Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cathy Patrick Memorial Show - Part 2

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
This is probably my favorite show award to date. It's not the biggest, worth the most Sweepstakes points, the most famous or the most valuable...except to me. This second part of my show report is about why this award means so much to me.
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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dont know if anyone will read this or not because it was posted so long ago but i just happened to come accross this post and saw what kind things you had wrote about my mom. As most rabbit people think that my mom was just into rabbits that is so untrue. She is well known in the horse world to. We showed and raised some of the best paint horses. We showed alot in The Pinto association. They were also supprised to here what she had done with the rabbits. She was not one to be just exclusive to one kind of animal as kids we raised just about every kind of animal that is known to man. That is one thing she would never say no to when it came to us kids and was glad for that. As you wrote what you learned off of mom that is something she always taugh us as kids. One motto of hers was it costs just as much to feed a good animal as it does to feed a junk animal so why wouldnt you try to get the best. And you dont always have to start with the best to get the best you can always improve stock as you go. It was rally nice reading this article. God Bless you! Rachel Lanter