Director's Report

District 9 Director: Dr. Jay E. Hreiz


District 9 Report
By Dr. Jay Hreiz

This report is penned during a busy show season intermixed with various national specialty shows throughout the spring months. In my previous report, I omitted information regarding the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show, which was held in January. A special thank you goes out to Sue Toth for sharing this information with me. The PA Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the country and highlights the various aspects of Pennsylvania’s robust agriculture industry. Rabbits and cavies have been a prominent and integral part of the show for many years. This year, 45 of the 47 breeds were represented (Sue would like to ask that all Belgian Hare and Silver breeders to strongly consider Farm Show 2013!). This is an excellent time to promote our organization and industry to the entire state of Pennsylvania and the national stage.

The North Carolina RBA State Convention was held in March in Greensboro, NC and also featured the American Fuzzy Lop and Jersey Wooly Nationals. This show continues to grow in size, scope, and national prominence. The following individuals received top honors at the weekend events. Best In Show Open: Show A & B, Robert & Peggy Crawford (New Zealand), Show C, Charlie & Daniel Crook (Mini Rex), Show D, Piper and Barb Smith (Florida White). It appears that the superior show quality that earned Mr. Crawford Best in Show at the 2011 ARBA Convention continues on! Best in Show Cavy: Show A, Natalia Meinhold (Silkie), Show B, Denise Talbott (American Satin). Youth Best in Show: Show A & B, Regan Lafever, Show C & D, Lauren Morrill. At the annual banquet, the exhibitors of the year were also announced. Open Exhibitors included 1st Place Robert & Michelle Loughlin, 2nd Place Kris & Hillary Walser, and 3rd Place Gary & Susan Smith. Youth Exhibitors were 1st Place Rose Garrison, 2nd Place Paige Smith, and 3rd place Morgan Johnson. The following youth members received top honors in the youth contest: Ages 5-8: Written & Breed ID Content, Kaylee Lackey. Ages 9-13: Written & Breed ID Contest, Morgan Johnson. Ages 15-18: Written & Breed ID Contest, Fayth Young. Congratulations to all of the winners – the NCRBA Convention has become a “must attended” show for the east coast!

It is a jarring experience when disaster strikes unexpectedly. This was the case with Lisa and Fayth Young of North Carolina. In early March, a fire severely damaged their house and unfortunately took the lives of their family pets. Thankfully, the Young family was unharmed. When events like this happen, not only could the Young family count on their fellow friends and family, they could also count on their “extended” family to offer assistance and support during this time. We wish them the very best as they slowly rebuild from this haunting event. Maryland resident and ARBA Library Chair Ellie Bonde along with North Carolina resident Mae Howell and Vice president Erik Bengston spent a week in March organizing our treasured ARBA Library. Mae reports that a considerable amount of work was accomplished during their time in Bloomington. A monumental thanks for this accomplishment! A workweek is already being planned for 2013. If you are interested, please contact Ellie or Executive Director Stewart.
Coastal Plains and Eastern Carolina RBA had an exhibit at the NC State University Farm Days where families could ask questions to the club representatives and interact with various rabbits on hand. This is a great way to educate the public about our unique hobby and sign up a member or two in the ARBA. Southern Pride RBA, a well-established club in South Carolina, has recently done 9 rabbit displays in Columbia, SC and has been featured in 5 TV spots promoting rabbits across the region. Keep promoting our hobby and the ARBA!

It’s hard to believe, but District 9 also includes foreign countries that are over 10,000 miles away! Last year, the ARBA held its first sanctioned show in the country of Malaysia. This year, ARBA judges (and in this situation, ARBA ambassadors) Allen Messick and Chris Zemny, both made the journey across the globe to not only judge in Malaysia but also the first ARBA sanctioned show in Indonesia. The show was held on March 31st and the following day a symposium featuring Chris and Allen speaking on a variety of topics involving husbandry, pedigrees, culling, and much more ensued. An article about this momentous occasion will be listed elsewhere in this magazine, but I wanted to congratulate both the ARBA members of Indonesia and Malaysia for showing the entire world that even the Pacific Ocean does not preclude a passionate group from hosting a successful ARBA Show. We in the United States tip our hats to you!

District 9 extends the warmest welcome to our first non-human primate member, Samantha. Samantha is a 47 year-old western lowland gorilla that was given an honorary ARBA membership by Eric Stewart in early April. In her old age, Samantha has bonded strongly with her black Dutch companion, Panda. She is a native of the Erie zoo in Pennsylvania. We are thrilled about her recent membership and look forward to seeing her at future shows. In the deluge of information regarding legislation that may affect our great hobby, it’s nice to get some positive news every now and then. Accolades are in order for rabbit breeders in and around Flemington. NJ. With the help of 4-H leader Dan Mundy and multiple rabbit raisers who passionately defended their hobby, an ordinance that would have severely restricted rabbit breeders in their allowed activities was significantly reduced because of expressed concerns. This is a GREAT example how local, regional, and even state clubs can show measurable support for their hobby.

This issue of Domestic Rabbits includes biographies on all candidates running for a position on the ARBA Board. Please take some time to read through each profile, ask yourself it this candidate’s goals and values align with your own, and ask questions if they come to mind. Enjoy the remainder of the spring show season!

Jay E. Hreiz, VMD
ARBA Judge #789
ARBA District 9 Director




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