By Michael Kormos
Corsicana Daily Sun
Joshua Murray has won rabbit titles in the past but this year he used his final opportunity to go out with a bang. The Mildred senior took home Grand Champion honors in the Market Rabbit Division Thursday at the 55th Annual Navarro County Youth Expo.
“Overall the entire Youth Expo experience has been amazing,” Joshua said. “I have learned a lot of things and had a blast every year.”
Joshua’s sister Ashlea, also of Mildred 4H, took home the Reserve Champion banner for the best of six pens of rabbits she raised.
“My advice to rabbit breeders is to be patient,” Ashlea said. “Work with the animals and pay attention to their fur.”
Ashlea also took fourth place in the lamb event and shows steers as well.
Judging the Market Rabbits Division was Carrol Hooks of Moody. She took time throughout the competition to stop and educate the participants.
“I am looking for the pen with the meatiest rabbits raised within 70 days with the least amount of cost,” Hooks said. “If a rabbit’s teeth are out of line I know they waste more feed, therefore, aren’t very cost efficient.”
Hooks praised the efforts of the Navarro County Youth Expo.
“I have been judging for years and the event keeps getting better and better,” Hooks said. “The organizers are very competent and good with the young people.”
”We had a great show this year,” Co-chairperson Daryl Shelton said. “Lots of entries.”
Market rabbits are shown in pens of three not to exceed five pounds each. Breeds shown were Californians and New Zealands although other breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association are allowed. The top 15 rabbits, including the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion, will be sold during the Premium Sale on Saturday, March 23.
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