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Kevin Hooper


Inducted Hall of Fame 2006


The 2006 National Dutch Show turned out to be a very memorable show for me. Not only was I able to win the Open show, but I was inducted into the ADRC Hall of Fame! Now, winning Best Dutch was very rewarding, but it does not compare to being in the Hall of Fame! On top of that, I was inducted along with good friend and Dutch breeder Tom Dietrich! Tom has always been a class act in the Dutch world and I could not think of a more deserving member to be in the Hall than Tom!
I am not usually at a loss for words, but I could hardly speak after it was announced I was inducted. The ADRC and the Dutch rabbit mean a lot ot me. I have worked on the Dutch themselves since my first rabbit (a Dutch) when I was nine. That was 31 years ago!
I began with only a pet quality black doe named Gretchen. She was one of maybe 25 I ever named. After raisng a litter with her, and my brother showing New Zealands, the logical step was to get a better rabbit. I did that, and began showing a bit more when I was 12. I showed only open against the likes of Jack Wireman, Andy Barton, Mike Stinehelfer, Ed Chandler, Al and Barb Butler, and Elmer Hand. I began having success in 1980 with a black doe - K26. She won several times that year, could never get her bred because I wanted to show her, and she ended with thirty-two legs! Pretty good for a kid showing against several future Hall of Famers!
In 1981, at the ripe old age of 16, I was made the secretary of the Ohio State Dutch Club. This was the period where Jack said he raised me! I continued this until I went to Ohio State in 1985. I did manage to keep my Dutch going through my college years. I went home on weekends, while my Dad begrudgingly fed and watered them through the week. He still gripes about that!
I graduated from college in 1988 and moved to southwestern Ohio. It took about a month to get a rabbit barn up once I found a place to rent. That fall at the ARBA Convention in Madison, WI, I had my first big win. A Steel senior buck, "Jake" won Best Opp Dutch! My next wins, also BOS, went to the famed "Old Man". That tort buck won Best Opp in Peoria in 1996, while a blue buck, KB04 won Best Opp in Lousivlle in 1997, or 1995? I didn't win the top honors until the NDS in Hutchinson in 1998. That was followed by a Best Opp at the York NDS, and Best Dutch in Rhode Island in 2004.
I first started on the ADRC Board in 1990 or 1992. After several years on the Board, Fred Mullinax decided not to run again for President, and I was elected in 2000.
I mentioned at the NDS banquet after I regained my composure, that we have had a large turnover in members in the last ten to fifteen years? I put a question mark there as it seems we have. A past Dutch breeder who got out of Dutch was planning to attend the NDS this year for the first time in 14 years. He asked me who would still be there. My reply was that we would not recognize many!
We have seen many of our long time breeders who either no longer show, or have passed away! We have also seen a hugh increase in the number of new breeders, in both open and youth! So, is it because of a losing members or gaining a bunch? I know in first going into the NDS this year, I thought I did not know three-fourths of those who were there. Now that number may not have been that high, but it sure seems like it! So, the moral of this is realize that those who you develop a friendship with in the Dutch world won't be in the Dutch world forever, so enjoy them while they are in Dutch.
Thanks for the honor of being named to the ADRC Hall of Fame.

Kevin Hooper


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