Hare-raising show

BAZETTA – Ron Petras plucked a rabbit from a wooden bin and set it down on the table. He covered the rascal’s eyes with one hand and gently stroked its back with the other.

In seconds he was done and moved onto the next one.

Petras went on to examine each of the rabbits in the same manner. He inspected their ears and flipped them over, too, to examine their paws and bellies to judge if they meet fur, color and body type standards for rabbits.

”It’s just like a dog show. You just don’t have them roaming around,” said Petras, an American Rabbit Breeders Association judge. ”Well, some you do.”

The Junior Fair Rabbit Show Tuesday at the Trumbull County Fair had members of about a half-dozen different 4-H clubs show 14 breeds of rabbit. Before this, there was an open show that was available for anyone to participate.

Mikayla List, 16, of Bristol, a member of the Trumbull County Hareraisers, showed her black-and-white Dutch rabbit, Prince Maxwell, named, she said, after the coffee can that contains the animal’s feed.

”I do rabbits and sheep,” said List, in her fourth year of showing rabbits at the fair. ”It’s what my sisters did and I kind of took over what they were doing.”

Another member of the Hareraisers, Jenny Greskovich, has shown at the fair for six years. This year she showed her Mini Rex rabbit, Little Red, named that because its father is named ”Big Red,” said Greskovich.

”I really like rabbits,” said Greskovich. ”They’re really friendly, easy to care for, and they’re really cute, too.”

Dominic Bauer of Warren said he’s been involved with 4-H for almost two years. This is his first year showing a rabbit. At Tuesday’s show, he had a small Blue Polish rabbit named Jay, which he’s taught to play basketball.

He became interested in rabbits when ”I found a cute little bunny and wanted it.” Also, it’s something he can keep in the city, unlike large livestock like cows or hogs.