Record number show rabbits

Published 12:45 pm Tuesday, August 12, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Emily Frasieur from Niles was only one of a record 951 contestants in the rabbit judging competition at the Berrien County Youth Fair on Monday.
The Rabbit Show Tent was abuzz with activity in the late morning as youth up to the age of 20 prepared to impress the judge with their rabbit showmanship.
By that time, however, the rest of the show grounds were filling up too.
Horses, llamas, goats and cows were promenading around accompanied by proud owners.
She competed but didn't place in last year's rabbit showmanship competition.
Although the 13-year-old has only competed once at the Fair before, she said the Berrien County Youth Fair is one of the biggest events of the year for her and her family.
Frasieur said in the showmanship competition, competitors demonstrate in front of a judge how they can handle a rabbit rather than the judges simply going from booth to booth giving out marks on each animal.
Aware of her competition, the 13-year-old said she knew many of the children she was about to compete against had good rabbit showmanship skills.
But for Frasieur, who likes to compete, competition isn't everything.
She simply enjoys working with rabbits.
Every day of the Fair she tends to her own rabbits, which is a requirement for showing animals there.
But although Frasieur enjoys working with her rabbits, she admits there are some down sides to keeping them, too.
There to see how her daughter did in the rabbit judging competition was Dawn Frasieur.
She said the family spent Sunday morning giving the rabbits a bath, cleaning them up for the big day of competition.
Having moved from California with her husband and two children several years ago to let the children live a more quiet life, Dawn Frasieur enjoys the fair.
Although keeping pets and showing them requires much work, she said it teaches her children responsibility.
Which they seem to be taking on fine.
She loved seeing all the children dressed up for the competition because it makes the event look more professional and serious.