Best Of Breed Thrianta - Cathy Patrick Memorial Show
July 28, 2007 Judge Howard Keller
Thrianta Senior Buck - Ear #MAN CCR's Mannetjevos
Bred and Owned by Elaine Harvey
Cathy Patrick was not a personal friend of mine. We didn't go to dinner after shows, we didn't sit and chat between classes, I never bought a rabbit from her nor did she specifically mentor me. I expect she would recognize my name because I'm active in the hobby, in shows and on public discussion groups, but I doubt she would come up and address me by name at a show. So why would Cathy's life and presence mean so much to me? Because I'm one of the many people she touched (as we all do) as she went about doing what she loved, judging and working at rabbit shows. Cathy was a tough as nails judge and an outstanding teacher to those with the fortitude to listen. For the breeders and rabbits deserving of her praise, she was equally generous of her support and admiration. Cathy taught me some very valuable lessons about raising and breeding rabbits. Some of those are:
-Never compromise. If the rabbit is not what it should be, go breed a better one.
-Don't accept mediocrity just because you can. Don't keep anything just because it is a rare color or you feel sorry for it. BREED BETTER.
-Listen to critique. Don't show your rabbit just to hear how 'pretty' it is. The judge has the opportunity to tell you what you NEED to hear, not just what you want to hear.
-Listen to EVERY judge. Even a judge who knows little about your breed can offer information that you can use to improve your breeding program.
-Listen to judging on any breed you can. Same concept. You WILL learn something that will help in your own program but only if you are LISTENING.
-Follow the rules. Cheating and cutting corners never bred a better rabbit. Ribbons and trophies and sweeps points are worth NOTHING if they are not earned honestly.
- WORK your program. Plan, Learn, Critique, Cull and keep working.
These are the reasons why this BOB award is so meaningful to me. I won this with a Thrianta of my own breeding in a program that I'm working hard on. The competition was worthy and challenging and the showmanship of all our breeders was excellent. I believe Cathy would have truly approved of the work and diligence I put into it. That work is my tribute to Cathy and that hat my reward.
Regarding Cathy Patrick herself. I really rale at the statement I hear so often "..she lost her battle with Cancer..." Cathy Patrick lost NOTHING. Cathy's life ended at the appointed time established by her creator and God. Only He knows the number of our days on this Earth. At the time of Cathy's death, she was valiantly fighting a disease that sought to destroy her body. The only way that Cancer would have been victorious is if Cathy had ever chosen to sacrifice the days given to her, curl up in a ball in the corner and stop living while her body still breathed. SHE NEVER DID THAT! Therefore it is Cathy Patrick who won and not Cancer! Cathy lived every single day of her life. She didn't allow Cancer to steal any of those days away.
Cathy Patrick fought valiantly and victoriously against Cancer and now rests free from pain and sorrow in the arms of her God.
Another lesson I'll accept from her gladly. That pink hat is not a memorial to Cathy's death, it's a testament to the life she lived and a hope that I could live as well. Thank You Cathy.