Lori Ann Winston cradled Odie, a tiny 2-year-old rabbit, in her hands.
At just 2 pounds, Odie was among the smallest rabbits shown Saturday at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo rabbit show.
Odie is a Britannia Petite rabbit, a breed known for its small stature and somewhat high-strung nature.
“This particular breed is just a little more curious than they need to be,” said Winston, who is from Roanoke. “It is definitely not a beginner’s rabbit. They can be a challenge, but I do enjoy them.”
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Exhibitors showed nearly 800 rabbits, representing 28 different breeds, on Saturday. There were Californians and New Zealands, prized for their meat; Lionheads, named for the distinct wool mane around their head; and Checkered Giants, known for their black and white fur and large stature.
Rabbit show Superintendent Tom Bell said judges evaluate rabbits by a number of qualities, from the sheen of their fur to arch of their back.
“Everything depends on the breed, and no two rabbits are identical,” said Bell, who has raised and shown rabbits since 1980.
Just ask Amelia Osborne, of Crowley, who showed Bonnie and Fishsticks, a mother and daughter pair. Osborne has raised both rabbits since birth and also raised Bonnie’s mother, who died last year.
Bonnie and Fishsticks are Flemish Giants, which can grow to more than 20 pounds.
On Saturday, the rabbits quietly feasted on their favorite foods, Frosted Mini-Wheats and bananas.
“It’s a relaxed, easygoing, docile breed,” said Osborne, a high school freshman. “They get along great with cats and dogs.”
For Osborne, this year’s Stock Show was bittersweet. She is moving to Florida and will sell her rabbits to a friend.
“I am very sad,” she said. “They’re my babies.”
While holding Odie, Winston echoed the sentiment.
“Rabbits are like 2-year-old kids,” Winston said. “Each one has its own personality, and you never know what you’re going to get.”