My new place of work is very close to the Yorkshire Showground (most famous for the Great Yorkshire Show), so I sometimes notice interesting sounding events being advertised as I cycle past.
One such event was the Bradford Small Animal Show (“With approximately 3000 Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Gerbils, Hamsters, Mice and Rats attending the show over the two days, the Bradford Excel Small Animal Show really is the Crufts of the Small Animal world, and you can’t afford to miss this spectacular gathering!” – from the website, which I guess will disappear soon.).
Having a 4 year old son, and being a bit of a softy myself, this caught my eye, so we all went along.
Yes.. Well.. It was certainly an eye-opening experience. For instance, where you aware of the following esteemed organisations within our shores?
- The British Rabbit Council
- The National Mouse Club
- The National Cavy Club (room for confusion with pot-holers there!) – and my personal favourite,
- The National Fancy Rat Society
It was actually a little disturbing to see grown men and women obsessing over rabbits (and it was mainly rabbits), and them being judged and being awarded “Best of Breed” or whatever.
All my hopes of a cuddly interactive touchy-feely happy time were quickly dashed, as I came across rows and rows of cages – literally thousands – each one having a rabbit. No access allowed (although there was a “discovery” area where you could stroke one).
And what rabbits. I had no idea there were so many different types of rabbit. HUGE rabbits (dog sized!), tiny rabbits. Verrrrryy long eared rabbits, and rabbits with tiny stumpy little ears that made them look like bats. Long rabbits and short rabbits. Incredibly fluffy rabbits (poodle central).
.. but all firmly shut in their cages and NO TOUCHING.
I suppose in hindsight I should have expected this from the website, but I got caught up in a romantic notion.
I did see a hare up close for the first time in my life, and they really are very much like kangaroos.
So I wouldn’t particularly recommend the show to anyone who wasn’t a rabbit breeder (or cavy breeder, or fancy rat breeder, or …), but it was an experience. Really must try and made it to the GY show this year though (missed it for 8 years when it’s 10 minutes walk from my front door – bit lame really.)