National English Rabbit Club

~ The 24 Carat Club ~

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ASS 2016 Report

By Steve Germany

After weeks of speculation on how the entry would be the, the call finally came: 94 adults, 35 youngsters, so for saying "no entries from Scotland, loss of entries from Gary because of him judging, VHD2/myxi outbreaks", the entry was good.

Friday 1 o'clock soon came and our Kev - better known as Slim - picked me up to make the hour's trip to Kegworth to put up the pens. Good banter on the way, mainly about who's going to be showing and trying to predict the winners.

Arriving at 2 o'clock we entered an empty car park, but it wasn't long before our own William Shatner (Steve Shacklock) arrived, then a call came from Mr Organiser that the lady from the hall was on her way with the keys.

Once in the hall, Captain Kirk was straight under the stage passing staging out for Kev and myself to put up. After about twenty minutes our own Harry Hill in Stewart and our new 2017 lady president Janet turned up, both in good spirits - And it wasn't long before the Kray twins, Bob and Bob, turned up and got stuck in straight away as normal.

Next to arrive was half man, half lizard in Richard Took and his lovely wife Sharon, last but not least old twitcher himself, Shocker, what an asset. John and Eunice had to visit the hotel before coming to the hall but once there the tea and coffee was soon flowing.

By 2.50 we were all ready for the first arrivals. Bernard, Keith and Roger turned up with talks of their journeys. Stewart and Janet set to putting up the trophy stand and Shocker put up the national stand which was erected in front of the stage as there was no rabbit auction this year (hope to be reinstated for 2017).

5 o'clock soon came and time for tea, lock the hall and back to the hotel. Kev and myself called at the local chip shop (Duane's favourite haunt) and had a whale. One or two people walked into the town for tea, some ate at the hotel. then we had our usual gathering in the comfy seats for a few beers and plenty of banter.

For me, it didn't seem the same without Duane and the girls. Alexis hasn't missed a national since she has been born and her first was at 8 weeks old.

Just as I was thinking of having an early night and a cup of cocoa, I just happened to glance over to the main door and who should be perrping around the dooor but Alexis with the biggest smile, they had surprised me big style. A voice (Heather's) says "well we couldn't miss a national" so all of a sudden, it was Friday night and party time.

We had a couple of late arrivals; Aaron and Brian (Hirstle & Dewhirst) and Pete and Angela Usher but John being John took them down to the hall to pen their rabbits. Midnight came and went but it wasn't long after we decided to hit the sack and get ready for the big day tomorrow.

Saturday 7 o'clock soon came and who would be first for breakfast? Yes, you've guessed it, t'was Kev and I. Quick feed and down to the hall to get ready for the rush.

Once down there, we found National's answer to Mr & Mrs Kipling who had arrived early hours and were busy prepping food.

Once the rest of the stock was penned it was soon 11 o'clock and time for judging, so John and Roy opened the show in their own little ways and Roy introduced the three judges and away we went.

So just one more before lunch, this time the greys. Gary had 11 bucks and Brian 10 doe's. Seemedl ike the hardest class for both but eventually Gary had Stewart and Janet Howson's buck and Brian had Hirstle & Dewhirst's doe. Again after deliberation the buck got the cup.

Time for lunch, so for me and one or two more, twas a quick pint at the Cap and Stocking, then time to return to the show to carry on the good work. Meanwhile Duane was doing his usual thing, selling raffle tickets, extracting as much money as possible.

Torts were next. Gary had 9 bucks and Brian had 8 doe's. Double bubble this time for Sam Vogan and the doe got the cup.

Chocs next: 4 bucks and 9 doe's. Again after judging his class, Gary took the time to stand and watch Brian do the doe's, watching in anticipation on what he would get to handle. Finally on the stage was Ian Kirkland's buck and Richard Took's doe; not long before the doe got the nod.

But as you know, our adult stock show is not all about the adults, there was a small matter of 35 youngsters to sort out. The task this year was in the very capable hands of Sarah Elliott.

Sarah's first class was 11 blacks and after a lot of deliberation she came up with the winner, belonging to Steve Dixon. The next class was 8 blues and she finished up with the winner belonging to our own Mr Blue - Bob Searle - every year he pulls one out of the hat.

Next was 8 greys (which I found out after judging is Sarah's favourite colour). After a lot of deliberation she gave top spot to Five Star Stud (good choice).

Next, 5 torts which I believe was Sarah's hardest class but the eventual winner was our own Mrs Kipling, Mel Kirkland. And then last but not least, 3 chocs which all belonged to Mr Kipling, Ian Kirkland so only one winner here.

Then I believe the very hard decision to find a winner out of all the class winners, so after a lot of thought and weighing up, Sarah came up withthe black as the best youngster.

Can I just say at this point how efficiently and thorough Sarah judged these rabbits: her handling skills are second to none and she was a pleasure to watch (admired by all I believe).

Backto the adults, where Gary started his buck challenge and Brian his doe challenge and it wasn't long before we had the winners: the black buck of Keith Last and the choc doe of Richard Took. (Both of these challenges were videoed live on Facebook, I believe we are the first club to go live).

Before the BiS judging we did the raffle, 15 good prizes. Then the big one: Gary with the black buck and Brian with the choc doe on the stage, live on facebook, judging for BiS with quite a bit of chat between the pair of them discussing the finer points until they turned to Johnny and said: "The choc is best".

So John made the announcement that the winner of 2016 ASS is the choc doe. Very loud applause rang through the hall and everyone wanted to shake the hand of the man with the biggest smile in the hall, that of Richard Took - known to his friends as Tookieeeeee.

It was time then to get the stock fed and watered and for the committee to gather in the back room for their meeting. Soon it was 6.45pm and time to gather down in the bar area for all those attending 2016 ASS social evening.

Little did I know, I had been set-upagain because our Kev got me sat near the bottom of the stairs where everybody comes down from their rooms... unknown to me who should come walking down the stairs but my wife Pauline, daughter Lyndsay, son-in-law Jim and my other 2 granddaughters, Cerys and Ava, accompanied by Heather, Duane, Alexis and of course, Jessica. Something I never expected - a wonderful surprise. Apparently the only person not to know what was going on was me.

The social evening went off like clockwork as usual when organised by John, very good meal and service. We had our usual quiz which was won by Sara, Sam, Skinny, Phil and Eunice. John did his usual fun bottle rraffle after ticket sales done by Duane again (he does like taking your money LOL) in which our president Roy won the litre bottle of gin and then gave it back to put in the auction for Sunday and Skinny won the litre bottle of Famous Grouse which she duly donated to Team Germany's general meeting evening - Thank you both.

The other part of the evening is to present the presidents salver to the recipient if attending the social evening. Well this was my third surprise of the weekend because that person was me. What an absolute honour to receive this award and it is something I will treasure forever.

Some of us stayed up for a late night chat and tipple and generally putting the world to rights. Again it wasn't long before the alarm was going off on Sunday morning and it's down for breakfast, quick chat, bags packed and down the hall for Sunday's activities.

It wasn't long before the hall was buzzing. Gary and Brian were judging the duplicate classes and Sarah was judging the best headed exhibit - and of course, the big Spotlight competition, her chance to handle maybe 30+ adults.

While this was going on, Julie had asked me to pose the cup winners for the photos as Brian was judging, so of course I jumped at the chance.

Julie and I found ourselves a nice quiet spot down that passage
past the canteen to take the photos. I say quiet spot - the village
brass band were practising in the bottom room, but to be fair,
they didn't bother the rabbits one bit.

So it was soon lunch time and Ian was flipping his burgers again
(finger licking good). John was going around with the raffle
tickets and people were generally chilling out and catching
up with old and new friends.

So at around 1 o'clock, we had a little auction of a few things
that had been given which included a pot rabbit painted with
English markings which was sold for £50 and bought by Kev Germany, well done.

The presentation then followed and the handing over of the President's chain of office which was given to Mrs Janet Howson, our lady president for the next 3 years. I hope weall get behind her (I know Stewart will give her the support she deserves, a well deserved position and long time overdue in my opinion).

After this we drews the raffle; another array of prizes donated again, we do have some generous people in our club. After that our master of ceremonies closed the show and it was time to clean up.

So big thanks to all those people who stayed behind to clean up, and even bigger thank you to those people who took the trouble to take their shavings out of their pens away with them - for those who didn't, we know who you are and don't moan when we have to pay for a skip to take it away.

At around 3 o'clock, everything was done and dusted and that's the 2016 ASS all over.
See ya all next year.

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National English Rabbit Club

Secretary
Mr Phil Shaw
(01325) 260409

Photo crop

First up this year were the blacks, Gary had 19 bucks and Brian had 12 doe's. They slowly worked their way through them and Gary ended up with Keith's buck and Brian ended up with Bernard's doe. So on to the stage forthe first cup, after a lot of deliberation, they ended up with the buck winning the cup.

Blues next. Gary had 8 bucks and Brian had 4 doe's so this time as you can imagine, Brian had time on his hands but it wasn't long before Gary brought to the table Les Davies' buck and Brian, Steve Dixon's doe. Not long on this one and Steve's doe got the cup.

Photo crop

Gary judging the perfect pot rabbit ...

***2017's ASS is to be held on 18th & 19th November at Kegworth Village Hall***

Judges: R Wearmouth (Bucks), R Searle (Doe's) & S Dixon (Adult Support)

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