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History of the Seller's Class

by Rick Billups

Did you ever wonder how the Sellers Class was started? How about who started it and when? I thought my first article would be one to answer this question. While making copies of the Dutch Reporters I uncovered the following information, let's follow the time line.
Minutes from the 1956 ARBA Convention in St Paul, Minnesota - published in the July 1957 Dutch Reporter:
New business - after some discussion, Mr. Shufflebotham introduced the idea of a "Selling Class" at the National Dutch Show. To be a no entry fee - all stock to be sold via auction, with a 25% of sales price going to the donor; class to be judged like regular class of Dutch.
Mr. Lowit moved that the ADRC originate a "Sellers Class" for the National Dutch Show, with a trophy given for the Best in this class, with stock to be sold, and 25% of sales price going to the Donor. Supported by Mr. Buckley. Motion carried.
Rules to Govern "Sellers Class" - published in the August 1957 Dutch Reporter, written by H.C. Lewit
After a tremendous amount of correspondence with many interested parties in this "Sellers Class", we have come up with a set of rules, we believe, that are as good as we can make without having experience of several shows.
The following rules will be written in the Little Rock Convention catalog, and you will note to make it worthwhile, the Dutch Club has put up $30.00 in cash from first to fifth place.
This class is another first for the American Dutch Rabbit Club, and I feel certain that it will be copied by other clubs as time goes on. At last years Convention your Ways and Means Committee came up with many ideas how to increase the size of the Treasury in the Club, and we are most happy to know that the first idea of raising the dues passed by a small margin of votes. We realized that this would be close, because no one wants to pay out more money, but I didn't think this slight increase is going to hurt any of us, and will certainly do the Treasury a great deal of good. To those of you who voted against it, I don't blame you a bit, because as I just mentioned, nobody wants to pay out more money, but to those of you that voted for it, our Ways and Means Committee wants to thank you very much, because with your cooperation this is the only way that we can do the job that we were assigned.
Now we ask your cooperation on this "Sellers Class", and we as a committee will appreciate it very much if each of one of you breeders that exhibit at the Convention will put up a few of your rabbits to be auctioned off in this "Sellers Class".
In addition to helping the Dutch Club Treasury, there will be many advantages to you as a breeder. You will receive a great deal of publicity at the auction and later on in the publications. In addition to this, other breeders around the country will have a chance to get a hold of Convention quality stock., thereby giving additional publicity to your herd. Further there is a great possibility that new breeders will be brought into the Dutch Family by getting them started with good stock.
As a last request of your Way and Mean Committee, your cooperation in making this "Sellers Class" a big success will be more than appreciated by all of us. Be seeing you at Little Rock.
American Dutch Club Sellers Class Rules -
  1. All entries in this class subject to sale to the highest bidder. Owner to receive 25% of the bid price, Dutch Club to receive 75%.
  2. No entry fee charged for this class. Rabbits must also be entered in Open competition, upon payment of regular entry fee.
  3. Entries to be given to Breed Chairman. Entries accepted until judging time, which will be after completion of open classes.
  4. All pedigrees to be turned into the Secretary prior to the time of Auction if possible. All pedigrees and cash specials guaranteed by the ADRC.
  5. Senior Judge to judge all Bucks, Junior Judge to judge all Does. Five to be placed in each class, final placement to be made by both judges working together. First place Buck to be compared to the First place Doe for First of "Sellers Class". Next Best Buck and Doe to be compared for second and so on until five have been placed.
  6. Bids to be open to all during entire show. Bidding to be by written bid, giving coop number, ear number, name of bidder and amount of bid. All bids to be dropped into bid box provided by Show Secretary at Dutch Club Booth. Minimum bid $5.00, bids will be closed just prior to judging.
  7. Auction and final sale will be held at the Annual Meeting of the American Dutch Rabbit Club. The Show Secretary shall determine the highest bid on each rabbit and so advise the auctioneer, bidding minimum $5.00.
  8. Any rules or regulations not provided for in the above to be decided upon by the ADRC Board.
Minutes from the 1957 ADRC Board Meeting held at the 1957 NDS in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - published in the November 1957 Dutch Reporter:
Good of the order: "Sellers Class" discussed by Mr. Shufflebotham, Mr. Dennis, Mr. Brown, Mr. Bickley, and Mr. Logan.
A motion by Mr. Bickley that in future National Dutch Shows, sealed bids to be accepted from notational buyers of rabbits in Sellers Class, prior to time of auction start, bids and bidding to start at five dollars ($5.00). Support by Tom Logan, carried.
Results of the first ADRC Sellers Class at the 1957 ARBA Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Minutes from the 1958 ADRC Board Meeting held at the 1958 NDS in Wellington, Ohio - published in the 1958 Dutch Report:
The question of the "Seller's Class" was brought up and the question as to whether it was a profitable venture or not was raised. The Secretary reported that the income from this venture had been published in the November 1957 Dutch Reporter. The total amount received for the sale of this class at Little Rock had been a hundred and twenty-four dollars and fifty cents. Mr. Shufflebotham wanted to know why such a profitable venture had not been included in the 1958 National Dutch Show. He was informed by the National Dutch Show Secretary, Merle Emery, that inasmuch as no money had been authorized for such a class at this time, it was felt by the show committee that it would have to be left out of the present show.
Minutes from the 1958 ARBA Convention in Springfield, Illinois -published in the November 1958 Dutch Reporter:
There was a discussion of the Seller's Class and it was brought out that this matter had been discussed in the board meeting, and that Mr. Loweit had been instructed to re-write the rules. There seemed to be considerable dissatisfaction by the membership in general with the pay-back of only 25% of the selling price to the donor. Several alternative plans were offered. It was felt that the plan was entirely too good a thing to discontinue, but that it did need some alterations. Mr. Lowit was instructed to re-work as per some of the suggestions. He stated that he would do so and send them for publication in the Dutch Reporter giving the membership an opportunity to vote in favor of one of three alternative plans.
  1. that the rabbits be donated outright, with the only return to be the prize moony offered.
  2. 25% paid to the donor and 75% being retained by the club (which has been the past practice).
  3. 50% retained by the club and 50% paid to the donor.
Looks like credit goes to Mr. Shufflebotham for the idea of the Seller's Class and Mr. Lowit for laying the foundation for our current Seller's Class.

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