KEEPING SPICE IN
By Candy hankins, with Introduction by Helen Eden;
Quote from 2011-15 ARBA Standard
A ploy that Cinnamon exhibitors sometimes use (to get a little more attention from a judge who has breezed through the Cinnamons on the show table) is to ask which Cinnamon on the table most closely exhibits the color described in the Cinnamon standard.
This exercise is even more fun in the case of a double or triple show, when the opinion of more than one judge can be solicited on the same group of Cinnamons. More likely than not, the exhibitors will get three different answers!
The 2011—2015 ARBA Standard of Perfection describes Cinnamon coloration as follows: “Color is to be rust or cinnamon color, with uniform smoke grey ticking across the back. The color is to blend into smoke grey midway on the side and become darker on the belly. The undercolor is to be orange. Eyes—Brown” (page 105).
Many times in showing the relatively uncommon Cinnamon rabbit, breeders will come upon judges who have never worked with Cinnamons. Most are more than willing to read the standard color description, but occasionally that description is not totally understood. Perhaps a closer look will help bring about a more uniform judging pattern.
A rust or cinnamon surface color with smoke- gray ticking is specifically called for across the back of the rabbit. The smoke-gray should enhance the rust color and gradually dominate as the surface color changes to a smoke-gray midway on the sides. This describes a two-colored rabbit having a gradual transition from one surface color to another. Many times the judge will look for a rust-colored rabbit with a dark belly, completely ignoring brown sides as a fault and often calling the rabbit too dark when it does have the smoke-grey sides called for. The other extreme occurs when the rabbit is too dark to show rust color across the back. When the surface is too dark on top to show a darker smoke-grey on the sides, the rabbit should be faulted.
The definition of “smoke” as a color can also be a problem at times. The dictionary definition “to be made dark or black by smoke,” suggests that smoke is a dark gray as opposed to a blue-gray or light gray. Often a Cinnamon will carry a faded or light gray shading of a nature that does not lend itself to distinct markings and a dark belly. Not only will nose, feet, ears, and tail be lightly shaded, but lower sides will be barely distinguishable from back color. This bluish shading does not allow the striking color combination called for in the standard to come through.
Another color factor that is often overlooked is the orange undercolor called for in the standard. This orange is easily evaluated by stroking the fur backwards or blowing into it on the back, sides, and belly. Many times a Cinnamon has a fair amount of smoke-grey but appears dark because the orange or rust factor is that of a faded sandy brown. To obtain the bright contrast of smoke-gray and rust, the orange must be fairly bright and run deep. Remember, it takes more than cinnamon to make this breed of rabbit the spicy individual it is meant to be!