An introduction to B.R.C. Rabbit Shows
by Elaine Simmonds. Singleton stud.
Taking your rabbit to a show for the first time can be quite daunting, when in fact it should be an
enjoyable experience. The best thing to do is to find out a bit about the shows first, know what to expect.
Here we will try to explain the basics of a rabbit show. Basically a show is graded on a star system, the
lowest being a one star show, the highest being a five star show. It is wise to start with a low standard
show to begin with. The One star show is the lowest star rated show under BRC rules. Most local club
shows are Two star shows, these are your bread and butter shows, the one and two star shows is where
the beginner should look to go first. These shows are usually friendly events, our local show is the run by
the East Lancashire Rabbit Club, it is run in a village hall and usually attracts between 150 - 200 exhibits.
Exhibitors mingle and chat with each other whilst the stewards and judges get on with their work.,
Refreshment are available from a canteen where club members serve food and drinks throughout the
day, there is usually a raffle too, proceeds form which help the clubs to run. Three star shows are
championship rated shows and therefore a little bit more competitive and naturally attract more exhibits,
the judges are more experienced too. A three star show could be an agricultural show for instance that is
hosting a BRC show in association with a local rabbit club. Our local three star show is the Garstang
Agricultural show. Four star shows are usually held regionally, most regions hold four star shows such as
the Scottish Rabbit Club Championship show or the Lincolnshire Championship show. Finally for the very
experienced exhibitors there are the five star shows, there are only two five star shows held in this
country each year, they are the Bradford show usually held in Doncaster, but was in Harrogate 2005 and
the London show which is held in Reading. Five star shows are an experience and are worth a visit even if
you are not exhibiting, Bradford is considered to be the Crufts of the rabbits shows, generally held in big
venues they attract a lot of traders and you can spend a day browsing the stalls.
Once you arrive at the show, you will need to make your way to the secretary’s desk, here the secretary
will book you in and give you tickets with the pen numbers that your rabbits will be penned in during the
show. Before putting your rabbits into the pen it is prudent to quickly check the pen, making sure that it is
in good order, clean and that the door shuts securely. Finally make sure that there is a good layer of
shavings in the pen before putting your rabbits in, experience has shown us that you should take some
spare shaving with you to the show as there is usually not enough. You can now put your rabbits into the
pen, once you have fitted their water bottle and added some hay, you are ready to go. Another tip is to
record you rabbits ring numbers before you travel to the show, this will stop you having to mess about
getting the number from the ring once you are at the show, you will need the ring number for the booking
You will notice that the exhibits are split into four sections these are Fur, Fancy, Lop & Rex. Your rabbit
will be in one of these sections, the sections all contain a certain amount of different breeds such as in
the Fur section you could have breeds like the British Giant, Havana, Beveran, New Zealand. In the Fancy
section you might see Angora, Lion heads, Rhinelander and Himalayan. The Lop section includes English,
French, German and mini lops. Finally the Rex section will include Castor, Otter, Sable and Dalmatian rex.
Your rabbits will firstly be up against others in his or her class. When the judges are ready to judge the
class they will send the stewards to bring the rabbits from their pens to the judging table. The judges will
spend a bit of time looking at each rabbit, they will be moved onto different positions on the table, the
winner is usually positioned at the top of the table. Once the judge has decided the winner the details of
the rabbit are then recorded, the rabbit will get a first certificate and may also get a Challenge
Certificate (CC) this certificate will have the number of stars equivalent to the show rating (see pictures
below). If there are more than one class in the breed (i.e. White Continental and colored Continental
Giants) the winner of both classes will go head to head to find best of breed (BoB), the judges will get
both of the exhibits out onto the table for another look before deciding the winner of the BoB. The
winner will usually be issued with a purple BoB Certificate. After the breeds in the section have been
judged the judge will call back a few of the winning rabbits to challenge for the section. The judge will
pick the section winner and this will be the best Fur or best Rex Etc. It is quite possible that the winner
will be awarded a diploma. The four section winners will go head to head at the end of the show when the
judges will decide the "Best in Show"
Emma Nuttall and Diane Davis, NCGRC Club members stewarding,
Typical 2* Village Hall Show in progress.