Thursday, 4 August 2011
American Fuzzy Lop History
The pioneer American Fuzzy Lop breeders, including Patty Greene-Karl and Gary Fellers of the east coast and Kim Landry and Margaret Miller of the west coast, noted the marketability of the fuzzy Hollands. Patty Greene-Karl is credited with realizing that the "fuzzy" gene was recessive, so that mating two Holland Lops carrying this gene resulted in a certain percentage of the offspring (theoretically 25%) with wool. Patty decided to develop these rabbits as a new breed, named the American Fuzzy Lop. After working for four years on the development of Fuzzies, she presented her rabbits to the ARBA for the first showing of the new breed at the 1985 ARBA Convention in Houston, Texas. Three separate standards for wooled lops were received from three different individuals, but only the American Fuzzy Lop presented by Patty was granted a working standard.
The original standard called for a maximum weight of 4 ¾ lb with the ideal weight of 3 ¾ lb, a rabbit designed to have the body type, ear carriage, and size of a Holland Lop, combined with a short, easily maintained wool. At the 1986 ARBA Convention in Columbus, Ohio, the American Fuzzy Lop was presented for its second showing, and again passed. At its third showing at the 1987 ARBA Convention in Portland, Oregon, the ARBA Standards Committee did not approve the breed. They stated a lack of uniformity from one animal to another. A new working standard was written by Jeff Hardin at the request of Patty, which was accepted. The revised standard basically described a wooled Holland, calling for a maximum weight of 4 pounds, and an ideal weight of 3 1/2 lb In 1988, ARBA requested only the breed sponsor be allowed to bring her Fuzzy Lops to Convention in Madison, Wisconsin because of limited cage space. The American Fuzzy Lop had to pass that year to become a recognized breed or else its proponents would have to start the procedure all over again. Fortunately, Patty’s presentation passed at this Convention, and the American Fuzzy Lop became a new recognized breed. In 1989 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Helen McKie's "Herbie" was selected as the first Best of Breed (BOB) American Fuzzy Lop at an ARBA Convention. Herbie’s picture graced the ARBA Standard of Perfection, 1991-95, representing Fuzzies well.
(Reprinted in part from the AFLRC Breed Guidebook, 3rd Edition)