Tory Tobar, 13, follows behind his rabbit, Duke, as he completes a rabbit agility course. Toby said he entered his rabbit in an agility contest at this year’s Moffat County Fair to keep Duke healthy and fit.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Tory Tobar, 13, follows behind his rabbit, Duke, as he completes a rabbit agility course. Toby said he entered his rabbit in an agility contest at this year’s Moffat County Fair to keep Duke healthy and fit.

2010 Moffat County Fair: Contestants eager to guide animals through agility competition

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For the second time, fleet-footed rabbits will have an opportunity to shine at the Moffat County Fair.

Moffat County 4-H leaders Michelle Pilgram and Stacie Ossen will be putting on the second annual rabbit agility competition from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 14.

When the topic of expanding the Moffat County Rabbit Rustler group came up last year, Pilgram said she heard of rabbit agility courses and did some research.

“I saw that the agility courses were big in Europe and others parts of the United States,” she said. “I thought it was something the kids could have fun doing with their rabbits.”

During their run, the rabbits will have to go through tunnels, over ramps and land jumps in the fastest time to place in the competition.

The Rabbit Rustler’s have 14 members participating in the group, but Pilgram said it was open to the public, so anyone with a rabbit is invited to compete.

“We had a little girl come from the community last year,” she said. “This year, she is part of our group because she really enjoyed it.”

Some rabbits may need time to get used to the idea of running the course, while others take to it instantly, Pilgram said.

To help the cautious ones, treats are used to move them along and through the course.

Tory Tobar, 13, said he entered his rabbit, Duke, into the contest so he would get in shape.

“(Duke) wasn’t very active and was getting kind of obese,” Tory said. “I think he is pretty excited to get out there and compete.”

Fifteen-year-old Riley Hoth said she was brought up raising rabbits, so being part of the club and the competition was easy.

“When (Michelle) brought it up, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun,” she said. “When I put my rabbit out there, he just had a knack for it, so it worked out.”

Moria Bosley, 8, the girl who joined the club after competing last year, said getting her rabbit, Daisy, through the course can be challenging.

“Daisy doesn’t like to move sometimes and gets scared easily,” she said. “I have to push and wait until she is ready, but she will eventually run through it pretty fast.”

The contestants will be split into two groups on the day of the competition — junior, for ages 7 and under, and senior, for ages 8 and older.

The top three in each age group will win prizes, all of which are rabbit related.

During the 10 a.m. to noon time slot, also called Rabbit Fun Day, there will be a rabbit photo contest, a rabbit dress-up contest and a rabbit relay.

All events are open to the public.

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