Forry places at national level
Sara Forry is the No. 2 6-year-old in the nation when it comes to rabbits.
The Berlin Brothersvalley first-grader was first runner-up Lady, a title bestowed on competitors with overall high scores in separate contests, at the 2018 American Rabbit Breeders Association National Convention & Show. The division is for girls ages 5 to 8. The competition was in Massachusetts.
Other wins include first place in pre-junior showmanship at the 2018 Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association annual convention with second place Lady, third place pre-junior breed ID and fifth place pre-junior judging.
“It felt good when they called my name,” she recalled of the national ranking. “I was very excited.”
Sara cares for 20 rabbits at her Berlin Borough home, which include mostly Netherland dwarfs and one English spot.
She said some of her favorite bunnies include her English spot, Anna, and dwarfs Cheese, Ice Cream and Root Beer, which she used as her showmanship rabbit.
“I don’t have a favorite part,” she said when asked about what she likes about competing. “I just like showing.”
In competing at nationals, there is an application process, a written test of 50 questions, a breed identification portion and an interview. Showmanship is held at the state level.
To prepare for competition, Sara said she practices using a set of flash cards.
“How it works is there are these cards with bunnies on them and then it says all the answers on the back, so the people holding up the cards know the answers but you have to guess them,” she said. “And then there’s rabbit trivia, and then everything else like showmanship, I just use a stuffed bunny.”
It was a family connection that aligned Sara with the furry creatures. Her mother, Michelle, a Daily American editor, started showing rabbits when she was 10.
Sara said that when she placed Lady at state, her mother was proud.
“When she was young — she was super proud of me for getting Lady — because she could never like win any place,” she said of her mother.
Her mom had a quick response.
“I’m glad I never have to compete against her,” she said.
She said that to prepare for the competition, her daughter spent about an hour each night studying up on rabbit breeds.
“To me what separates it from some other things that other kids do is it’s all education based,” she said. “It’s all based just on her knowledge.”
Prodding her mother, Sara said that there is another bunny breed that she would like to add to her 20-head herd.
“There’s a rabbit I want, but she won’t buy it for me,” she said while glancing over at her mother. “It is called a Champagne d’Argent.”
Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association director at large and youth Chairwoman Sarah Gregory said that at the state level, older children usually win the showmanship competition.
Gregory said that Sara is one of the organization’s youngest competitors, making her win especially unique.
She said there were nine competitors in a contest that 8-year-olds usually win.
“She beat out all of the 5, 6, 7, (8) year olds across the country for showmanship,” she said. “She was competing against kids from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland.
“It’s fantastic. She did incredibly well for her age.”
She predicted that Sara will go on to be a success, and one day will clinch state and national Lady and other royalty titles.
“She’s a pleasure to work with and she always has a smile on her face, even when she doesn’t place as well as she’d like,” she said. “She’s a good kid.”
Sara said she would be happy to achieve the additional royalty titles. She said that the more senior titles have an added bonus.
“They have super pretty crowns.”