Northern California Angora Guild

Monday, May 23, 2022

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Welcome Open Rabbits after 20+ years

When I started raising rabbits, the first fairgrounds that I experienced was the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.   Albert and I went there to visit a show in 1981 but could not find the correct gate, went home disappointed.   As we all know today, fairgrounds usually have so many gates that unless one knows the correct gate to enter, it's very hard to find where the show is held.  When I started showing, the first show that I attended was also at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds as this location is the closest to my home, 20 miles from Morgan Hill to San Jose.  During my early years, driving hours to shows was not something that my mind could comprehend.   In the 80s, the venue used for all the shows was a semi-open barn with squeaky wooden floors.  Then there was the two-week long fair in August that the rabbits had to stay cooped for over 10 days in another open barn.     Around late 1990s or early 2000s, these barns were shut down then a few years later all torn down.  No more open rabbit shows at that fairgrounds.

It was a big surprise that a triple show date was on schedule at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds on May 21.  We old timers could not believe that this fairgrounds is opening up for rabbit shows again, wondered what kind of facility would be used as we knew there was no livestock barns left.    We were so pleasantly surprised that the show was held at the Fiesta Hall.    This is one of the patio areas that we could use for grooming.  There are plenty of electrical outlets, benches and trash cans.  Absolutely perfect.   

This is Alba and I outside the Fiesta Hall at the patio grooming area.   The scenery is beautiful, has early morning sun but starts to become shady and cool in the late morning. 

The building has smooth floor and high ceiling, very comfortable.  The show is not huge but still have over 400 rabbits and cavies that are to be judged 3 times, thus over 1000 entries.   There were five judges each has give and take 200 animals on their judging list. 

Here are my rabbits and miscellaneous stuff.   

The cavies are stationed on the upper right corner.  Pattee and Carolyn both have Angoras and cavies, they stationed their animals in between the wool area and the cavy corner.

Since it is the first show for the Santa Clara County Fair, there are people wanting to take photos and videos.   Here is one of the photos of me with Alba that gives a glance of the showroom.  Outside the rollup door in the background is the parking lot.  There is an attendant directing the vehicles to the appropriate spots.    

Each judging table has a number.   #3 is the first table that Angoras are being judged.   Judge Chris Zemny had not judged for 2-1/2 year due to health issues, this is the first time she is back judging.   Chris is one of the few who started showing around the same time as I did.  She went on to become a judge and a top Holland Lop breeder and won a Best In Show at the ARBA convention.   I did the same with English Angora and also won a Best In Show at the ARBA convention but I did not go for a judge's license.   

Not only this is the first time the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds welcome back the rabbit shows in 20+ years, it is also the first ever regular ARBA show sponsored by the fair management that is given the name of "Santa Clara Fair Stampede".   Guess who won the first Best In Show?  My white doe Chu's Alba.  I am so thrilled; from attending my first show in 1982 as a total newbie to winning the first open show sponsored by the fair, a 40 year journey.  From left to right are: show secretary Griffin Harrah, Fair manager Salene Durate who is responsible for bringing rabbits back to the fair, my English Angora and I, Emma's mom holding Emma's Netherland Dwarf that won Reserve In Show and our handsome judge Doug King.



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