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Tarnished Crown

August 2013

WHAT ARE THE ODDS? ARBA Convention Statistics


You are part way to your goal. You have won a class at ARBA Convention but what are your odds of winning Best of Breed? There are eight classes. Statistically each class should win 12.5%. Historically this has not been true.


Not surprisingly, the Solid Senior Buck class has produced the most ARBA Best of Breed winners in the past fifteen years with six winners. Meaning that based on statistic history you have a forty percent chance of winning Best of Breed if you own the Solid Senior Buck this next year at convention. The Broken Senior Buck & Solid Junior Buck class have each produced two Best of Breed winners tying them for the second most profitable classes giving you a thirteen percent chance for either class winner. The SSD, SJD, BSD, BJB & BJD each have less than a seven percent chance based on history.


With four classes in each variety Solids and Brokens should each win fifty percent of the time. Solids have achieved ten Best of Breed wins, while Brokens have only achieved five. Meaning if you own a rabbit in a solid class you have a sixty-seven percent chance of winning Best of Breed compared to a thirty-three percent chance if you own a rabbit representing a broken class.

SENIORS VS. JUNIORS Statistically, Seniors and Juniors should each have an equal number of wins. This is not so. Seniors have netted ten of the past fifteen Best of Breeds leaving five for Juniors. Exhibitors owning a rabbit in a Senior class have a sixty-seven percent chance of winning Best of Breed while those with a Junior class winner have a thirty-three percent chance. BUCKS VS. DOES Even though they should win an equal amount, bucks seem to have the advantage. Eleven of the past fifteen Best of Breed winners have been bucks. Those exhibiting a buck class winner will have a seventy-three percent chance of winning versus a twenty-seven percent chance of those who have doe class winners.


Solid Senior Bucks have had won the most Best of Breeds at ARBA convention Broken Senior Does have experienced the greatest success in winning Best Opposite Sex at an ARBA Convention, with Solid Senior Does being the next most successful class. The Broken senior doe has a thirty-three percent chance of being selected as BOS. The solid senior doe has a twenty percent chance of being selected based on judge selections in the past.


While breeders often focus on winning Best of Breed, Best Opposite Sex is grand accomplishment at a national convention. This graph includes an overall view of the data. In the past fifteen years there have been thirty opportunities to win either a Best of Breed or Best Opposite. Solid Senior Bucks have won either BOB or BOS at seven of the past Conventions. Broken Senior Does have won either BOB or BOS at six making them the most likely classes to win either a Best of Breed or Best Opposite Sex of Breed.


It is interesting to note which classes have experienced the most success in being selected for Best of Breed at ARBA Convention. The percentages given are based on history of the past fifteen years, beginning in 1998. While the data can be used to give insight to which classes have produced the most winners, and give statistical insight to what classes are most likely to win a Best of Breed the data is simply based on history and does not take the many variables that go along with showing rabbits into account.

Understanding Genetics

THE AGOUTI PATTERN Its always intersting to hear people discuss color genetics or look at the for sale signs at the shows. Many people understand the concepts, just as many do not. One of the greatest misconceptions I have seen written on for sale signs is that a self animal is carrying otter. Otter is more dominant than self meaning that it cannot be carried by a self rabbit.


During fertilization, each parent donates one allele to its offspring, causing two alleles for the same gene to be present. Which allele of the gene is expressed as the color of the coat is determined by which is most dominant. Dominant alleles are always expressed if they are present. Also, they are always notated by the use of a capital letter. Recessive traits are only expressed if both alleles present are the recessive form of the gene. Recessive alleles are always notated by a lower case letter. If one dominant allele and one recessive allele are present, the dominant allele will be physically seen as the coat color, while the recessive allele remains hidden or unexpressed.


The Agouti pattern gene series, also know as the “A” series has three alleles (options) “A,” “at” and “a.” The “A” allele allows for the color Chesnut and is dominant to the “at” and “a” alleles. This means that while a rabbit is physically seen as a chesnut it may be carrying an “at” or “a” allele. The “at” allele is known as the tan pattern allele. It’s existence allows for the coat color of otter. Rabbits possessing an “at” allele can carry a self allele so they may possibly produce self colored animals as offspring. Lastly, the “a” allele is known as the self allele and allows the phenotype to exhibit no agouti pattern such as a black. This is the most recessive allele within the gene series and will always produce self colored offspring when mated with another self animal meaning selfs cannot hide tan pattern or agouti alleles.

In order to predict the color of offspring between two parents a Punnett Square is used. Results of the chart allow breeders to determine possible allelic combinations as well as the percentages that will be available in a litter. Dominant forms of the allele are depicted by the use of capital letters within the chart, while lower-case letters depict recessive alleles.


Steps to properly set up a Punnett Square 1. Determine the genotype. This can the the most difficult step. Determining which allele is being expressed is simple, it is the color that you see. Deciding what allele is not being expressed is difficult. If you have bred the rabbit before you can make assumptions based on its offspring or if you know the parents of the rabbit you can make an educated guess. Sometimes it is beneficial to do two Punnett Squares to see what the possibilities are if you are not certain of the unexpressed allele. 2. Assign proper capitalization to the alleles. Dominant alleles recieve upper-case letters while recessive alleles recieve lower-case letters. 3. Write the sire’s alleles along the side of the chart. 4. Write the dam’s alleles along the top of the chart. 5. Start with the sire’s alleles, in the boxes directly below write the same letter representing the allele. 6. For the dam write the corresponding allele in the boxes going across. 7. Assess the results.




Each of us have a special Holland that either has many wins on the show table or has produced offsping that changed your entire herd. Sometimes this special rabbits are over looked. This article is dedicated to recognizing these special rabbits.


As a youngster Twang was one of the fattest kits we have ever had in the barn. As a young junior he won the BJB class at conventio. Twang experienced great success on the show table, but left a lasting impression on our herd. Most of our recent wins have been children or grandchilren of Twang including Barbed-Wire Banjo, Sand Dollar, Marvy, Uncle Si and many more. We look forward to seeing how his progeny develop. Submitted by Hope Blackburn


Bred and owned by Ty Gordon, 1st place SSB and BOSV ARBA Convention 2009 youth, 2nd place SSB 2010 Holland Nationals youth, 8th pl SSB 2011 Holland Nationals in Open! Sire is CN’s Bomb. Dam is L & R Bette. He was a late bloomer and is still going strong and producing nice babies. Submitted by Mark Taylor & Ty Gordon


When I first decided to venture into colors, Kelly Bliven was the first person I talked to. I was able to welcome Grizz into my herd and I have been forever thankful to her since then. Grizz may not be the best show rabbit but his children do enough on the tables to make up for it. One of my proudest accomplishments is owed to him, winning BOB at PaSRBA Convention with a 3 month old homegrown Orange doe. Go colors! He has produced the majority of the rabbits I am working with today, all with the most vibrant of color. At nearly 5, he is still going! Aside from his genetics, he is an absolute doll and will live here forever, truly a rabbit that has changed my herd. Submitted by Laura Freeman


Its hard to believe a buck as beautiful and as young as DZ’s Beltran would have already left this world. He was just coming into his show prime, as he turned 1 in March. He earned his first 2 legs June 8th for BOB in Open A and B at the Decatur RBA, such a wonderful Birthday Gift to me from my dear Belly Boy. I was absolutely devastated when I found he had passed. He was one of those bucks who had a personality that just melted your heart and made a lasting impression. He had a forever home here with us. To me he was 1 of a kind and not replaceable. I only hope his memory can live on in his beautiful children I have. His daughter Garden Bunny Farm’s Vivian already has 2 legs, 1 of which was for BOS. I would have never expected him to produce they way he did. He by far created Hollands that were destined to have a great show career. He was totally out producing himself! Its crazy to say that since I only have 2 litters from him but in those 2 you could already see it! His beauty and his personality were both being passed on and that I am thankful for! You are dearly missed my little Belly Boy! Submitted by Kayleigh Garden

Thank you for your submissions!

WINNINGS Best in Show & Reserve in Show

LOP TIL YOU DROP’S NIVEN BEST IN SHOW Bred & Exhibited by Karen & Dale Bailey SCRCBA HL Specialty Judge Glenn Carr

HAILEY’S MOOSE BEST IN SHOW Three Best of Breeds & One Best Opposite! Exhibited bySavannah Todd

KARROT KREEK’S SPUR BEST IN SHOW Bred & Exhibited Tina Fuller & Briana Hall Kosciusko County Fair

HOPE’S TIDE RESERVE IN SHOW Bred by Blackburn/Taylor/Gordon Exhibited by JoAnne Snodgrass Fibber Mcgee Memorial Show

If you would to be featured in the next issue please send a high quality photo including the rabbit’s name, breeder, exhibitor, judge, show name and recent win to:

Submissions due August 24th for the September Issue


MY GIRL’S SMOOTH CRIMINAL BEST IN SHOW Oakland County Fair Bred & Exhibited by Abbey Johnston

HOPE’S UNCLE SI DOUBLE BEST IN SHOW WRBA, Woodland UT Bred & Exhibited Blackburn/Taylor/Gordon Judge Nate Burbidge

HOPE’S BATTIN’ DOWN THE HATCHES RESERVE IN SHOW Montana Bred & Exhibited Blackburn/Taylor/Gordon Judge Peter Herman


GARDEN BUNNY FARM’S VIVIAN BEST OPPOSITE SEX Bred & Exhibited by Kayleigh Garden Livingston County RBA- Open A Judge Butch Hall

GARDEN BUNNY FARM’S JOANNA BEST OPPOSITE SEX Bred & Exhibited by Kayleigh Garden Decatur RBA- Open A Judge Gene Gillispie

d e e r B & of Best Best Opposite Sex

ARH’S KACY 2 BOB, 1 BOS SHOW Bred & Exhibited byAustin Roark Memorial Weekend Cajun Classic

Judges Allen Mesick, Cheryl Blackman & Rosa Fields

Congrats Austin with your Open Wins!

101 LAPIN’S TIPSY BEST OPPOSITE SEX Bred & Exhibited Richard Chicoine

Thank you for your submissions!

DZ’S BELTRAN BEST OF BREED Bred by Dave Zerrusen Exhibited by Kayleigh Green Decatur RBA- Open B Judge Mark Jacobs

WINSTON’S VARINIA BEST OF BREED Bred & Exhibited by Micheal & Caitlin Kelly Great Northwest Show B Judge Alan Platt

SS BIG SEXY BEST OF BREED Bred & Exhibited by Shannon Wallace Sunflower & KSRBA Scholarship Judge Joel Marshall

L & R CARLEN BEST OF BREED Bred by Linda & Ron Jinings Exhibited by Micheal & Caitlin Kelly WSHLRC Triple Holland Specialty- B Judge Reni Lucido

Breeding Holland Lops


As breeders each of us have goals for our breeding program but oftentimes let simple choices keep us from reaching our desired level of achievement. Through my own experience of raising animals and observing top breeders over the years I have learned many things, one of the most important being to always move forward. Never let your herd become stagnant. Do not sell your best offspring because you have the parents to repeat the breeding. With the unpredictability and amount of variables associated with genetics a special show stopper only comes along now and again, not every animal in every litter. Evaluate young Holland Lops often. Do not keep animals that are inferior to the rest of the litter or offspring that are not as good as the parents. The goal is to be always moving forward. Never keep a poor rabbit because of its famous parent, or the line it comes from. Even the best rabbits & herds can produce junk. If it looks and feels like a pet, it will probably get worse with age. Do not sell your top producing anmals. Since you are producing more animals, larger litters increase your probability of producing a show stopper You will not do yourself any favor with money in your pocket and less than average sized litters.


Breed your best to your best. Be sure to always balance out slight faults. Honestly evaluate the faults of your rabbits and breed them to an animal that compliments their faults. Do not overlook faults or even worse double up on faults. Remember good records will tell you what recessive faults your animals pass on. Always remember what recessive trait pops up in the line. Good, bad or in-between you must always breed for genotype and phenotype. Balance is so important in Holland Lops. As breeders we are responsible to keep the balance. If all you are concerned with is short bodies and let fine bone pass because the rabbit is super short for a couple generations you will be increasing the frequency of both traits in your herd, one good and one bad. It may even seem like both traits come together even though they have nothing to do with each other. Correlation does not always equal causation, especially if you have been ignoring one trait and unconsciously selecting for it.

! E M I T W O SH


FUN WEEKEND IN WYOMING WITH FRIENDS The Tarnished Crown is intellectual property of Hope Blackburn. Express permission from the author is required prior to any reproduction. All rights reserved.

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