Lawrence County 4Hers earn “Best of Show” during Defiance rabbit show

BEDFORD – More than 130 exhibitors showed their more than 2,500 rabbit entries in the show Defiance Friday night and Saturday at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds.

Lawrence County 4-H Rabbit Club along with Rabbit Renegades hosted the event. The proceeds benefited both the Lawrence County 4-H Rabbit Club and Kentucky Youth Quad, who also helped during the show.

There were many specialty shows and four all-breed youth and open shows.

Lawrence County 4-H members Bella Walls and Laney Wilder showing their mini lops.

More than 28 breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association were represented with 3,500 entries. Those participating traveled from across the state of Indiana and from the states of Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Devon Marshall and Debbit Furlong traveled from Springfield, Missouri, to show their English Angoras.
They took Best of Show in the English Angora specialty show.

One thing that everyone looks forward to when they are showing rabbits is winning something. And, if you’re showing rabbits, why not aim for the stars – as in, Best in Show? So, how do you get a Best in Show win? There are a lot of ‘wins’ that your rabbit has to win first.

Essentially, they have to win the following, in this order:

  • Best in Sex – Best Doe or Buck
  • BOV (Best of Variety) or BOSV (Best Opposite Sex of Variety)
  • Best of Breed (BOB) – Best Standard of the Breed (Best Opposite Sex of Breed) 
  • Best in Show (BOS) – Your rabbit will go up against every other Best of Breed to win the title of Best of Show

Five Lawrence County 4-H Rabbit Club members earned the title of best of show. They were:

  • Isabelle Barker
  • Heaven Cooper
  • AJ O’Neal
  • Brooklyn Peterson

Rusty Westhoff, from Nashville, Tennessee, has been judging rabbits since 1991.

“I love doing it,” he added. “I was a youth member and raised rabbits as a boy scout. I have been all over the world judging rabbits. It’s a great hobby and I love working with the youth. Showing and caring for rabbits teaches them responsibility and accountability.”

Rusty Westhoff judging the youth American Chinchilla class.

Gordan Williams was 55 years old when he became licensed to judge rabbits.

Gordon Williams judging the adult open show class of blue Flemish Giants.

“My wife and I drove three hours to buy four Florida Whites for our children and fell in love with the project, ” Williams added. “I stood there watching and thought I can do that. I got my license and will continue to judge as long as I can stand.”

Judge Tom Berger judging Isabelle Barker’s Jersey Wooly.

Judge Tom Berger has been judging rabbits since 2001.

“I enjoy people and working with rabbits,” he added.

Berger has raised Standard and American Chinchillas, Mini Satins, and Californians.

Tonya Chastain of Lawrence County Tourism presented the Lawrence County 4H Rabbit Club with a $1,000 grant to help put on the show.

Special thanks to the show sponsors.