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Mini Rex History
      Monna Berryhill  from Texas began working on the Mini Rex breed when she won a pair of DWARF REX donated by Marylouise Cowan at the 1984 ARBA Convention in Orlando Florida. A little buck, ZORO, survived and paired  with a small Lynx Rex doe named Cotton  they produced a litter of  7. There were 3 does in this litter  that were kept to become the foundation for the Mini Rex breed.   Happy, Bashful and Dopey  have long faded from the pedigrees that we see today. Anyone who  has been raising Mini Rex since the early years  have  old pedigrees in their files that can trace  back to this beginning.
 Happy and Bashful were sent to Linda Thompson and Gloria Middleton in Sarasota, Florida. Where they were used to  start  a breeding program  there.  Gloria retired from rabbits in 1995  while Linda Thompson  continues today with her Southern Belle's Mini Rex. You can find Southern Belles  in the pedigrees of   the top winning Castors including the first and second Mini Rex to win  BIS at an ARBA Convention.  
  In 1986 at the ARBA Convention in Columbus a very nervous Mona Berryhill presented the Castor Mini Rex .    After what seemed like a life time while the Standards Committee made  a  long careful scrutiny of the  animals,  they approved the working standard for the Mini Rex rabbit  .  The cheers rose and tears  flowed as we hugged and predicted that this was the breed of the future.

  1987 was a busy year for Mini Rex breeders. New varieties were cropping up in litters all over the country due to the Netherland Dwarf influence of the Dwarf Rex. It was not a surprise to find Tortoise, Sable and Smoke Pearl that first year.  There were a lot of experiments with small Standard Rex and Mini Rex crosses to improved body type and fur. It wasn't long before there were Chinchilla, Seals, Californian ( now called Himalayan) , Red, White, Blue, Black, Broken, and Chocolate just to name a few. Virginia Minden from California and Bill and Laurie Turner from Arizona volunteered to help in the presentation process for new varieties starting in  Portland at the 1987 ARBA Convention.. This was the second year for the breed and the first showing of l5 new varieties. They were: White, Blue, Black, Chinchilla, Seal, Californian, Chocolate and Beige presented by Virginia Minden,. Red presented by Bill and Laurie Turner. Tortoise and Smoke Pearl presented by Linda Thompson. Opal, Broken and Lynx presented by Monna Berryhill. Otter and Sable presented by Gloria Middleton. The  Beige, Smoke Pearl, Sable and Otter failed, all others passed with a working standard for their first showing.  Madison, Wisconsin was the site of the 1988 ARBA Convention the final showing of the Mini Rex as a new breed and rabbit history. If the Mini Rex   were accepted as a breed, the Standards Committee agreed to allow the other varieties presented  in Portland to be accepted as recognized varieties provided they passed their presentation  at Madison.   The Mini Rex became an accepted ARBA breed and history was made !!  Not all of the varieties presented were accepted the Blacks and Chocolates would have to wait  until Tulsa to try again where they would once again fail in 1989.  The process would start over with two different breeders.

  The 1989 ARBA Convention in Tulsa Oklahoma  saw a the first official  convention entry of the Mini Rex Breed. Monna and Ken Berryhill took both BOB and BOS  with a stunning pair of Castors.   It was already evident that this was a breed that was going to rewrite  ARBA show history .

Eric Brennan  of Texas took over the Black variety and  Freda Kraus from Maryland   took over the Chocolate variety.  Both the Chocolates  and Blacks made a new presentation at the 1990  Convention in Tampa and both passed . The Chocolates successfully completed the  process  in 1992  at Columbus  where it all began. It was here that a  Chocolate junior doe from the 1992  presentation was sold in the Mini Rex auction for a record $900.  That auction record still stands.  The Blacks failed one presentation and finally completed the process in 1993. Today the Black ( both the Solid and Broken) varieties are very strong competitors and have won BOB at Conventions.


 In 1991 Linda Thompson made the first presentation of the Tricolor Mini Rex in Pomona California, and in   1994 they too were approved.  Lilac Mini Rex were first presented by Judy Ball of Virginia  in 1992 at Columbus  and  finally recognized in 1995.
 In 1994 and again in 1995  Mini Rex made ARBA history  when  Anne and Lou Lassen  of California took back to back BIS with Castors at   ARBA Conventions.  In the  following year entries of Mini Rex at  Conventions are  in the top two with entries of 900-1000 Mini Rex . Each year we find  Mini Rex in the number one position. for ARBA registrations, Grand Champions and BIS wins .  

2005 saw the addition  of Blue eyed Mini Rex to the line up. Jan Coffelt's beautiful  2001 Blue Eyed White presentation at  the ARBA Convention in  San Diego California  passed the first showing and only improved for the second showing in 2002. The BEWs passed their third  presentation  with flying colors in 2004. Joining the ranks of ARBA sanctioned  Mini Rex varieties in 2005.

2005   Armando made his third presentation  of   the Otter Mini Rex in 2005  with resounding success.  2006 the Otter joined  the ranks.  2006 ARBA Convention BOB was a Broken Black Otter!!!

2006  The Sable Point was recognized .

 It takes a lot hard work, devotion and determination to make a  successful presentation  happen... and a healthy bank account !!!

2010   Linda Thompson lost her  battle with cancer,  to honor her memory  the NMRRC  elected to  rename the NMRRC Youth Scholarship   the Linda Thompson  Memorial Scholarship.   




Monna Berryhill  the originator  of the MINI REX RABBIT
 at the 1988 Mini Rex booth.  


The Tension mounts!!


                        Monna watches                                   The Committee looks

      The Committee  continues to look                                         Monna explains.




Now we  take a look back  at some of the original Mini Rex people.



Linda Thompson  Sponsor for Tortoise  and Tri Color
Bill Turner  sponsor for the Red
 Judy Ball  sponsor for Lilac
Photo taken in 1992

        
 Eric Brennen  sponsor for the                Ken and Monna Berryhill               
                                                             Black variety    1992  Photo                            1990 Photo







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