As with conformation classes for any animal, Holland Lop rabbits entered at shows are competing against an ideal. At shows, various parts of the body are awarded points by the judge, with the total adding up to 100. The perfect Holland Lop would score 100.
An important part of the standard includes the way the rabbit is posed for the judge. Holland Lops should have their front feet resting on the exhibition table, but you may not push the rabbit down so that his forelegs lie flat on the table. The American Rabbit Breeders Association standard for the breed notes that Holland Lops are excitable, so they might not carry their ears correctly when on the table for judging. Unlike standard rabbits whose ears sit upright, the ears of lop breeds hang down. The rabbit should be allowed to relax somewhat before judging.
Head and Ears
The head, ears and crown ideally score 42 points. The head should be strong and sturdy without narrowness. A massive head type is preferred, with a short muzzle. The crown, or top of the head, should have an arch. There should be a slight skull curving from the crown's base to the rabbit's nose. Ears should be furry, wide and thick, hanging near the cheeks and not more than 1 inch below the jaw. "Airplane ears," those sticking out to the side, are a serious fault.
The body score is worth 42 points; condition is worth an additional 5 points. A mature Holland Lop should not weigh more than 4 pounds; the ideal weight is 3 pounds, and the minimum is 2 pounds. The body should be thick and muscular, with broad shoulders and broad, deep hindquarters. A judge writing for the Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club notes that the largest fault with the majority of Holland Lops shown is "a dip or flat spot at the top of the shoulders." Legs should be thick, short and heavily boned.
Color and Fur
Coloring can add up to 4 points, fur another 7. The coat should be thick, dense and glossy, and fur about 1 inch long. Acceptable colors for the breed run into the dozens, divided by solid and "broken" shades -- a solid color with white. Solid and broken rabbits are divided into separate groups at shows.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.