MIAMI COUNTY — A local girl is raising some of the best rabbits in the country.
Kori Moore, sixth-grade student at Covington Elementary School, was the No. 1 youth in the country for showing New Zealand white rabbits after finishing the 2016-2017 Youth National Sweepstake Points with the most points: 5,741 points. Moore was also chosen as the 2016 Ohio New Zealand Youth Show Person of the year.
Kori raises and shows New Zealand white rabbits, black rabbits, and brokens, which are white rabbits with another color mixed together in their coats. Whites are her main focus and what her winnings have been in. Their family also has anywhere between 100-150 New Zealand rabbits at any given time.
“It feels really good,” Kori said. “Just to know that last year, I was always losing, and I just finally started winning.”
In October, Kori competed in the American Rabbit Breeders Association National Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., considered one of the largest rabbit shows in the world.
At the state fair, Kori’s rabbits also won third and 16th out of 73 pens. In May at the Ohio New Zealand State Show, Moore won best of breed and best opposite of breed. In April, a national show was held in Jefferson, Wis. Kori won the top two honors in youth: best of breed and best opposite of breed, a rabbit of the opposite of sex of the best of breed.
When asked what first drew her to raising and showing rabbits, Kori said, ”My one friend, she had rabbits, and my dad showed them when he was younger.”
Kori has been featured in advertisements for rabbit nutrition and on the cover of the New Zealand Times, a national New Zealand rabbit publication.
While her father helps out, he said that that Kori does the majority of the work with the rabbits.
“She spends a lot of time in the barn,” Jason Moore, Kori’s father, said.
Even so, it has become a fun father-daughter activity for them.
“It’s something good we can do together,” Jason said.
He added that, as a former science teacher, he’s able to teach Kori about genetics when it comes to breeding. From there, Kori decides which rabbits to breed and Jason does the actual breeding of the rabbits, saying that the rabbits can get mean or aggressive.
Together, they went to approximately 12 shows last year in order to gain enough points to qualify in the 2016-2017 Youth National Sweepstake Points.
In addition to Kori placing, two more kids from Ohio placed in the top three of the 2016-2017 Youth National Sweepstake Points, including Colin Tackett of Pleasant Hill who placed third and a student from Columbus who placed second.
Jason also noted how Kori has been able to connect with other kids who are also raising and showing rabbits.
“They all support each other,” Jason said. “It teaches them life lessons.”
Some of the tough aspects of raising and showing rabbits can be how they react to being transported, the weather around them, or the environment around them.
“Five minutes can make a big difference,” Kori said, explaining that changes in their environment, like going from warm into cold temperatures, can make the rabbits sick.
“It’s extra competitive,” Jason said, adding that “Ohio is one of the toughest states for rabbits” due to the competition.
They said that most strenuous aspect of showing rabbits, though, is the daily grind of feeding, watering, and taking care of the rabbits. Kori spends two to three hours a day taking care of her rabbits, of which she currently has over 150.
Kori is currently preparing for national shows in April.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336