The Rocky Syndrome – btw: Back to Blogging!

By Ellyn. Filed in Humor, Rabbit Shows  |   
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Show quality Polish rabbit in the woods

Rocky's brother CQ - also had "the syndrome"

I once knew a girl whose AIM screenname was “Always2ndBest.”   Do you ever feel like that?   Yeeeaah…

In rabbits, Tiffany and I call it the Rocky Syndrome.  Those bunnies — usually bucks– that you can rely on placing in the top five in a large class, but never grand.  They rarely, if ever, come home with a win.  They’re always second-best.

Ever had one of those?

Rocky was a broken black Polish buck.  I bred him, but Tiffany showed him his whole career.  I would need to get the exact stats from her, but when Rocky finally retired he had one or two legs and at least 20 2nd or 3rd place finishes, in large classes.

His younger brother Conquistador had the same complex.  When I stopped showing CQ he had chalked up prestigious finishes such as second place at the ARBA convention AND Polish Nationals, but only had one leg to his name.

Why does this happen?  I think it happens to rabbits that are of very good quality, but just not quite great.  There’s nothing that jumps out about them that’s wrong, but they don’t have the flare of a BIS winner either.    Sometimes you can get a rabbit that looks just stunning…if you ignore all the scattered white hairs.  Or has some standout fault but is otherwise fantastic.  That kind of rabbit might win sometimes, and might not even be in the top five: it depends on how much that prominent fault bothers the judge.  Rocky and CQ weren’t like that.   They were all around good Polish rabbits:  short, round, deep, with good coats and a sort of “in the middle” head shape that could appease both the judges who like dwarfy heads and the ones that want longer, more refined heads.  But their patterns were plain, and they just didn’t have that edge.

So I’m curious to hear what you think: would you rather have a buck with the Rocky Syndrome, that doesn’t have any major issues and can rack up sweepstakes points (confess, you do care about sweeps points…), or would you rather have a rabbit that is flashy and almost amazing — but has a single glaring fault.

Polish rabbit body type

Not bad type on CQ

My answer:  Whichever makes better babies.


By the way —  I’m back to blogging!  Going to try to post twice a week.  If you haven’t added your breeders listing to the free directory at the Nature Trail, send me a note and I’ll put up your info!

Next post planned:  12 Unlikely Items to Keep in the Rabbitry in Case of Emergencies.


  1. Comment by Tiffany:

    Nice post Ellyn! Actually Rocky had 7 legs, it only took him a 3 year show career to earn them!! He never once molted, or was out of condition… he was one of a kind.

    • Comment by Ellyn:

      Haha, well I stand corrected then! But do you want to venture a guess as to how many 2nd-5ths he had to suffer to get those legs?

  2. Comment by Lindsey:

    I agree with you, whichever one makes better babies but personally I would rather have a balanced rabbit that takes 2nd all the time than one with a major fault. :-) Great post, can’t wait to see more.

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