Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NO on JW S.O.P. Changes

RARELY do I get caught up in politics. I'm not one to fight, and usually just let things go the way they go. Today, I received my voter's ballot for the "Proposed Standard Changes for the Jersey Wooly" and I, am pretty fired up if you may say about these changes to be brought upon the next edition of the Standard of Perfection.

I'm very open minded, and respect the proposition but DO NOT agree with it. Let me first get this out there, I've never once myself, or heard any other person who was unsatisfied with the Jersey Wooly Standard. Secondly, I didn't even know this was happening! I almost feel this done all behind my back by our club about this situation. Maybe this is none of my business, but as a Club Member of several years, I usually hear about this discussion before hand, something by someone somewhere, it doesn't matter, but to where I am prepared. This is so out of the blue, so unexpected, and so unnecessary.

Simply, the reasons stated for these props are NOT reasons good enough. (for me, at least)

Let's talk from my letter up to down. Front side to back.

1) Point Allocation

I'm not going to type the whole document, but I will tell you what is being changed. General type is being changed from 58pts to 63pts. Body stays at 30pts, but the head goes from 16pts to 18pts, ears 10pts to 13pts, and eyes, stay the same at 2pts.

Our wool is having 5pts taken away, from being 27pts to 22pts. 5pts doesn't sound like much, but we're talking a wooled breed here. This is where it really tears me apart. Texture goes from 14pts to 13pts, density 8pts to 4pts, and length stays the same at 5pts.

Before I get carried away, I note Color(10pts) and Condition(5pts) stay the same.

OKAY. Time to dissect! I'm going to jump my buttons on WOOL. As the breed being a Jersey WOOLY, I believe the rabbit should have wool, right? Let me get you break down on wool. Texture is the feel to the wool. Density is thickness(as in having a "thick" or "thin" head of hair) and length is obviously how long the hair is from the hair shaft.

2) Texture

I've been breeding Jersey Woolies for 5 years, with how devoted and how far I've come, I'm proud to say I've been breeding for 5 years. In those 5 years, you learn things. You can't have everything. You can't have a rabbit with completely long ears and expect to have a super short body. You can't have short length and WIDE width. It's the same with this wool thing, you can't have WOOL without the soul properties of WOOL! If you take away our density, and still together with length the texture blows it away, you don't have wool. I'm sorry, you don't. Just imagine a rabbit winning with NO underwool and decent length? Just because "Sure! It has great texture!" doesn't mean it's wool. It's HAIR. Zero density is HAIR. Focusing on texture doesn't help with it's second hand partner length!

The REASON given is because Matting and Webbing is being mistaken for Density. YES, then just reword the section. This is NOT a valid excuse for giving our wool points to head/ear because they need to be more "uniform".

3) Density

Reason: To many juniors fault juniors on having softer coats than seniors(which is likely for the breed.)

They want to put words in the right category(which I have nothing to argue about, it's proper) and want to add a NOTE stating Juniors may be premised with softer coats, but should show evidence of guard hairs.

Now we need to back up a little here. A) Soft coat IS a texture, why is this under density? B) This does not defend density nor texture. Note this under texture, and I'm fine. Why doesn't it defend either of those? Because, if you take away our density for texture then your asking for more texture. Senior or not. Does not defend density because soft coat is a texture.

4) Ear Description

This is where some of our wool points(that we didn't have very many of in the first place) are being put, as well for the head.

Reason: Supports the point change on the ears.
(stated earlier because it "needs to be more uniform" from section #1 but I wrote it in #2)

This isn't validated enough for me. It needs to be more "uniform". Here's our dictionary definition, since, I want to be sure I fully understand this okay.

DICTIONARY: Uniform- adj.- identical or consistent, as from example to example, place to place, or moment to moment: uniform spelling; a uniform building code.

We want, WHAT?! Consistency? We're talking head and ears. Failing to mention what kind of consistency we are supporting. Do we want our herds to be more consistent? Do we all want our ears to look the same? Do we consistency as in short head, short ears, short body?

I assume it would be my third guess, but doesn't quite defend WHY we want our "heads and ears to be more consistent". Of course, we want every wooly to be consistently as good as the next, but it doesn't go that way, that is why we have competition and we work harder. I believe it is a FAILURE to correctly proposing the change. If someone can make sense of this change, please tell me kindly, I'd LOVE to hear...

Side note: No reasoning further given for the Head.

5) Chinchilla Coloring

REASON: Proposed change to Disqualification.

REMOVE: "lack of slate undercolor"
(meaning lack of slate undercolor is no longer a DQ!)

I have two feelings on this. 1) I've never heard of in any breed where it is okay for a Chin to lack slate undercolor. Those chins that have white undercolor will now be showable. 2) I would love to see that other colors rather than slate undercoloring, such as chocolate/sable should be disqualified. This is a serious problem and I see too many Sable Chinchillas being passed as "Chins" and sometimes noted with "poor coloring". Each time one wins, I see more up on the tables the next show season! This is not a fault, but a DQ, because Sable Chinchilla is an unrecognized color for the JW under the ARBA SOP.

6) Wool Length Grammar Change

REASON: makes the wording flow and the description more clear.

Okay, cool with me! I'm fine with rewording somethings, sure, they may help. However, "Short wool resembling hair"... I think we might start seeing a *tad* more of that up saying these proposes are passed.

That is it. My end conclusion is this. We're trying to make the Jersey Wooly look more like the Netherland Dwarf.

I'm going to first off say, I have NOTHING against Netherland Dwarfs, whatsoever. I believe in TYPE over pedigree, and if a Netherland Dwarf makes us a better Jersey Wooly, than so be it. I think Jersey Woolies descending from Dwarf lines are more consistent type wise, and a lot of it being for the good.

But, the downfall is that, that's trying to breed something it is not. I like the Jersey Wooly the way it is. I see rabbits with desirable heads and nice ears win consistently on the tables. Why are we making this a problem? I would feel the same way if they tried to make our Woolies look more like a "Classic" styled wooly. A lot of people do prefer this "look" and still do consistently well on the tables without that dwarf-look factor.

The wool is what gets to me most. I will be repulsed with seeing a rabbit lacking underwool(where is where like, 98% of our density comes from?) because the other one had more texture. (Texture + Density point combined together is still far off from equaling to Texture!) This is not good.

Please, please understand my out look on these propositions. This is my opinion, I know not everybody will agree with me... I respect your opinion, so please respect mine. I'm simply supporting "NO on 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5."

Susie Cederlof (YOUTH)
Wooly World Rabbitry
District 2


Keep said...

I'm with you Susie- the changes are crazy, ESPECIALLY #1 and #4!

ThreeLittleLadiesRabbitry said...

Well written. We haven't received our ballot, but I'll be sure to go over very carefully. In general, I do find it odd that a wool breed would reduce points for wool.

Amanda Pitsch said...

Suzie - very well written, and definitely food for thought. there are areas where I agree with you, and I will give all your comments careful consideration.

Amanda said...

Oops - I meant Susie....

Lisa Smith said...

Sad to say, since I'm on the committee, I agree with you. I said from the beginning I didn't feel a need for most of the changes discussed, I thought we'd really come a long way with the current standard. The only change I wanted was the Chinchilla color allowance, because of the way the coat grows out the slate undercolor is not always visible. I feel our committee was too small and limited and also was WAY too rushed considering we have five years to do it!

Amber said...

You presented your points well, Susie. Good job. :) I would have not thought about the Chinchilla thing. I heard a lot of Agoutis were DQd for lack of slate color on the belly at Nationals. One might be interested to know that my 5th place Agouti, Flapjack, was DQd one show before Nationals for the very same thing. However, at Nationals, he was not DQd because his undercolor had grown in enough to see it was the correct slate color. Just like I don't mind waiting for a wool cap to come in, I don't mind waiting for under color to grow in so the judge can see that the color is indeed correct for the variety and not actually an unrecognized color.

Lisa Smith said...

The real problem w/the slate undercolor was consistency in wording. In one area it says the BELLY may or may not have slate undercolor, then in dq's it says dq for lack of slate undercolor. It wasn't clear that only the belly is allowed the "may or may not have" clause. The dq area was meant specifically for the body. This wouldn't change, it would still be a dq. I don't think this was explained well.

Terri and Tessa Erb said...

Susie we agree with everything you said, and thank you for bringing this response out so quickly coherently, expressing many very important points.
Your wool photos and descriptions where very well done too.

Amber said...

Okay, Lisa. I get it now. So, it just the belly, not all over.

Hey, Susie, I love reading your blog! I was able to relive Nationals. lol. Cool!

We'll have to start a pizza box ritual each time we go to a nation-wide show. hehe. Pizza boxes really must have unusual powers! :P