Monday, February 4, 2008

PA State Convention

Well, we got back from an exhausting but fabulous weekend last night, and even though the Angora entries seemed down from last year, there is still no doubt that the PA Convention is one of the top shows around and the greatest one to look forward to each and every year:).

There were 4 shows in Lebanon altogether over the course of two days. 2 Opens and 2 Specialties. There were approx. 30 FAs shown in both shows on the first day, and fewer on the second due to breeders who left early or only showed on Saturday (I did not get the specific numbers for that day). There were 9 exhibitors on Saturday and 6-7 on Sunday.

I brought 6 showbunnies along and discovered that this is the number I love the most because there were not so many animals that I felt rushed while grooming, and there was alot more time in general to just mill around, visit people, and take care of other business such as shopping and registrations.

The first Specialty on Saturday was judged by Randy Shumaker, who was a fabulous judge with a incredible grip on Wool. I don't believe I've ever heard a judge comment on the 'structure of the interior of the coat' before, but this man obviously knew his stuff, and it is easy to see why he is such a sought after judge in so many breeds.

In this Specialty Spang's Juno took BOB, Spang's Dijon took BOS, Spang's Pascha took BOV, and Spang's Cedric won BOSV. At the end after all the Angora breeds were finished judging, Juno then went on to take Specialty BIS, which was a great surprise:)

The first Open show afterward was judged by Robert Frizzell, and here Juno won BOB again. BOS was given to a buck belonging to Charlotte Schweikart, and Pascha took BOV with Cedric winning BOSV again.

On Sunday our Specialty was judged by Heather Litchfield, and this time Pascha took BOB, Cedric took BOS, Juno took BOV, and Dijon took BOSV. At the end of Angora judging the breeds were brought up again and this time Pascha took BIS, which was another nice surprise!:-)

The last Open show of the weekend was judged by Todd Narragon, who I have never seen on the Angora table before, but who was also a very proficient judge. In this show Juno took BOB, Cedric took BOS, Pascha took BOV, and Dijon took BOSV. By the time it was all over the bunnies were more than ready to go home (as one might imagine, LOL), so we packed them all up and left, arriving home around 8PM. It was a wonderful weekend because Juno and Pascha, both of whom had never been shown before this weekend, managed to earn multiple legs for their GCs, while Cedric and Dijon earned additional legs as well.

I took lots of pictures over the weekend (when I remembered and people reminded me, LOL!), but I think I need to start taking pictures of people with their winning rabbits on a more regular basis too, so I will try to do that next time (as well as get pictures of the Giant judging which I seem to have missed on both days:( ).

Overall we had a great time, and it was great to meet up with friends that I only see once or twice a year to catch up on the latest news:). It was also therapeutic to forget the rest of the world for awhile and sit in the same room with people who have precisely the same interests and passions. You never fail to come home tired but rejuvenated, which is what makes this such a great hobby to begin with:).

Here are a few of the pictures I did take. The first is of Randy Shumaker judging FAs.

The next is a similar shot taken from behind the table (I believe this might have been a Colored Jr. Class).

This is a general shot of the show hall, which was large and spacious:

This is the Open show on the same day with Robert Frizzell judging. Exhibitors are all holding down their spastic bunnies in this photo, which became a tougher and tougher job as the weekend wore on, especially for the bucks:(.

This is Nancy Nichols holding a gorgeous, pitch-Black bunny who had the darkest, most beautiful face color I've ever seen on an FA of this variety.

And this is an EA who was 'hanging around' on Saturday. I think this bunny belonged to Mandi Holzbach (sp?), who has only recently begun showing Angoras but who is doing a nice job with them (this was a very quiet, patient guy:)).

This is a picture of Juno that was taken directly after grooming on Sunday morning. I did manage to slide her in to be registered that day which was great because now she can be clipped and bred without worrying about that detail. Juno is the sister/littermate of Spang's Morwenna, who was granded last season and whose babies were for sale at this show. Juno will be bred to Dijon and hopefully some pretty babies will come out of her, too:).

And this is Eric Stewart, another fabulous judge who was judging the Open Satin Angoras on Sunday. Eric is currently running for the position of ARBA Vice President, and he had a great deal of enthusiastic support from breeders at the show. IMO he will be a tremendous asset to our organization if elected, and is already a much loved District Director who has always been concerned with the issues that face our membership. I look forward to watching him continue this tradition of service with the same dedication that he has shown as a DD. He is an intelligent person with an excellent work ethic, and a great human being by any definition, IMO. He will make a wonderful Vice President.

This is Heather Litchfield, who judged the 2nd Specialty with FAs on the table:). Phil Osborn is the writer.

This was the Open EA show on Sunday with Paul Kyle judging. That tall guy you see behind the table in the green sweatshirt is our own Collin Burns who won Youth BIS at the Convention this year! This weekend he had only one little Junior with him, but he was busy just the same selling stock to interested breeders:).

This is Heather L. judging EAs in the Specialty, with one of Linda Cassella's bunnies on the table:

And these are some breeders hanging out behind the tables. Pictured are Julie George, Nancy Nichols, Mary Jo Lewis, and Dru Shepard (all the way in the back toward the left):

Finally, this is the fourth and last show with Todd Narragon judging the Youth FA class with Lisa Rodenfels writing:

AND, here are two great items I picked up at the show! This is an apron that my mother (who always travels along:)) picked up for me at the Embroidery booth in the main hall. She had the name of my rabbitry embroidered on the front, and now I have a sensible place to store brushes and grooming tools instead of carrying them wedged into the straps of my fanny pak, LOLOL:-D

And this is a C-U-T-E little Angora stuffed animal that I found in the Wool Booth! Perfectly posed, he looks like an English or Giant with a recent haircut, but someone suggested that I could very easily turn him into a French by trimming the cheeks and stripping off his ear tassels:). The kids love him to death since he can be thrown around and abused in various ways without consequence, so I suspect that soon he will not be recognizable as anything but a fuzzy lump (with an unusually docile temperament, LOL).
Anyway, more on Wednesday. I will be giving lots of haircuts this week and begin making some serious breeding plans. Thanks to ALL the great people who helped make the PA show a success, and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

No comments: