Shannon Stahler, 11, holds her rabbit Monday as she gets ready to show it Monday at the Champaign County Fair. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

4-Hers show off big rabbits at Champaign County Fair

The Junior Rabbit Showmanship featured rabbits of many different sizes Monday afternoon at the Champaign County Fair.

From Mini Lops to Flemish Giants, the 4-Hers showed their knowledge of the different breeds.

Gracie Stalnaker showed one of the largest rabbits seen in the rabbit barn, weighing 14.5 pounds at 7-months-old. But, her rabbit is not full-grown.

Stalnaker’s rabbit is a Flemish Giant, one of the largest rabbit breeds in the world. Flemish Giants can grow up to 24 pounds, according to Stalnaker.

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One of the smaller rabbits at the fair, which runs through Friday, was a Mini Lop.

Shannon Stahler, 11-years-old, showed one of her Mini Lops during the showmanship.

“They (Mini Lops) are related to the English Lop, which takes up two cages,” said Stahler. “They are a lot smaller than the English Lops.”

Stahler started showing rabbits after her brother decided to show cows.

Her favorite part about showing rabbits is that, “they’re fluffy.”

Just like Stahler, Stalnaker loves her rabbits.

“I wanted one (a rabbit) for my birthday a couple of years ago,” said Stalnaker. “Then I always wanted to do 4-H, but we can’t have pigs or any cattle or anything because we can’t have it in our area. So we just decided to get into bunnies and I’ve loved them every since.”

Both girls do not think rabbits are hard to take care of.

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During showmanship, judges pay close attention to the 4-Hers appearance, knowledge of the rabbit, handling/showing of the rabbit, and sportsmanship.

For anyone want to see more rabbits, the Junior Rabbit Show is at 9 a.m. today in the Rabbit Barn.

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