CRCI ANNUAL REPORT: or What We've Been Up to in 2004
Once again Peter’s Pet Foods sponsored the club and we would like to thank them for their generosity, not only in providing cash but also sample bags of food which we can give as prizes to kids entering the novelty classes or to people buying rabbits at displays as part of starter kits.
The club was approached by Pet Directory a new publication aimed at the pet industry. So far only the Queensland edition has appeared. The club has placed an ad in the NSW ed as there was no ACT one at the time. This has yet to appear.
Also new for us this year was an ad in the Yellow Pages. This turned out not be a cost-effective measure, to use the current corporate-speak. It was expensive, Sensis does not have a classification for rabbits (unlike dogs or cats), they incorrectly indexed us and the enquiries we received did not gain us any new members.
This year saw some new faces on the committee thanks to the enthusiasm of some of our NSW members. We bade farewell to Jean and Ron Hill (Rojeana Stud) who have retired from rabbits after a very successful breeding and exhibiting career. They will be missed and we wish them well for the future. Also leaving the rabbit fancy was Vicki de Bruin (Vicspec Stud). Though she never showed with us (being in Grafton), she nonetheless bred some very fine rabbits and was always helpful to new breeders and those seeking stock from her. Another departure was Jacqui Coleman, judge and breeder of Mini Lops who will also be missed.
Show entries continued to drop in the first part of the year, necessitating the cancellation of the May show for the second year in a row. So it was decided to cut out the August one and have an early Sept one instead of a late Sept. one, thus reducing the scheduled six shows to four.
However, the second half saw an encouraging and rapid growth in entries mainly thanks to an influx of NSW members who bring lots of bunnies to show. This has been quite a turn around and we hope it continues. For our October show we experimented with a return to the Hall Pavilion, Hall Showground. It was just getting too cramped at Waramanga for the combined rabbit and cavy shows. Hall proved popular with the cavy exhibitors as well as the rabbit exhibitors. For those who have joined us this decade, Hall was where our shows used to be held in the 1990s.
NB: BiS = Best in Show; RUBiS = Runner Up Best in Show; REW = Red-Eyed White, A/C = Any Colour, AOC = Any Other Colour
28 March Judge: Debbie Sletten (NSW) BiS, Best Fancy & Best Adult: Petite Stud REW Netherland Dwarf 02X06331l RUBiS, RU Best Adult, RU Best Fancy Petite Stud REW Mini Lop 03K00828; Best Junior: Rojeana Stud Satin Ivory 03E00386; RU Junior Rojeana Stud Polish REW 03A01603; Best Kitten Bonreiki Stud Mini Cashmere Shaded 04C01646; RU Best Kitten Petite Stud Tan A/C 03B00340
2 May: Judge John Mann (NSW Cancelled
27 June: Judge: Vija Hone (Vic) BiS, Best Fancy, Best Adult :Petite Stud REW Netherland Dwarf 02X06331l; RUBiS, Best Fur, RU Adult: Rojeana Stud Satin Ivory 03E00386; Best Junior: Bonreiki Mini Cashmere REW 04C01659; RU Best Junior: Adkery Stud British Giant 04H00902; Best Kitten: Adkery Stud Smoke Pearl 04D04370; RU Best Kitten: Bugsy’s Stud Mini Lop Self 04K00427; RU Best Fur Loveable Lop British Giant 04H00231; Best Rex: Beau Stud Mini Rex Self 03B00621; RU Best Rex Rojeana Stud Rex Agouti Pattern 04E02986
5 September Judge: John Mann (NSW) BiS Best in Show, Best Fancy, Best Adult: Petite Stud REW Netherland Dwarf 02X06331l; RUBiS, Best Rex, RU Best Adult: Oranamoon Stud Rex Agouti Pattern 04E0221; Best Junior: Bonreiki Mini Lop Shaded 04K01981; RU Best Junior, RU Best Rex Adkery Stud Mini rex Tan Pattern 04B03663; Best Kitten Petite Stud Mini Lop Tan Pattern 04K05175; RU Best Kitten Adkezry Stud Chinchilla Giganta 04L01621; Best Fur: Oranamoon Stud British Giant 04H00900; RU Best Fur Adkery Stud Satin Ivory 03E00386
31 October Judge: Debra Archer (NSW) Results not to hand.
In addition Christine Carter and John Sowden judged at other clubs’ shows and Nikki White and Susan Batho stewarded at the Royal Easter Show rabbit show.
Six newsletters were published in 2004, usually two weeks before each show. A copy is sent to the National Library on Legal Deposit (a requirement of the Copyright Act 1968) and a copy to our sponsor Peter's Pet Foods. More recently a copy has also been sent to the Pet Directory as they have a club sponsorship scheme. There are 57 copies in the print run currently as we have not picked up as many members as we have lost due to people leaving the fancy or losing pet rabbits.
The exchange of newsletters with other clubs continues and still seems to be working well on the whole. The CRCI currently has exchange agreements with NSW Rabbit Association, Rabbit Exhibitors and Breeders Society, Rabbit Fanciers Society of NSW, Rabbit Breeders of Tasmania, and West Australian Rabbit Council Inc. The South Australian Rabbit Association had to be dropped because they have not published a newsletter since June 2003. These newsletters are kept in folders in the club library and can be borrowed by members.
Again I would like to thank Christine Carter for her informative and stimulating articles, Sue Sowden for preparing the show results and Susan Batho for her regular Ring Registrar’s reports.
The contents of this year's Rabbit Droppings are as follows. Unless otherwise stated and except for the ring sizes, all items were written by me.
No. 31 (Feb. 2004) Canberra Rabbit Club library contents—Rabbitry on Parade questions—The long hot summer—Book review: A Fancier’s Guide to the Rex Rabbit by John Hodgkiss
No. 32 (Apr. 2004) Book review: A Fancier’s Guide to the Lop Rabbit by Geoff Russell—Displays at Royal Canberra, Yass Show and Sutton public School Fete—Getting involved
No. 33 (June 2004) Letter to the editor from Susan Batho—Why can’t we import rabbits like we used to?—Australian myxomatosis vaccine?—Rabbiting on by Christine Carter—Trains, plains and…bunnies
No. 34 (Aug. 2004) Letter to the Club from Susan Smith—The view from the rabbit shed—Rabbits of yesteryear—CRCI Code of Ethics—Rabbiting on by Christine Carter
No. 35 (Oct. 2004) Ring Registar’s report by Susan Batho—Ring sizes—The view from the rabbit shed---Myxomatosis by Debbie Hunter—Rabbiting on by Christine Carter—Ring order form
No. 36 (Dec. 2004) Ring Registrar’s report by Susan Batho—The view from the rabbit shed—CRCI annual report 2004
Apart from the main club website which I maintain on my own Netspeed website, I have set up another one on the Greater Canberra Community Guide which is much smaller but has links to the main site, particularly the breeder’s directory which was too big to copy on to this one. This Community Guide website has different faces for each state and prides itself on the number of hits it gets. There is a smaller contact page on the Communities Online website (maintained by the ACT government) and I still put the club’s show dates in the diary which means they are published in the Canberra Chronicle the week before each show. This has garnered a number of enquiries. There is also one on the Canberra Times, or was, but since the person who was in charge of it left 12 months ago, they have only muppets who know nothing about it so when you update it you have to email them to approve it which no one does any more so it tends to stay offline. I no longer bother with it.
In view of the declining numbers of Canberra-based exhibitors, I have now made it a requirement that if you want to be listed in the online breeders directory and you live in Canberra, you have to show with some degree of regularity. There are a number of reasons for this. First, there are people who call themselves breeders whom we never see from one year to the next. We don’t know what quality of stock they have (since they have never taken anything to be assessed by a judge) nor even if they are still breeding rabbits. Certainly when I get enquiries for rabbits, I never refer people to such breeders. Secondly, if they won’t support our club by showing, why should the club support them? This requirement does not, however, apply to the paper-based breeders directory which Christine compiles and which is published in the newsletter. Nor does it apply to people living outside Canberra.
Not much was added to the library this year. The British Rabbit Council actually sent us a Yearbook for the first time since about 1998. It could be they have been sending them to an old address of a committee member who has left the fancy. The club also purchased the BRC’s rules and constitution. Susan Batho donated the American Rabbit Breeders Association’s Standard of Perfection 2001-2005.
After Thursday meetings no longer suited some committee members, we experimented with Saturday afternoons again but that didn’t work, either, so now they are held after each show. This also means the NSW committee members (who live nearer to Sydney than Canberra) can attend.
Displays and other publicity
The club was asked to mount a number of displays during the year, usually by Jane Southwell of FARM, as has happened over past few years. Sometimes I piggybacked the club on displays mounted by other clubs of which I am an office-bearer (NSW Cavy Club and the Canberra Cat Fanciers Association). This year the club was not asked to the Australia Day in the Park and the Pet Expo now seems to be defunct which means two "shop windows" have gone.
The displays were: Royal Canberra Show Animal Nursery (27-29 Feb, Mallee Pavilion, Exhibition Park – Christine Carter, Dita Kruze, the Sowdens, Angela Nicoli and Nikki White); Yass Show (20 March, Yass Showground – Nikki White); Sutton Public School Fete, (3 April, Sutton, NSW—Nikki White); Woden Community Expo 2 (St. James Uniting Church Centre, Curtin—Nikki White)—Murrumbateman Field Days (16-17 Oct., Murrumbateman Showground—Nikki White, the Sowdens)—Rural Youth Club meeting (Hall Pavilion, Hall—Nikki White).
In addition, Christine continued with her visits to Cranleigh School, Holt, bringing her rabbits to the handicapped children there as part of a special program to encourage the children to interact with living animals.