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What Do You Think?

Preparing for Your First National Dutch Show

by Kevin Hooper

I was recently asked to write an article on what you should plan to take to the NDS. This was from a person who has never been to one of the big Dutch shows. I won't write of what I took to my first big show because I'm sure it was not needed - whatever that was in 1982!
I will first start by talking a little of what I do a few weeks prior to the show. I like to start going over my animal's about three weeks prior to the show. I show many two and three year old senior does, many of which have just come off litters, and older bucks. They require a bit of TLC. I trim the nails if needed, brush out any dead or loose fir, remove any fur that may be matted on the bottom of the tail, and just look them over completely. If they look worthy, or close to being worthy of going to the show, I will enter them.
Once I make my entry (entries are due about two weeks prior to the show), I keep working with my entered animals, preferably once a day, time permitting (have not been able to do this the last few years due to job commitments in April). The first time through, the animals take the most time. Each subsequent "work out" becomes shorter, as there is less loose fur each time. I also make sure they understand how they are to sit on the table. The juniors need more of the posing education, and more time is spent with the best ones.
A good National Dutch show host will plan to provide most of what the exhibitor requires. They will have the coops set up, hopefully already furnished with bedding. They usually provide feed and water cups, but many of us like to bring our own. They will have watering cans and feed buckets. Usually, area feed dealers will donate feed to be used at the show, although they may not have your brand. You will have to bring any other things that you may want to feed them while they are at the show.
A few other items that come in handy are:
  • Some type of stickers to place on your coop card that will make finding your black junior doe among 50 other pens of black junior does a bit easier.
  • For sale signs of you plan to sell any of your Dutch.
  • Pedigrees for those who you are planning to sell or put in the sellers class.
  • Utility knife if you want to put cardboard around that prize rabbit or the one who likes to spray other prize rabbits.
  • Cardboard (see above).
  • Sharpee marker - these are provided by the hosts, but it is handy to have your own.
  • Any grooming supplies you may need to clean up that winner.
  • An extra carrier - there are many, many good Dutch available for sale.
I would add a desire to learn more about Dutch rabbits and an interest in meeting those who have been in Dutch for many, many years, and a willingness to help out at the show. That's it!
See you at the Show!

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