After keeping pet rabbits since childhood, I began my interest in breeding and showing dwarfs in 1995 and bought stock from Nigel Atkinson in October that year. I began breeding from the trio of rews I got, who were closely related to Harold of Haywood - a buck who did extremely well at Netherland Dwarf shows at all levels.
After about a year or so I got a marten sable buck from Mike McDermott to add some colour to the stud, and a couple of years after that I obtained a trio of Sealpoints from David and Louisa Edwards and ran the two separate bloodlines. I had a fantastically typed sealpoint buck (above right) who was too dark to show but who I carefully bred into the original line, and the combination has given me smaller rabbits with a fuller shape.
(l-r) Henry, the first sealpoint buck I bred from the Edwards' stock;
a dark sable doe carrying sealpoint and her seal youngsters; and a bluepoint buck from 2004
My interest in rare colours increased, and I've slowly developed a stud from where the rabbits carry the non extension gene (for orange, tort and sealpoint) even if they were siamese sables or agoutis, to breeding true for sealpoint, orange and tortoiseshell. Now I'm working on improving type to keep consistent showable standards.
Patrick, left, a stud buck born in 2003, and Rose, a tort doe born in 2008
Rhys, Peter's grandfather Agatha, an orange bred agouti doe Peter, their tortoiseshell offpring
Sealpoint at NNDRC Adult Stock Show 2009 Beige at Bradford 2012
I'm also developing my lines to replace the recessive rew gene in the sealpoints with the himalayan
gene. Sealpoint colouring needs a recessive gene and I'm selectively breeding to replace
rew (c) with himalayan (ch) which will improve the colouring on the body, points and tail underside in the
Above is my first Himalayan marked doe who has passed her ch gene on to my current breeding stock.
She carries rew recessively as well so it was down to luck which of her progeny inherited the desired ch gene.
I was challenged by Jane Bramley to breed broken pattern dwarfs, so in 2007 I duly took the first step in working on this very rare pattern. I was pleased enough with the outcome of the first matings as the type isn't too bad in the buck, Simon. The coverage of colour needs a lot of work though.