Shelby Mulford was named grand champion and Aria Marting was named reserve champion for their rabbit pens Tuesday morning at the Fayette County Junior Fair Market Meat Pen Rabbit Show.
Kassidy Hoppes came in third place, Mariah Carter followed in fourth place, Abi Mick placed fifth, Makayla Seymour placed sixth, Wyatt Cory placed seventh, Kiersten Mick placed eighth, Caitlyn Davis placed ninth, and Megan Sever placed 10th for market purposes.
In the Rabbit Breed Show, Mariah Carter won Best in Breed and Best of 6-Class with her White New Zealand rabbit. Carter has been in the Pack Rat Crafters 4-H club for seven years and is a sophomore at Washington Senior High School. Ely Schirtzinger won Best of 4-Class with his Holland Lop. Schirtzinger is with Perry Peppy Farmers 4-H club and has been been showing rabbits for seven years.
Kevin Hooper presided over the rabbit show as judge. Hooper is an American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) judge and received his judging license in 1998. He judged his first fair show in 1984 at the age of 18. “I’ve been judging ever since,” Hooper said.
Hooper is the vice president of the American Dutch Rabbit Club and is on the ARBA Standards Committee, as well as the owner of Buckeye Crop Insurance in his spare time.
“Each breed has a standard that you look for,” Hooper said. “You just look for those standards, and the rabbits that most closely match are the rabbits that are going to win when I’m judging the breed class. For market rabbits you’re looking for the right uniformity, you want them to be the same right shape, you want them to be meaty, you want that firm, hard flesh. Those three categories come together to find the perfect rabbit, that’s what you’re looking for, those three weigh equally. I enjoy the 4-H meat shows, you don’t have to wrestle with the rabbits and you get to educate the kids some. But overall I just love getting to judge these shows. I like getting to work with the kids and the rabbits.”
Hooper said Fayette County’s fair is the latest he’s ever gotten started, and the rest of his fairs begin in September.