Meet the 2019 Judges
Josh Humphries, TN
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 25
BREEDS RAISED: Mini Rex, Netherland Dwarf, Britannia Petite, Belgian Hare, New Zealand, Mini Satin, Florida White, French Lop, and American cavies
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Judging all across the USA and many international judging shows in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Canada, and England have been very memorable. Also, being selected to judge Best In Show Groups at numerous ARBA Conventions, Youth Best In Show at the 2014 ARBA Convention, and Open Best In Show at the 2016 and 2017 ARBA Conventions were huge honors. In 2018, I had the pleasure of judging Best in Show at the prestigious Bradford (England) ARBA Stakes Show.”
INVOLVEMENT: current ARBA President (3rd term); former ARBA District 6 Director; former ARBA Standards Committee Member; 2013 ARBA Distinguished Service Award recipient. Josh is a frequent speaker at RabbitCon, ARBA judges conferences, and worldwide small animal symposiums.
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT/CAVY” FACT: Professionally, Josh is the hospital administrator at a small animal veterinary practice where he has been employed for the past 19 years. He shares the hobby with the lovely Sue Monahan and enjoys summer get-away trips to their remote cabin in Maine.
Eric Stewart, PA
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 35
BREEDS RAISED: French Angora, English Lop, English Spot, Holland Lop, Mini Rex
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Together with Gabe Hernandez, Eric have won multiple national awards including the 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 National Angora Show BISS, along with 2013 BOS, 2017 & 2018 BOB & BOS, along with best wool at the 2017 and 2018 ARBA National Convention and Show. Their French Angoras also won Best of the Best with three different rabbits throughout 2018 including Dalton GA, West Coast Classic, and the Christmas Show. Eric’s favorite parts of the hobby are learning more about different breeds and sharing his passion for the sport with others who feel the same. He’s been selected to judge ARBA Convention Best In Show four times.
INVOLVEMENT: ARBA Executive Director; standards committee chairman, National Angora Rabbit Breeders Association; former ARBA District 9 Director; former president, National Mini Rex Rabbit Club; former chairman, ARBA Judges Continuing Education Committee;
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Eric and Gabe also raise Colored Angora Goats, and have earned many champion wins, including National Best In Shows.
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 53
BREEDS RAISED: English Spot, Dutch, Satin, Mini Satin, New Zealand, Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Florida White, Am. Fuzzy Lop, Jersey Wooly, Lionhead
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Being selected to judge Best In Show several times at ARBA Conventions. He also says, “Trips to Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore would rank right up there too.”
INVOLVEMENT: former President, ARBA; former Standards Committee Chairman, ARBA; former standards committee chairman, Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club; former president, American Hopping Association for Rabbits and Cavies
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Aside from rabbits, Mike at one point enjoyed raising and showing Bantam Columbian Wyandotte chickens. He retired from a career as plant manager at a power plant in his home state of Iowa.
David Moll, OH
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 26
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Mini Rex, Dutch, Satin
FAVORITE MOMENTS: David says, “One of my favorite judging moments is picking Best of the Best at West Coast Classic. There is a lot of excitement with winning each Best In Show, but when all of the weekend’s Best In Show winners come up and go for the ultimate prize at WCC, it is very exciting to find the best! The quality is so deep at this show!”
INVOLVEMENT: show director, MI OH State Lin RBA’s The Christmas Show; co-founder and host, The Rabbit Show; FFA Committee Chairman, ARBA; former District 8 Director, ARBA; former Continuing Education Committee Chairman, ARBA; 2007 ARBA Convention Youth Superintendent; former secretary and show superintendent, Michigan State Convention. David, author of the Rabbit Tutor series, is frequently invited to teach at Rabbitcon.
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: David and his wife, Megan, just welcomed a new daughter to their family in February 2019.
Briony Smith, KS
NUMBER OF YEARS IN HOBBY: 28
BREEDS RAISED: Dutch, Mini Rex, English Spot (Gold), Lilac, Satin, Mini Satin FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Best In Show and National wins with Dutch and English Spots. I have a special passion helping to expand ARBA overseas and have enjoyed contributing to bringing people together through rabbits while making judging trips to Canada, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia. Serving as a Best In Show commentator for the 2017 and 2018 ARBA Conventions also rate as favorite moments!”
INVOLVEMENT: current member of the ARBA Standards Committee, Judges’ Education Committee; current author of the Judges’ Education Column, Domestic Rabbits magazine; former ARBA Facebook Administrator and Best In Show ceremony hostess for the 2012 ARBA Convention.
INTERESTING FACT: “While making my first trip to Malaysia and Indonesia, I enjoyed (endured?) what was at the time the longest commercial flight on Earth.”
Maddie Pratt, MI
NUMBER OF YEARS IN HOBBY: 18
BREEDS RAISED: English Spot, Lilac, Harlequin, Havana, English Lop, Mini Rex, Rhinelander, Tan
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Maddie proudly states, “Having the opportunity to select a youth Group at the 2016 ARBA Convention, judging in Canada and Malaysia, traveling abroad and visiting with UK fanciers, winning Best of Group at the 2015 PaSRBA State Convention with an English Spot as well as winning seven Best in Shows in four states with a Chocolate Tan.” Also notably, in 2002 she attended her first ARBA Convention and was crowned ARBA Princess.
INVOLVEMENT: current team member for the COD and breed development of the Dwarf Papillon breed; ARBA Photography Committee member; Former District 8 Director, Auction Chair and Standards Committee member, American Tan Rabbit Specialty Club; former director, Indiana Tan Rabbit Club; former director, National Lilac Rabbit Club of America.
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Maddie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing.
Allan Ormond, UT
NUMBER OF YEARS IN HOBBY: 38
BREEDS RAISED: Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Satin, Flemish Giant, New Zealand, English Angora, Dutch
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Judging in Japan and being selected to judge Youth Best In Show at the ARBA Convention as well as many open group judging, including the 2015 and 2017 Portland Convention.”
INVOLVEMENT: former President, Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club; former member of the ARBA Club Liaison Committee
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: After 40 years of faithful service, Allan retired as the Fire Captain for the Salt Lake City Fire Department. He has 6 children and 11 grandchildren. He enjoys the hobby with his lovely wife, Becky.
Rusty Westhoff, TN
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 34
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Florida White, Californian, Havana, French Lop, Mini-Lop, Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Mini Satin
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Rusty says, “Having the honor of youth members selecting me to pick Best of Group at the 2012 Convention in Wichita, Kansas. Also, judging all cross the United States, Canada, Indonesia, and Japan. And lastly, the honor of receiving the Florida State Lifetime Membership Award rounds out my favorite moments.”
INVOLVEMENT: current ARBA Vice President; current director; American Federation of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders; Standards Chair, AFNZRBA; Standards Committee, Florida White RBA; former Tennessee State Representative to ARBA; former Chairman Resolutions Committee, ARBA; former member of the ARBA Judges Continuing Education and Judges Review Committees.
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Rusty’s professional career is in Information Technology. He holds a degree in Information Technology, as well as being a Microsoft Certified System Engineer. He holds various CompTia Technical Certifications. Rusty is also an Eagle Scout and currently serving as Assistant Scoutmaster for his son’s Boy Scout Troop.
Cheryl Blackman, TX
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 34
BREEDS RAISED: Satin, Mini Satin, Silver, Harlequin, Californian, New Zealand, Himalayan
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Cheryl says, “I have been blessed to attend and judge in several countries outside of the USA, including judging shows that do not follow our ARBA SOP. What I have found in all of my travels, domestic and abroad, is that the passion for our hobby is abundant. This hobby has always been a light in my life and I encourage other breeders to find theirs, too.”
INVOLVEMENT: current member of the ARBA Standards Committee; former chair of the ARBA Judges Continuing Education Committee; former director, American Satin Rabbit Breeders Association; former director, Texas RBA; former director, Texas Satins; former rabbit committee vice-chairman, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Cheryl holds a Masters of Education degree from Texas A&M University, focusing on leadership and youth development. She has taught 6th to 8th grade science and now serves as campus testing coordinator and interventionist.
YEARS IN HOBBY: 23
BREEDS RAISED: 40 breeds of rabbit (English Spot, Britannia Petite, Tan, Palomino, Satin, Polish, Himalayan, Mini Rex , Rex, and Florida White, among the ones I’ve raised the most of); 9 breeds of cavy (Abyssinian, Texel, Teddy, and American)
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Receiving my judge’s license in the mail the day I got back from my high school graduation is always something I look back on with pride. However my favorite moment in rabbits thus far is being able to present Caleb Thomas the lifetime judge’s license at the 2017 convention.”
INVOLVEMENT: current member of the ARBA Rabbit and Cavy Standards Committees
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT/CAVY” FACT: Mike enjoys reading books, owning a decent pair of cowboy boots, and traveling with his lovely girlfriend, Emily.
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 40
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Mini Rex, Rex, Havana, Florida White, Palomino, Silver Marten, Champagne D’Argent, Flemish Giant, Satin, Mini Satin
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “My proudest moments include earning an ARBA Distinguished Service Award in 2018 and being recognized as the Texas RBA Breeder of the year. As well, winning Best Meat Pen back to back at CRSC National shows include high notes over the years.”
INVOLVEMENT: District Director, ARBA; current president, Texas RBA; former secretary, Californian Rabbit Specialty Club
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Don works for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, lives in Belton, Texas, and shares the hobby with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Dr. Amy Mersiovosky.
Bruce Ormsby, IN
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 50
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Dutch, Netherland Dwarf, Polish, Florida White, Mini Rex
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “judging Best In Show at the 1999 and 2000 ARBA Conventions; marrying my wife during the opening ceremonies of the 2000 ARBA Convention in Columbus, Ohio.”
INVOLVEMENT: former Vice President, ARBA; former District 8 Director, ARBA; Standards Committee member, ARBA; founder and president, Noble County Rabbit Fanciers; founder and president, New Huntington County RBA; president, State of Indiana New Zealand RBA
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: “I have four children. I am the highest Boy Scout out of Markle, Indiana Troop Eagle, Bronze, Gold, Silver Palms.”
John Grimm, IA
NUMBER OF YEARS IN THE HOBBY: “I have spent my entire life in rabbits. Some of my earliest memories are going to the ALL-Iowa Fair with my Dad in 1974 and 1975 when he was judging.”
BREEDS RAISED: Polish, Silver Marten, Satin
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Some of the most fun I had was with my Dad showing and later in life, traveling around the country judging together. One proud moment was selecting best of group for the youth at the Madison Convention with my dad, who selected best in show. I am a second generation rabbit judge. My Dad judged his first show in 1970 in the year that I was born. His judge’s number is 276 and he is an honorary ARBA lifetime judge.”
INVOLVEMENT: Standards Committee, ANDRC; former ARBA Standards Committee member; judged in 42 different states and also Japan and Canada. “I have judged at every single ARBA Convention since 1997 and have had many memorable moments judging, showing, and as a show official.”
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: John coaches many sports: everything from three year olds playing tee-ball to varsity girls basketball. He currently lives outside Manchester, Iowa with his wife Michelle and my two boys, Toby and Trevor.
Dave Hauser, IN
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 38
BREEDS RAISED: Satin, New Zealand, Californian, Florida White, Mini Rex, Mini Satin, Dutch, American Chinchilla
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Judging groups at ARBA Conventions and judging several breed national shows.
INVOLVEMENT: Director, American Satin Rabbit Breeders Association; Standards Committee, American Federation of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders; President, Sycamore Satin Club
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Dave says, “I played semi pro football and have played softball for 15 years. I have two children and two grandchildren.”
Mike Mageles, ME
NUMBER OF YEARS IN HOBBY: 15
BREEDS RAISED: Mini Rex, Polish, Havana
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Winning BOB at 2017 Polish Nationals, winning BIS at Florida State Convention in 2015. BOB Polish at 2018 ARBA Convention and doing it in my own backyard with my show partner Theresa Herther was truly special. Judging my first convention for my fellow Polish breeders was something I will cherish for a long time.”
INVOLVEMENT: district director, National Mini Rex Rabbit Club
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Mike is currently studying turf management at Rutgers University, and will be spending his summer doing an internship at a world-renowned golf course in Beverly Hills.
Dave Cardinal, WI
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 46
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Californian, Florida White, Rex, Mini Rex, Satin, Mini Satin, Mini Lop, Flemish Giant, Silver Marten, Dutch, Champagne D’Argent
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Winning Best In Show at the 2016 ARBA Convention; winning three Convention groups over the years with two different breeds
INVOLVEMENT: current secretary and treasurer of the American Federation of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders; former District 3 ARBA Director; former member of the ARBA Judges Continuing Education Committee
INTERESTING FACT: Dave is originally from Apopka, Florida, the same town as the original importer of the Holland Lop breed.
Lloyd Morgan, TX
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 40
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Californian, Mini Rex, Florida White
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Lloyd says, “Winning Best In Show at the Houston Livestock Show with my father.”
INVOLVEMENT: President, Texas New Zealand Rabbit Breeder Club; Vice President and Board of Directors, Texas Rabbit Breeders Association; Purina Rabbit Ambassador
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Lloyd has a Bachelors of Education from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor and teaches high school anatomy and physiology. He is the head varsity coach for girls basketball and track, and served as President and Executive Board member for the Texas Girls Coaching Association. When he’s not busy with his many responsibilities, Lloyd also loves to hunt and fish.
Gene Gillispie, MO
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 52
BREEDS RAISED: Checkered Giant, Flemish Giant, Satin, New Zealand, Champagne D’Argent, Belgian Hare, Netherland Dwarf, Mini Rex, Rex, Holland Lop, Havana
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Gene says, “I was able to award the first Cavy Best In Show in Japan’s history. As well, I awarded the first Best In Show to the Holland Lop breed back when the breed was new.”
INVOLVEMENT: 41 years as a licensed judge, and the backbone of years of ARBA shows in his region.
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: “I am proud to be from a family with three generations of rabbits and cavies. My wife, Sue, is an ARBA judge, and my daughter, Brenda, and grandson, Tyler, also show. We also show Call Ducks, and have a small herd of Paint Miniature Horses.”
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 10
BREEDS RAISED: Lilac, English Angora, French Angora, Giant Angora, Himalayan, Florida White, Satin, Belgian Hare, Mini Rex, English Spot, New Zealand, Checkered Giant, Netherland Dwarf, Holland Lop, Lionhead, Giant Chinchilla, Am. Fuzzy Lop, as well as American, Peruvian, Silkie and Texel cavies
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Competing in youth contests with Team Ohio and being crowned 2014 ARBA King.”
INVOLVEMENT: former president, National Lilac Rabbit Club of America; District 8 Ohio representative, ARBA
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Adam proudly says, “I will be attending medical school starting Fall 2019; actively conducting NIJ-funded research with a forensic anthropologic application regarding the chronic effects of opioid dependence on cortical bone remodeling using rabbits an animal model.”
Drew Bliss, MI
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 20
BREEDS RAISED: Polish
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Winning BOB and BOS at the 2015 National Polish Show, which was my last national show as an exhibitor. The BOB Youth Polish and Group 3 winner that 2018 ARBA Convention was also bred by me.”
INVOLVEMENT: former president and current secretary, American Polish Rabbit Club
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Drew says, “My all-time favorite game is Monopoly!”
Bryant Miller, OH
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 16
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Havana, Florida White, Californian, Mini Rex, Holland Lop, American Chinchilla
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Bryant says his memorable wins include, “Winning multiple ARBA Convention and spring National BOB and BOS wins between multiple breeds. Winning over 100 Best In Shows since 2014, primarily with my New Zealands”
INVOLVEMENT: former Youth Liaison and board member, Havana Rabbit Breeders Association; former President, Ohio State Youth New Zealand Rabbit Breeders Association; 2011 ARBA Duke
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Bryant travels around the country to play poker professionally. In October 2018, he scored his first career win and World Series Poker Circuit ring, earning $23,918.
Gene Johnston, IA
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 55
BREEDS RAISED: New Zealand, Californian, Dutch, Mini Lop, Florida White, Mini Rex, Mini Satin, Tan (40 years), Belgian Hare
FAVORITE MOMENTS: earning an ARBA Distinguished Service Award; winning multiple BOB and BOS wins with Tans and Belgian Hares at Conventions; judging and presenting at ARBA Conventions and judges conferences; winning a Group for Best In Show with a Belgian Hare at the 2002 Peoria ARBA Convention
INVOLVEMENT: president, American Tan Rabbit Specialty Club; Vice President, Director, and Standards Committee Chairman, American Belgian Hare Rabbit Club
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: “Before retiring, I owned a feed store and poultry hatchery.”
PJ Dvorak, IN
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 22
BREEDS RAISED: Mini Rex, Netherland Dwarf, Mini Satin
FAVORITE MOMENTS: earning the 1998 Illinois Rabbit King title; serving as founder and first president of the North Carolina Youth Rabbit Club; acquiring an ARBA judge license; winning open BOB at the 2018 ARBA Convention alongside my girlfriend, Brooke Bunch.
INVOLVEMENT: Past president, North Carolina Youth RBA; president, Sandhills Rabbit Fanciers; show superintendent for three ARBA clubs
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: “In my free time, when not with my animals, I enjoy playing disc golf.”
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 11
BREEDS RAISED: Giant Angora, French Angora, Satin, Mini Satin, Dutch, Lilac, and English Angora
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Best In Show and National wins with our Giant and French Angoras. In 2012, my English Angora won a youth Group for Best In Show at the ARBA Convention.” Matt also says that other highlights in his career include being the 2011 and 2013 ARBA King.
INVOLVEMENT: Standards Committee member, National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club; assistant show superintendent and youth contest associate, annual PaSRBA Convention
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT” FACT: Matt says, “I went surfing in Peru on one the coldest days of their winter while on vacation this past summer!”
2019 WCC Cavy Judges
Steve Lussier, TN
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 45
BREEDS RAISED: Netherland Dwarf, Satin, Polish, and French Lop rabbits; American, American Satin, Teddy and Texel cavies
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Winning Best In Show Cavy at the 2014 ARBA Convention in Forth Worth, Texas.”
INVOLVEMENT: former committee member, ARBA Standards Cavy Subcommittee and ACBA Standards Committee; current member of the Judge’s Review Committee, ARBA
INTERESTING “NON-RABBIT/CAVY” FACT: Steve and his wife Margie live in Tennessee and never cease to be amazed by the beautiful mountains around their home. He loves monster trucks and traveling the country.
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 43
BREEDS RAISED: Every ARBA recognized cavy breed
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Tracy says, “Winning Best In Show three times at the ACBA specialty were some of my best memories. Most recently, importing the California marked cavies from Peru is an exciting journey.”
INVOLVEMENT: successful developer of the Tan cavy variety; former ARBA Cavy Standards Committee member; former President, ACBA; former Club Liaison Committee member, ARBA
INTERESTING “NON-CAVY” FACT: Tracy has been a hairdresser for 30 years and has owned three salons over time.
|Jim Hupp, IN
NUMBER OF YEARS IN THE HOBBY: 41
BREEDS RAISED: American, American Satin, Peruvian, Silky, Teddy
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “Being selected by my peers, to Judge BIS at multiple ARBA Conventions.”
INVOLVEMENT: Chairman ARBA Standards Cavy Subcommittee; ARBA Standards Committee member (6 years); ARBA Continuing Judges Study Group (18 years); Cavy Liaison for several ARBA Conventions; Show Chairman for two ACBA National Specialties; former vice president, ACBA; former president, ACBA; Standards Committee Chairperson, ACBA INTERESTING “NON-CAVY” FACT: Jim has been an AKC licensed Dog Judge for 25 years. He raises and shows nationally awarded Silky Terriers.
Robert Spitzer, AZ
NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN HOBBY: 48
BREEDS RAISED: Abyssinian, Abyssinian Satin, American, American Satin, Coronet, Peruvian, Peruvian Satin, Silkie, Silkie Satin, and Teddy cavies
FAVORITE MOMENTS: “I have won three ARBA Convention Best In Shows: 1994, 1996, 1999, and four Reserves, the last coming in 2004. I am a member of the American Cavy Breeders Association Hall of Fame, and I am also the recipient of the ARBA Distinguished Service Award. I have had the honor of judging several ARBA Conventions (also selecting Best In Show several times, most recently in Del Mar), as well as numerous ACBA Specialty Shows.”
INVOLVEMENT: former editor (11 years), JACBA (ACBA national newsletter); Standards Cavy Subcommittee, ARBA Standards Committee
INTERESTING “NON-CAVY” FACT: “I have been public school teacher for 33 years, am married, and have two sons. A favorite hobby is photography, which I have used to provide pictures to Domestic Rabbits magazine, JACBA, and several ARBA Standards of Perfections. I also enjoy writing historical fiction novels.”