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Mini Rex were derived from in France in the late 19th century. The Rex mutation is recessive and causes the hair to protrude outwards from the body, instead of lying flat, and the guard hairs to be shortened to the length of the undercoat.
Their small size, plush coat and friendly personalities make them one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the United States. They were first recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1988, and been very popular with exhibitors ever since. It weighs 3.5 to 4.5 pounds when fully grown. Short and rather close coupled, it is moderately well filled with flesh. The ideal length of its fur is 5/8 inch, and is to have a lustrous appearance, good body, and a plush-like effect which offers a distinct springy resistance to the touch.
For competitions, a Mini Rex should have a well-rounded back, with well-developed and filled shoulders, midsection and hindquarters. Their head should be well-filled and set on a short neck, with thick ears not longer than 3.5 inches. They should have medium-fine bone and rather short legs. Fur should be extremely dense, straight and upright. It should be smooth and springy, not too soft or silky. Fur must be between 1/2 inch and 7/8 inch long. Any missing toe nails can lead to disqualification of the rabbit.
The Mini Rex is judged 35 points on body, 5 for head, 5 for ears, 35 for fur, 15 for color and 5 for condition, making a total of 100 possible points. They are a four-class rabbit, which means there are four age groups they can be shown in. They are Senior Bucks (3 – 4.25 lbs, ideal 4 lbs), Senior Does (3 – 4.5 lbs, ideal 4.25 lbs), Junior Bucks (2 – 3 lbs) and Junior Does (2 – 3 lbs).
Many Mini Rex rabbit shows are either local or national. Some shows are not sponsored by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), but rather by local or state Breeders Associations. Some Mini Rex shows are sanctioned by local show "designators" who set up and organize the event. Rabbit's are judged by national judges and the winners are announced at the end of judging. Rabbit shows are divided by class (color, age, and gender) and announced three times; If there are not enough show entries on the table or not enough show up, the class can be canceled. Rabbits can win a "leg" at sanctioned shows, that are noted as a winning, these can be won by having 5 rabbits or more in a class with 3 or more exhibitors. the "legs" can be classified by BIS (best in show) BOB (best of breed) BOS (best opposite sex) BOV (best of variety) BOSV (best opposite sex of variety)
The Mini Rex color spectrum includes Blue, Blue Eyed White, the Broken Group, Castor, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Himalayan, Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Otter, Red, Sable Point, Seal, Tortoise, and White. New certificates of development have been awarded by ARBA for Sable, Smoke Pearl, Silver Marten, and Tan Mini Rex, all to be presented in the next few years.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) maintains an article regarding rabbit care. The ARBA has a legislative committee that works with the USDA and House of Representatives and Senate Agriculture Committees.