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The Way I Want Holland's Judged by Pat Vanecek

Step 1: Take the rabbit gently out of the coop. Lift the rabbit from underneath and do not drag it pulling toenails as you go or pull it out by the ears.

Step 2: Check for disqualifications. Turn the rabbit over. Check the teeth, toenails, sex and for navel abscesses. At this time you can view the feet, legs and bone on the rabbit (10 points). Remember: short, thick, straight, and heavily boned. Gently hold the rabbit up and check for eye spots. Set the rabbit back on the table and check for ear mites.

Step 3: Pose the rabbit. Lift the hindquarter and set it back on the table, making sure the tail is exposed. Put one hand under the chin and lift the front of the rabbit while keeping one hand on the back of the rabbit and sliding it down to the bottom of the rump. Make sure the rear feet are sitting straight under the body. While keeping a hand on the chin, run your hand over the body to judge the width of shoulder, loin and hindquarter (body: 32 points). You are looking for Short & Massive. Release the rabbit. If it doesn’t stay in the set position, gently repose. If the rabbit will not pose up here, take a look at the head, ears and crown now. Let the animal relax and then try to pose them up again. Gentle and slow are the key words.

Step 5: View the rabbit. Remember head is 24 points. The Holland Lop head should be round from all views and proportionate to the body. The head should be massive in appearance and be set high on the shoulder. It should also have good width between the eyes and throughout. Next, look at the crown (8 points). This defines how the ears hang. If the crown is wide from front to back and side to side the ears will lay open and down. Also, judge placement of the crown. The crown should be set high on the head

so the ears fall just behind the eyes. At the same time you will be judging the ears (10 points). The ears should be thick, well furred and only extend just past the jaw line. (I won’t get into my opinion here, which is that more points should be put on the crown then the ears since the standard describes so much of the crown purpose in the ears. Lets just say Crown and Ears is 18 points.) Making the total points for head, ear and crown 42 points vs body 32 points. Remember to step back and view the animal in a relaxed state.

Step 6: Run your hand over the body and roll back the fur. The fur (7 points) should be short (aprx 1 inch), glossy and dense. You can check the color and markings (4 points) at this time.

Step 7: Last but not least—condition (5 points). My humble interpretation of the ARBA standard for condition is that the animal looks healthy and feels firm.

Now if I can just get the judges to read this! Pat

page last updated 3/1/06
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