Northern California Angora Guild

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Crowded Showroom

The California State Convention is a huge success.  The showroom is more crowded than ever.  Betty took these pictures standing at her spot to cover all directions of the main part of the showroom.   There is an area at the side of the main showroom for vendors, a separate building for the cavies, plus another building for the youth activities and the judges conference.  The following three photos only show the main showroom for rabbits.

Friday, February 28, 2014

French Angora Session at the Judges Conference

Betty starts the session by passing around some bags of wool samples from an English Angora and a French Angora, asking the attendees to look and feel to identify which wool sample is English and which sample is French.

While the bags of wool samples are being passed around, Betty shows the first photo that appeared in the ARBA Standard of Perfection (SOP).   In her hand, Betty shows the copies from the old ARBA SOP.   Angora Wooler was the official name in the 1934-1939 SOP, but no photo included.  In 1939-1944 SOP there was this photo shown in the slide.   Under the name of Angora Wooler there was the "English Type" and the "French Type".   The photo does not say whether it's an English Type or a French Type Angora Wooler.  This photo is believed to be the first official photo in an ARBA publication.

This photo is provided by Eric Stewart from his collection of a 1927 book about Angora.   It was written by an author in England, he used the names of "English Angora" and "French Angora" when referred to the Angoras that he saw in England and the Angoras that he saw in France and how these Angora rabbits differed thus he considered them the names of the breeds.  It's considered that the English Angora was "fancy" and the French Angora was "working mules".    However, this photo does not specify whether it was an English Angora or a French Angora.

In the SOP 1944-1947, the English Angora and the French Angora officially became two separate breeds.  Photo in the slide is taken from the 1966-1970 SOP.   

Betty puts a French Angora junior doe on the table.

Betty says,

It's a Friday night special, you are welcome to come to the front to touch this young French Angora and the young English Angora.  Later in the session I will ask you how your hands feel and whether there are any differences.  

Attendees line up to get the chance to touch.

Allen posts on his Facebook:

History made: Betty announces, "This is not a 'no touch' time!"

Betty is notorious for having signs of "Do Not Touch" on all her carriers.  On the table are a 3-1/2 months old French Angora doe and a 2-1/2 months old English Angora buck.      

Betty puts two "old men" on the table, one English Angora and one French Angora, both are about 2 years old.

The French Angora buck is getting excited, Betty has to hold him down before he does something XXX.

 Kathi and Jeannie are at the table checking out the two matured bucks.

Here are the four rabbits being touched: standing up is French Angora buck HGF Jim, on his right is white buck Chu's Ebby.   In the back are the two babies: the far left is baby English Angora buck Chu's Mackie and the broken chestnut is French Angora junior doe BCW Checker.

Some key points:

(a) All Angora should have underwool and guard hairs.  The French Angora should have more guard hairs than the English Angora but underwool is still vital.  No Angora should have more hair than wool, Angoras are wool breeds, not hair breeds.  
(b) The English Angora and the French Angora were originally the same breed but bred toward different directions.   The wool from the first coat English Angora and first coat French Angora are not that different; the English Angora is treasured for its first coat because it's finer and softer while the French Angora first coat with similar characteristics is considered as too soft.  
(c) When the wool are harvested then grow back, there will be more hairs regardless whether it's the French Angora or the English Angora.   If a French Angora still has a good amount of underwool, with the additional guard hairs from the second and subsequent coats, the texture would be considered as ideal.  Same situation in the English Angora would be considered as too coarse.     The standard is so written that the best show coat for the English Angora breed is the first coat while the best show coat for the French Angora breed is the 2nd or 3rd or ... coats. 
(d) The French Angora wool has a slightly bigger diameter than the English Angora wool thus easier to care for.   The finer the fiber, the harder to untangle.   If one uses an extreme example: imagine the embroidery thread vs. the rope, it's harder to untangle a messed-up ball of the embroidery thread than a messed-up pile of the rope. 

Toward the end of Betty's presentation, she asked the participants about their feels of wool samples that have been passing around when the session stated.   Though there were some correct answers, most identified them incorrectly.   The French Angora wool in the bags was from the first coat but the English Angora wool in the bags was from the 2nd coat; most of the participants identified the softer wool as the English Angora wool but in fact it's the first coat French Angora wool .    The first coat wool is always softer than the 2nd or subsequent coats, regardless of whether the wool comes from an English Angora or a French Angora.  


Thursday, February 27, 2014

California State Convention Judges Conference

The judges conference part of the California State Convention was held on Friday night, February 21, 2014.   There were 9 sessions in the conference.

Scott Rodriguez of WY teaches posing of show rabbits.

Allan Ormond of Utah discusses commercial type rabbits.  Allan had a surgery done on his feet recently but it does not preventing him from traveling to rabbit shows.

Scott Williamson's topic is disqualification.

Chris Zemny has an informative slide show of the rabbits' bone structure.  The Belgian Hare is on the left and the right is the French Lop.  The bone models are made by a breeder in WA.

Betty Chu's topic is French Angora, more photos of this session will be posted tomorrow.

Carol Green has the attention of attendees when she presents Jersey Wooly.

Allan Barr discusses "balance" of rabbits and cavies.

Allen Mesick and Lauralee Erbe put four Satin rabbits behind the curtain, attendees put their hands into each slot and write down the order of the proper Satin texture.

Cathy Szychulda's topic is the Rex coat. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pretty Little Franchesca Makes Debut in Shows

It's unusual for Betty's rabbits not to be shown in junior classes, but Franchesca has not been shown when she was a junior. 

Not having any peers in the junior doe class, it does not make sense to be the only one in the show.    Now she is finally getting old enough to be a senior and with McKenzie's retirement after double Best In Show wins on February 1, Franchesca starts her show career at the California State Convention.

Out of four open shows, Franchesca won Best of Breed in three shows and in show D, judge Chris Z. picks her as the Reserve In Show to Randy and Allen's Britannia Pettit.   

On her first weekend out, Franchesca gets registered and with the three legs earned, she is now eligible for the Grand Champion status.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Youth Top Winners at the California State Convention

The California State Convention was held on February 22 and 23, 2014, there were four youth shows.
Judge Allan awards the youth show A Best In Show to Ben's Californian.

The youth Reserve In Show in show A is a Satin.

In youth show B, judge Scott awards the Best In Show to Colton's Havana.
Youth show B Reserve In Show goes to a New Zealand.

Judge Josh awards the youth show C Best In Show to Lena's Himalayan and Reserve In Show to Juliette's Jersey Wooly.

Makayla's Mini Lop gets the youth Best In Show award from judge Don.

Judge Don picks Riley's Holland Lop as the youth Reserve In Show.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Top Winners at California State Convention on Sunday

 California State Convention continues on Sunday at Turlock with double open and double youth plus various specialty shows.
In show C on Sunday, judge Allan of Utah awards the Best In Show to Kathy T's Mini Rex.

Show C Reserve In Show goes to Randy and Allen's Netherland Dwarf.

In show D, the convention Chairwoman judge Chris Z picks the top winners; the Best In Show goes to Randy and Allen's Britannia Petite and the Reserve In Show goes to Betty's English Angora.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Randy and Allen's Britannia Petite Wins Double Best In Show at Cal State Convention

California State Convention is held at Turlock, CA on February 2/22/2014 and 2/23/2014.

On the first day of the California State Convention, Randy and Allen's Britannia Petite wins Best In Show in both show A and B.   Show A judge is Josh from TN and show B judge is Don from VA.

Randy and Allen visited UK a month ago and brought back 6 "Polish".   The "Polish" in UK is the "Britannia Petite " in the US.    This is the first time that Randy and Allen show their new breed and receives the highest honor.

Judge Josh awards the Reserve In Show to Jennifer's Florida White in show A.

In show B, Julie's Havana receives the Reserve In Show honor from judge Don.