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Rabbit show brings in breeders from all around
The West Puget Sound Rabbit Club hosted a hopping event during its annual rabbit show over the weekend.
On Saturday, 95 breeders from around western Washington showed off nearly 500 rabbits during the event at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
Sisters Autumn and Summer Richardson brought their Holland Lops and French Lops to showcase for the day.
Autumn, 13, who has been showing rabbits for the last five years, said her obsession with the fuzzy creatures began at the Clark County Fair.
"I saw this bunny and it was adorable. Ever since that day I wanted a bunny," she said.
Soon after getting her first one she joined 4-H and has been active in the rabbit show business ever since.
"They're just really cute and we've been trying to get our rabbits to be very nice," she said. "They're not like any other people's rabbits. We've raised them on our own farm. I think it's just the joy of showing them and getting the ribbon that shows you succeeded."
Ryan Ruck, one of two show superintendents, said the event "draws people from all over," including from out of state.
"It's a good time," said Ruck, who also was showing rabbits for the event. "Rabbits are awesome."
Ruck said the West Puget Sound Rabbit Club hosts the show twice yearly, once in the spring and again in the fall. During the show, six judges spent most of the morning and early afternoon inspecting rabbits and grading each breed on its "ideal" form.
One of the youngest judges, Autumn Dennistoun, has been showing rabbits since the tender age of six. Now 18, Dennistoun took on the role of a judge for the first time this year while her mother sat with Dennistoun's rabbits for show.
For Dennistoun, coming back to see people she's grown up with and show with is her favorite part of judging.
"I've grown up with some of these people. I've learned how to talk and how to present myself and just learned a lot of good skills," she said of showing rabbits. "Of course rabbits are cute and adorable."
Throughout the day, Dennistoun picked up rabbits, examined body parts and watched them hop. She then graded each breed based on the book "Standard of Perfection," the playbook of rules for rabbit shows.
With 140 rabbits of her own, Dennistoun felt confident in her judging skills to give away ribbons to the correct rabbit.
"I run a pretty big herd for being so young," she said.
One day she hopes to travel the world for judging rabbit shows. She's already traveled across the U.S., and she hopes to make it to all 50 before she trots the globe with her skills.
Looking around at the breeders milling about and waiting for her next rabbit to judge, Dennistoun smiles as she thinks about the best part of her day.
"I think it's a really great way to enjoy being with your rabbit people. You're on the other side of the table," she said. "I like comparing things. Judging is something I really like."