Rabbit Championship Show at Agri-Expo Livestock

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This year’s Cape Rabbit Club Championship Spring Show will take place from 12 to 14 October 2017 at Agri-Expo Livestock on Sandringham outside Stellenbosch.

Entries are rolling in for the championship, to be judged by international judge Brian C Platt, from the UK, in collaboration with well-known South African all breeds judge Karoline Steenekamp. Platt, a retired breeder, is district adviser to the British Rabbit Council as well as chairman of various UK rabbit societies and shows. He serves on the specialist judging panels of the British Rabbit Council and will judge the National Chinrex at the October 2017 London Championship Show.

Judging will take place in the Rabbit Hub on Thursday 12 October 2017. Breeds already entered include Netherland Dwarf, Jersey Wooly, Dutch, Angora, Belgium Hare, Hotot, English, Flemish Giant, Frosted Pearl, New Zealand, Silver Fox, Chinchilla Giganta, Rex and Satin. Entries close on Wednesday 27 September 2017.

The public will be able to view the rabbits daily (from Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 October) from 10:00 to 18:00. Rabbits can also be entered for a pet bunny class at 10:30 on Saturday 14 October. The entry fee is R20 and entries close on 4 October. To enter, or for more information, contact Simone van Zyl at caperabbitclub@gmail.com or 083 231 0399 or Karoline Steenekamp at 082 867 9139. Download the entry form for the pet bunny class.

The Cape Rabbit Club

The Cape Rabbit club was founded in April 2013 by Karoline Steenekamp and Simone van Zyl along with a small group of breeders and fanciers. They hosted their first championship show in 2013. The club has continued to grow and introduced many new breeds of domestic and commercial rabbits to the Western Cape. Regular club meetings, table shows and championship shows are held throughout the year.

The club aims to promote the breeding of pure-bred rabbits. It is open to all interest groups, commercial farmers, breeders, fanciers and pet owners. The club’s mission includes educating members and the public on the proper care and handling of rabbits, striving for the improvement of all recognized breeds, and assisting and encouraging young breeders, fanciers and breeders who are commercially orientated.

Karoline Steenekamp’s story: A born rabbit lover

“My mother, Marion Keller, also a well known breeder and rabbit judge, was judging at the Rand Spring Show in 1950 when she had a definite pain in her tummy. Knowing what it was, she took herself off to the Queen Vic hospital, gave birth to me, wrapped me in a blanket, and took me back to the show to finish judging. I have been involved with rabbits ever since. As a child I bred Himalayans under my mom’s guidance and soon moved on to Angoras. Once my mom retired, I took over and developed a large All Breed rabbitry, specializing in Angoras. Since 1974, I have judged all the major shows in South Africa. I am now retired from breeding but am involved with the SA Judges Council and recently put together our SA standards book called RABBITS: The South Africa All Breeds Standards of Excellence. I am also currently completing a breeders’ manual, which will be available soon. The Cape Rabbit Club is my “rabbit home” and I have acted as the clubs Chairperson and judge for several years. In July my life dream of judging in the UK became a reality when I judged at the New Forest show.”

How to get your rabbit ready for show

  • Rabbits need to be in a state of excellent health.
  • They need to have clean ears, eyes, nose, vent area, tail, coat and foot pads.
  • Staining of the fur or foot pads will result in points been taken off.
  • Toenails must not be overgrown and should be clipped.
  • Make sure that there is no matting of the fur in long haired breeds, e.g. Angora and Jersey Wooly (these breeds should be brushed daily before a show).

Agri-Expo Livestock, an annual world-class annual showcase of the South African livestock and dairy industry, attracts thousands of agriculture enthusiasts to Sandringham. It takes place from Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 October 2017 from 09:00 to 18:00.

Tickets cost R60 for Thursday or Friday, R80 for Saturday, R50 for pensioners and scholars (14 to 18 years) and free for children 13 years and under, available from Computicket and the gate. Visit www.livestock.org.za for more information; follow Livestock on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or contact Agri-Expo on 021-975 4440 or admin@agriexpo.co.za.