Northern California Angora Guild

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Remember When: Pointed White English Angora, So Cute So Troubled

In 1984, a new sub-variety of English Angora was accepted by the ARBA. At that time, it was called "Himi". The marking is the same as a Californian or a Himalayan; dark points and white body. Himi was accepted for showing in 1985, it was classified in the colored variety when showing in the regular classes but classified as white variety when showing in wool. Confusing? You bet. The show catalogs had to give special instructions about how to enter himi. In 1986, when the new ARBA Standard of Perfection was published, himi was renamed "Pointed White". For showing, it is in the white variety and remains the same since.

Betty says,

"I got a himi buck from Gini, a result of a trade. Gini wanted a fawn buck from Bubbling Champagne, so I received Jonathan as a trade.

Jonathan was a sweetie, pretty nice in both wool and type. He received five legs in the colored variety and became a grand champion. I used him for breeding and learned a very interesting lesson.

The gene that is responsible for the point marking is the himi gene c(ch). It is temperature sensitive. The himi English Angora usually have nice dark points when they are young and if the temperature is cool. When their wool grow out and if the temperature becomes hot, the points fade.

The top picture shows Higgins at a younger age in March 1988, with dark points. In August 1988 he was full grown and it was hot. His points were almost invisible.

The third picture is Delia and the last picture Jonathan. Jonathan was as dark as Delia in the winter but a half of his nose point was white during the summer; the worse was that the nose point color did not turn back to the dark color when it's cooler. I did not take any picture of Jonathan with dark points when he was young because he was the first himi and I had no knowledge of the fading points.

The same rabbit could be winning shows in the winter but could get disqualified during the summer. I was very frustrated.

In addition, the toenails of himi/pointed white are required to be dark in the Standard. Realistically, it was very hard to get the right toenails. I was more frustrated.

It was hard to improve the points because the c(ch) gene is recessive to the color gene C; breeding himi to colored only get colored rabbits if the colored rabbit does not carry either the himi gene or the albino gene. The himi gene c(ch) is dominant of the albino gene c; breeding himi to white will get himi rabbits but the points are even more faded. It needs two copies of the himi gene c(ch) gene to make the points more intense. Still, any hot temperature could fade the points and it's hard to get back the dark points even if the weather gets cool.

I finally made the decision in 1989 that I would spend my effort in improving wool and type instead of playing with color or markings. I dispensed all rabbits that were related to Jonathan and stopped my association with himi/pointed white.

I have not seen any pointed white English Angora on the show table for a long time. On a national level, the last time I saw a himi/pointed white English Angora being shown in an ARBA convention was 1993 in WA. I am speculating that others had similar experience as I did. "

Friday, August 17, 2007

Porscha Wins Reserve In Show

Holly has good news: her 9-month-old tort doe HHR's Porscha won all breed Reserve In Show at a show in early August in Alberta, Canada.

Here are four photos showing Porscha growing from a bunny to an elegant lady shown in the top photo. The second photo was taken at 5-1/2 months old with her brother in a show; she also won a Reserve In Show on that day. The third photo was taken at four months old and the fourth photo shows Porscha when she was a little baby. Porscha is a gold star registration rabbit; her name is in the current issue of the Domestic Rabbits.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Eric's First Litter of Puppies

Wonderful judge Eric has great news: his top quality Manchester Terrier pair Preston and Rose have their first litter of two puppies, a boy and a girl.

The top picture shows Eric with Preston and Rose when they were younger. The second photo shows the their puppies sleeping. Rose is a great mother, and Preston a proud papa.

The third picture shows Preston and Rose in bed together.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Tale of Two White Bucks, 25 Years Apart

In early 1983, after having Angelina for several months and before having Bubbling Champagne, Betty bought her first English Angora buck, a white baby buck from Shirley to be Angelina's mate. The buck shown in the second picture was named "Prince Charming". He had a good pedigree with some common ancestors as Angelina and there were several grand champions in the background.

Betty remembers, "Prince Charming was a charmer, he charmed Angelina into having a romance when he was only 4 months old. Eight very healthy and bouncy bunnies were the result of their quick encounter. Bunnies grew, Prince Charming also grew. His ears got longer and longer, so was his body; he reached maximum weight limit as soon as he became a senior. I had to register him fast; he went overweight not long afterwards. In his entire show career, he received one leg. He grew so long that in a show one day, Shirley commented, "Betty, this is a very long rabbit, who is this?" I said, "It's yours, the one you sold me." She said, "No, it's not mine, it's yours now."

His wool wasn't too great either; this picture was taken at the peak of his coat. He was a sweetie, tame and easygoing. He wasn't too much of a show rabbit and his bunnies were also growing into big and long rabbits. I was not going to use him for breeding anymore; neither did I dare to sell him as a breeder. I finally found a pet home for him.

Many rabbits and almost 25 years later, I have had many white bucks. I thought I'd put up the picture of my most current white buck Bobbie Joe. Bobbie Joe has short and smooth body, short ears, dense and free-flowing wool; he even won an all breed Best In Show in July.

What a difference 25 years made!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Judy's New Princess

Great news from WA, our favorite judge Judy has a new winning Pomeranian girl, Louise. Louise has just won a "Best Of Winners" recently. While Baby Thunder is taking a break from shows, Louise is making a big splash.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Remember When: Betty's French Lop

Betty talked about starting her rabbit habit with French Lop often. Here are some photos that would go down the memory lane. Betty says,

"I got my first pure breed rabbit in 1981, a French Lop, to be a companion to a neutered mixed breed buck that I was taking care of for a colleague when he was teaching out of the country. The top picture is the French Lop Sweetie Pie and the mixed breed buck Peter.

The second picture is Sweetie Pie begging for a carrot.

Sweetie Pie was a cutie pie but not really a show rabbit, and I did not intend for her to be one. Just like most of other rabbit breeders, I discovered rabbit shows and took her to shows. It would be a big accomplishment of the day when she was not the first one to be sent off the table.

I paid for a stud service and got bunnies. The third picture shows the cute bunnies on the table and on my back. They were not much of show bunnies either, but healthy, friendly and cute.

French Lop did not get me anywhere in the wonderful world of rabbit shows; they did build a bridge for me to discover the breed for me: English Angora.

Just for fun, I also had chickens at that time, shown in the fourth picture."

The two top pictures were taken in 1981 and the two bottom pictures were taken in 1982.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Remember When: Bubbling Champagne

In 1982, Betty was still into French Lops. She had one English Angora named Angelina that did not provide Betty with a right start.   See

Betty says, " I purchased a mate for Angelina, the resulting bunnies were cute, healthy, but big and long.

NCAG held the first specialty show in spring of 1983 in the garage of a car repair shop in Fremont. Bobbie Meyer was the judge, she came as a favor to a new club since NCAG hardly had any money in the treasury. She had several breeds of rabbits including English Angora. She delivered some fawn bunnies to those who ordered from her. I wanted one but by then all were spoken for.

A couple of months later, I saw Bobbie again in a show in Napa. Bobbie said, "Betty, I think I have a bunny that will work for you." I followed her home after the show. She said, "Why don't you stay for dinner, I'll have my husband take you out to my rabbitry."

She had a big rabbitry, lots of rabbits. With many different breeds of rabbits and bunnies in a very large barn, my eyes were immediately fixed on a bunny that was still in the same cage with her mother and littermates. I knew that bunny was for me. Bobbie said, "That was the one that I picked for you, and you found her." Bobbie treated me to a steak dinner, charged me $25 for the bunny, and I came home with Bubbling Champagne.

Bubbling Champagne was the one that started right for me. Her initial "BC" became the ear tattoo ID for all her descedents. Not long after having Bubbling Champagne, I discontinued the stock from Angelina and all my rabbits are related to Bubbling Champagne; "BC" is now my only ear ID.

Around the same time, I went to a Lop specialty show in Pleasanton. There was a black English Angora buck looking for a home. He was about one year old, had never been groomed in his whole life and obviously was not cared for. I felt very bad seeing an animal being so neglected; I took him home and spent 3 hours cutting off his mats. Later when I received his pedigree, it turned out that he was also bred by Bobbie. He had an ear tattoo of CS1, I named him Charles Schwab.

Bubbling Champagne was a beauty, won the junior doe class in the very next show a month later. As soon as she became a senior, she took Best of Breed twice out of two shows. She received three legs and achieved grand champion status. Charles Schwab was a different story. He was neglected and did not have good nutrition when he was developing. I tried hard but his body structure was already set. He went to many shows; he received one leg but did not get very good comments from judges, including Bobbie.

Genetics ruled. The pair worked wonders on some of their offspring. They repeated their romance three times and produced some very nice bunnies. Bubbling Champagne then moved on to have romances with two other boyfriends. At a later time, Bubbling Champagne and Charles Schwab rekindled their romance two more times. The bunnies from Bubbling Champagne and different bucks sent me toward the right direction of breeding top quality English Angora.

In the next 20 years, Bobbie judged my rabbits regularly. She was pleased to have seen the development of the English Angora that descended from her stock. When my tort doe Sweet Sixteen won the Best In Show in the 1992 ARBA convention in Columbus, OH, Bobbie was one of the three people that I called immediately. I am forever grateful to Bobbie who allowed me to have Bubbling Champagne."

The first and second photos of Bubbling Champagne were taken in 1983, the two photos of Bobbie were taken in a show in 1986.