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The OK Bunny Corral, Landress's rabbitry in Northridge California  

   

In 1977, being 21 years of age, at my first overseas trip I visited my family in the Los Angeles area. With my cousin I made a great trip tru the mid west and had 5 wonderfull weeks. Before I left home I had contacted the secretary of the Dutch Netherland Dwarf Specialty Club to get any hobby-contact possibility in the USA. Via Mr. Hartl. Lucks and Mr. Don Lovejoy I got the phonenumber of the family Landress in Norhtridge, CA.

The very last day in the US I managed to visit their home and met this wonderfull family. I did not believe my eyes, a few hundred wirecages all in the open air, with a sprinklersystem on the roof to cool of this housing. Netherland Dwarfs in almost all existing varieties and Collier and Betty where very interested in my opinion, since the breed was relatively new in the US. We had a great afternoon and on this day I learned what I have experenced very often in the years to come: “When an American wants to achieve something a100% attempt is not enough, he will bring 120%. 

 

       
       


Betty Landress, winning BOB in Houston, with her daughters Debby (left) and Barbara (right)
    At the end of this memorable day Collier put a $100- bill in my hand: “see what you can do for us”. Back home, after a few weeks, I visited Mr. Beswerda, who had the best REW’s in those days. Bouke sold me 2 pairs of REW’s.

Combined with some Smoke Pearl Siamese and Sable Martens from myselve these animals where the first shipment to the US. In those days, without internet and very expensive phonecalls, communication was quite different than the nowadays “ease”.

Upon arrival it sure was special to receive an American phonecall “animals have arrived in good shape and we love them; will enter some at the National Convention in Houston”. A few weeks later another enthousiastic phonecall: “One of the REW bucks won BOB in Houston”

       
       
Ofcourse this was encouraging, and the plan was made to make another trip to the US with 3 friends in 1978. Collier offered us their old stationwagon “Betsie” to use on our trip in september/october. After we returned from our tour 2 friend2 went home and I stayed with my friend Theo 2. We left Northridge with 2 cars; The Theo’s drove an El Camino while Betty and Debby where driving a van. All together we took over 65 Netherland Dwarfs in little cages with water and feed bowls. In these climate controlled vehicles we drove on route 66 to Saginaw, Michigan. This extraordinary trip took us almost 4 days and the animals where in excellent condition when we arrived. At the end of judging The Landresses won BOB with a “Beswerda REW buck” and BOS with a “Jansen Smoke Pearl Si. Doe”. We met wonderfull people and kept in touch with many long after this visit.

Darrel Bramhall and Hartl Lucks 

 

Ralph de Vito, Betty Landress and Hartl. Lucks
     

The ANDRC emblem in 1978
 

The California clubpin in 1978

Will never forget the “dwarclubmembers meeting” in some hotelrooms where Marie Louise Cowan did the cathering and Roy Ludwig and Hartl Lucks where good with their “dirty jokes”, Hartl: “no I am not a dirty old man, I am a sexy senior citizen”. Another memorable introduction was made with Ruth Terna, all the way from Hawaii she flew in with some flower lei for us to wear. Ruth invited us to come to Hawaii, and yes 2 weeks we spent on Ohau. 

I wrote some articles in the Dwarf Digest and corresponded with many US fanciers in the years to come. Ruth Terna’s husband Jim traveled quite a bit in those days. He visited me 3 weeks before the Seattle ARBA Convention in 1982. I took him to the Ornithophilia Show in Utrecht where a REW jr. doe won BOB. Two days later we visited her breeder Mr. Bouke Beswerda, who kindly sold this doe to Jim. This doe had the perfect “tablepresence” she showed style and elegance in between majorty of “flat” dwarfs, that was quite common in those days. (The era of äss-hunters). Because Jim saw this doe for the very first time at the show in Utrecht they called her “Utrecht”. This little doe was the start of another “mindset” within the ANDRC about style, pose and profile of a Netherland Dwarf.

Earlier in 1982 I visited Bob and Barbara Brown, in Naples, Florida (my redneck ma). With Mike and Molly Michaels and several others there was a meeting about the ARBA-bid for a possible Ntl Convention in Orlando in 1984. The Florida group won this bid and got to organize the 1984 Convention. I went to this show and entered a few animals, won BOV Smoke Pearl and BJOV Sable Marten. A historic win was made by a REW doe, she won BOB and Best Four Class ( never done by a dwarf ever since). This little doe was a daughter of “Utrecht”, an inbreeding result from a “mediocre” son bred back to his famous mother. “Utrecht 2” was another example of nobility on the table and the time of flat showanimals was over..... Her entrance in the ANDRC Hall of Fame proves her importance for the breed. 

 

"Utrecht" won BOB at the 82 Seattle  ARBA Convention

   

 

One of the handmade trofees at the 84 Orlando ARBA Convention   

 


After the Orlando Show I flew to Honolulu for a short stay with The Terna’s, enjoying their beautifull spot and many dwarftalks in the barn.

Englands Pop Cage comparing Dutch Netherland Dwarfs in Hawaii, with Ruth Terna and daughter Jenny


On the way back I visited my aunt in the Pasadena area and from there I flew to Albany New York to visit Chuck Weber. 
Chuck Weber posing with some of his winning animals 

After the Orlando Show I flew to Honolulu for a short stay with The Terna’s, enjoying their beautifull spot and many dwarftalks in the barn. On the way back I visited my aunt in the Pasadena area and from there I flew to Albany New York to visit Chuck Weber. 

April 1985 I also visited the ANDRC springshow in Toronto, excellent organized by Scott Mansfield.

 

In this time period I stopped with my shaded, which I had had since my start in dwarfs. I managed to get the black otter recognized in our country and loved this colour a lot. Also chocolates, blacks and black silver martens where present in those days. In that time I met Ellen, who I married in 1987. Familylife with 2 children, Bas and Ben, kept me home until 2000 when we made a familytrip to the USA.

   

 

First we visited our “old friend” Gary Brachmann in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. What a great place to play for the boys. The Wisconsin Dells Waterpark was an unique experience for us all, especially for boys of this age. 

  From there we drove to Missouri where we visited other “old friends ”Peggy and Bill Yoakum”. They had visited our place back in 1985 and worked with some of my shades since. At this 2000 visit they where losing quality in their herd and after this trip I could send them some new animals to work with. Black Otter doe 0LB-651, named “Savannah Faith” won Best Of Breed at the 2001 National Dwarf Show, in Perry, Georgia..

This win turned out to be the start of another level of quality in dwarfs in the US. In the Netherlands I gathered a group of dedicated friends. As “Holland Team Maximize” we tried to get the maximum weight up because we saw our best animals, with width, depth and firm fleshcondition, develop overweight for our standard. The Dutch officials did not want to know but fortunately there where several US breeders at that time that shared that vison and worked with these dwarfs. Numerous big wins all over the US by these animals or their offspring proved our “right”.

From this period of time there is a list of “feedback messages” we received back then:

Peggy Yoakum writes:
Alicia Kennemer writes:
Katrina Widrig writes:
Stacey Anderson writes:
Cathy Bohn writes:
Dan & Stacey Grate write:
Carrie Engel writes:
Mary Henderson writes:
Leslie Ketrenos writes:
Ann Craig writes:
Terri Monson writes:
Gary Brachmann writes:

Some Rabbiminimus Netherland Dwarfs where entered at the 1997 ARBA Convention.

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