In order for any breed of animal to be fairly judged, there must be a guideline to go by. That guideline should be used across-the-board, so that a particular list of qualities may be deemed breed-appropriate in regards to what the “perfect” specimen should look like; providing information to those judging & raising them a set goal to work towards while developing & improving specific traits of that breed.

American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) Shows

There are two classifications of rabbits shown; 4-Class & 6-Class. The 4-class breeds are the smaller or dwarf breeds (typically under 9lbs) & the 6-class are those deemed as commercial, meat, or giant breeds (above 9lbs). Flemish Giants are a 6-Class breed which is shown by division of variety, sex, & age.

A flemish giant show

A flemish giant show

Recognized varieties

First, there are 7 recognized varieties: Sandy, Fawn, White, Light Grey, Steel Grey, Blue, and Black. While they are being judged, they are first divided into these 7 groups, by color- respectfully. Next, they are separated by sex; bucks & does. Finally, they are further separated by age; junior, intermediate, & senior. The basic order of Flemish Giant show presentation is this:

Sandy (& so on for each color there-after – ) *to be presented in reverse order to list below
a. Jr Doe – minimum weight of 6.5 pounds with no minimum age requirements
b. Jr Buck – minimum weight of 6.5 pounds with no minimum age requirements
c. Int Doe – 6 to 8 months of age with no weight requirements
d. Int Buck – 6 to 8 months of age with no weight
e. Sr Doe – minimum 8 months old & weight of 14 pounds/ no max on weight
f. Sr Buck – minimum of 8 months old & weight of 13 pounds / no max on weight

Judging a Flemish Giant

A judge inspects a flemish giant  during a show

A judge inspects a flemish giant during a show

The judge will thoroughly look at each & every Flemish that is presented. He will check for any signs of illness or disease, as well as looking for any other abnormalities & failures to meet show requirements. If any are found, that animal will be disqualified –or DQ’ed – from that show. He will then make an assessment based on the quality of their head, eyes, ears, shoulders, midsection, hindquarters, over-all width & depth, bone density, flesh condition, fur color and quality. In each age group and variety presented, he will choose one buck & one doe that he feels meets the nearest or best possible closeness of the illusive idealistically perfect specimen. As he picks the best buck & doe of each age group, those will all be awarded as 1st & 2nd place and so on of each class.

Once that is done, he will then re-evaluate all of those 1st place winners to choose the best pair for that entire variety; awarding those as “best of variety & best opposite sex of variety”. Next, he will re-call all of those Best of Variety winners to be re-evaluated a 3rd time. He will then pick only two – a buck & a doe – which he is most impressed with. Those two will then be awarded as the “best of breed’ and ‘best opposite sex of breed.” After this has been done, the “Best of Breed” winner is eligible to wait until the very end of the show, after a best of breed winner has been chosen for every breed being shown. Those rabbits then are divided into classes; competing for best 4 & best 6 class, followed by the competition between the best 4 & best 6 class winners, to determine which one wins the award for Reserve in Show & the Best In Show.