Eddie Hutchings from Chattisham celebrates winning national competition with his prize rex rabbit

Eddie Hutchings with his award winning black Rex rabbit

Eddie Hutchings with his award winning black Rex rabbit - Credit: Archant

For a champion rabbit breeder it is not just the thrill of success that means he continues enjoying his hobby – it’s the social side as well.

The appropriately named Eddie Hutchings left a national competition in Grantham on November 22 with his black rex rabbit having been named the best in the country.

The 79-year-old has kept rabbits since childhood and as well as exhibiting them at shows has also been president of the British Rabbit Council.

At this year’s All Rex Show rabbits were entered into one of 14 club shows with the winners all coming together for a grand challenge won by Mr Hutching’s standard black doe.

Speaking about the win Mr Hutching’s said the win was special because of the other people he was competing against.

“It was against the ref fraternity and there were over 200 top class rex there,” he said.

“All the specialist breeders were there. I have had these black rabbits for many years now and the competition in the category is the strongest in the rexes.”

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Mr Hutchings, who has judged at competitions himself, said the scoring was similar to that in dog competitions.

Rabbits are scored out of 100 points and the ones closest to the perfect score are named best in show.

However as well as giving him plenty of success over the years Mr Hutchings said he enjoyed the hobby because it kept him young.

“I have met some wonderful people over the years. Having this hobby gives me something to do.

“It is a full on hobby. You know you have got to get up and look after them and it gets you up in the morning.”

The next step for Mr Hutchings is to turn his rabbit, which he hasn’t named, into a champion.

Five wins in five different categories judge by five different judges earns the rabbit that accolade, which Mr Hutchings is sure it will get.

It’s reward, when that comes, will be a name.