How does a Rabbit Become a Grand Champion?

Earning an ARBA “Leg of Grand Championship” Certificate at a Rabbit Show

If your rabbit qualifies for a “leg” at a show, the secretary will mail you the certificate along with your show report.  The title on a leg says, “Record Of Leg Of Grand Champion Certificate.” ARBA legs can be thought of as legs of a race. There are three legs in the race and the finish line makes your registered rabbit a grand champion.

What is a Leg?

ARBA Leg of Grand Championship Cerfiticates Rabbit
ARBA Leg Certificates given to winning rabbits

Legs can be awarded for first place in a class competition (such as solid senior bucks or broken junior does), Best of Variety or Group, Best Opposite Sex of Variety or Group, Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex in an ARBA sanctioned show. Your rabbit can also win a leg by winning Best in Show, but by then, he or she has probably already picked up a leg along the way! Strangely enough, Best Reserve in Show does not earn a leg and BRIS wins will not be listed on your legs.  Best 4 Class breed and Best 6 Class breed also do not count toward legs.

Not every class winner will earn a leg.  Winners must beat a certain number of rabbits to qualify.  Two numbers are very important when determining whether your rabbit will receive a grand champion leg for these wins. These number are “five” and “three.” There must be five rabbits competing in the category and there must be three different breeders represented. For example, if your rabbit comes in first of eight rabbits, but there are only two different breeders who exhibited, your rabbit does not earn a leg. If there are four Broken Senior Does with three different breeders, your show rabbit will not earn a leg for first place. But if that Broken Senior Doe goes on to win Best of Variety (BOV) or Best Opposite Sex of Variety (BOSV) and the competition was among a total of five or more brokens (for BOV) or broken does (for BOSV), then a leg will be awarded. Your rabbit must win in a competition among five or more rabbits from three or more breeders.

Do All Legs Count Toward A Grand Champion Certificate?

At least one of the grand champion legs must be earned while your rabbit is a senior. So, your rabbit can earn one or two legs as a junior (or more) and the rest as a senior and be granded. Or, your rabbit can earn all three legs as a senior. Your rabbit cannot earn two legs from the same judge in the same day.

How To Obtain A Grand Champion Certificate

ARBA Grand Champion Rabbit Official Certificate
Official Grand championship certificate from the ARBA

A rabbit must be registered with the ARBA before it can become a grand champion, even when your rabbit has collected all three legs. 

When you receive the results from a rabbit show, generally in the mail in a couple of weeks, you will receive your rabbit’s leg on a slip of paper. The certificate will list how your rabbit gained the leg (more than one way may be indicated, but only one leg per show counts). Add your rabbit’s registration number in the appropriate place on the form. Maintain that slip of paper until you have collected three legs (being mindful of all of the requirements discussed above). Then mail the legs along with the current fee ($4) to the current executive director of ARBA. The address is on the back of some legs, but can always be obtained on the ARBA website under the listing of directors and officers. [Note: you may want to photocopy the legs because they will not be returned to you.]

Note: be sure that you are the owner of record for that rabbit because that owner is who the Grand Champion certificate is awarded to. If you bought a registered rabbit and did not have it properly signed over to you (see the back of the registration certificate), you are not the owner of record. To remedy this situation, have the person who sold you the rabbit sign it over to you on the back of the form. Then send the form, along with the fee, to ARBA to have your ownership recorded. You can change owner and send in your GC legs for your certificate at the same time. Once all of the correct paperwork and fees have been filed, your Grand Champion Certificate will be sent to you. You are now the proud owner of a Grand Champion and have the right to use either GC or “Grand Champion” in front of your rabbit’s name!

Visit the Nature Trail Gallery of Champions to see photos and bios of many Grand Champion Holland Lops, Netherland Dwarfs, Mini Rex, Polish, and rabbits of other breeds!


Next Article: Whose Job?  A rabbit show doesn’t just “happen,” but is the result of a joint effort between many individuals.  Learn about the different positions required to run a rabbit show.