The runner will remove that rabbit from that coop and bring it immediately to the table to be judged. 

The runner will put the rabbit in an empty hole and place the slip of paper face down on top of the hole. The slip of paper will let the judge know he hasn’t seen that rabbit yet. 

You may end up running your own rabbit to the table if you chance to draw its coop number.

If the runner delays bringing the rabbit to the table, it will cause a delay in the judging since they wait for that rabbit. They will not hand out more slips until the rabbit has been produced.

If the rabbit is scratched or missing the runner will bring the slip of paper back to the table and let them know the reason why.

Only the top rabbits will get a placing written on their Comment cards.

For example in the show I entered last year there where Approximately 60 to 70 animals in each class. One table wrote placings for the top 30 on the comment cards. The other table only wrote the top ten.

Check out on the last day of the show

Check out is the most stressful day of convention.  
Everyone is trying to leave at the same time.

You need to gather your rabbits up and put them in their carriers.
You need to have your ARBA card handy, your copy of your entries and any sales slips.
 

Feed and water your rabbits before you ask the officials to check tattoos because the Official will seal the carrier with a zip tie after they are finished checking.

You then find an official to check every single one of your rabbits tattoo numbers and check them off on your entry sheet and sales slips. Once you’ve proved all your rabbits are accounted for, the show official will zip tie your carriers closed with a special colored zip tie.

You can then leave the building with your rabbits. 

Before you leave, you need to go back to the Entry booth and get one last folder.
This folder will contain your show results and comment cards in it.
Open it and make sure the right results and comment cards are inside before you leave.
That way you don’t accidentally leave with someone else’s information if a mistake was made.

 

Scratched Rabbits

If you brought a rabbit and do not wish to show it.
For example, I found two of my entries where too stressed and therefore I scratched them. 
The scratched rabbit will stay in its coop. Just write scratched on their coop tag, you can zip tie the cage shut too. The runners will skip that rabbit and not bring it to the table.

If the rabbit your scratched is at the show then Do Not write Scratched on the sheet you hand back in. Even if the rabbit is sold and isn’t going on the show table. Only write scratched on the sheet if the rabbit isn’t at the show. 

Once the show’s officially starts, no rabbit may leave the show room until the end of the show. This includes sick rabbits. 

Sick rabbits

For the safety of the other animals at the show, sick rabbits are moved to a sick area away from the show room where it’s quieter and less stressful. 

For Sale Rabbits

All “For Sale” rabbits must be entered in the show.

You enter them just like the rest of your show rabbits, one month in advance of convention. Your sale rabbits are cooped in the same area as the rest of the show rabbits.

You are expected to show your “for sale” rabbits. Your entries fee is not a coop rental agreement. Many breeders fill their spare coops with “for sale” rabbits, this has caused a problem in judging in the past. They had the wrong breed brought to the table to judge because some breeder filled their spare coops with a different sex or breed of rabbit. There fore the is a rule in the convention catalog against bring rabbits that you don’t intend to show. 

If you’ve sold a rabbit that you’ve brought to convention then you must fill out a sales slip. Sale slips are provided in the folder you get at check in.

You must fill them out and one copy is given to the new owner and the other copy you keep. When check out time comes around you need to show you slip to account for the extra rabbit you bought or sold. Therefore keep them in a safe place and make sure you fill them out right after the animal is paid for. 

Breeding rabbits at the show

You must go to your breed’s booth and notify them that you intend to breed a rabbit.

 

 

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