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Harrisburg – Matthew Bishop of Myerstown, Lebanon County, earned the top award in the Senior Rabbit Showmanship Contest for the second year running with his bred and raised Satin rabbit, Belle, on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. 

Ashley Shaw, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, won Best in Show with her giant Angora rabbit, Britney.  Shaw said, “I have been working on this line for a very long time so it is great to see my hard work pay off.”

First place in the Intermediate Division was won by Veronika Rodriquez of Lebanon, Lebanon County, and first place in the Junior Division was won by Amber Rexrode of Annville, Lebanon County.  The Amateur Division was won by Jason Schaedler of Warrington, Bucks County.

Peg Hailey judged the Senior Showmanship Competition, Tori Perry judged the Novice and Junior Competitions, and Art Swinehart judged the Intermediate Competition.  Approximately 1,200 animals were entered in the youth and open shows, with 265 being on display in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. 

Youth contestants are judged based on their depth of knowledge on individual breeds and important characteristics. 

Bishop explained, “Judges look for how calm animals are when being handled.  Additionally they see how well contestants are able to handle their animals along with how confidently they can speak about the breed.”

Best in Show Cavy was won by Rehanna Stepnoski of Doylestown, Bucks County, with her Texel-Marked guinea pig.  

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.

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