A local sixth-grader has worked his way to the top of a field of rabbit exhibitors.
Matthew Boes, a student at Hopewell-Loudon Elementary School, achieved a first-place ranking for the meat pen rabbit category through American Federation of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders, according to information from his family.
Boes said his family has about 100 rabbits, and most of them are of the New Zealand breed.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOES FAMILY
Matthew Boes, a sixth-grader at Hopewell-Loudon Elementary School, stands with his
reserve grand champion meat pen at the 2011 American Rabbit Breeders Association
convention in Indianapolis last year.
The family also has thrianta and Holland lop rabbits.
He said his family started raising them four years ago after his sister got a small Dutch rabbit for a pet rabbit project for the fair. Ever since that time, the number of rabbits has increased, he said.
Boes said he started showing rabbits about two years ago. He shows them all around Ohio, including at county fairs in the area, and in Indiana and Michigan, and goes to shows about every other weekend.
Going to shows is a lot of fun, and the best thing about rabbits probably is showing them, Boes said.
He said an exhibitor meets a lot of people when he or she shows and gets to know a lot of people from different states. Also, he or she gets to see a large variety of rabbits, from small to large, he said.
"Some of the rabbits I name, but not too often. ... We have so many," he said.
Boes showed the grand champion meat pen at last year's Seneca County Fair and had the reserve grand champion meat pen at American Rabbit Breeders Association's convention in Indianapolis last year.
He said it was fun to win grand champion at last year's county fair.
"(The judge) was taking his time," he said. "I got nervous."
Boes, who also shows hogs at Seneca County Fair and Attica Independent Fair, said his favorite breed of rabbits is New Zealand.
"They're a lot of fun," he said.