A smile from ear to ear and sparkling eyes: when Eric Ropars, fascinated by wild rabbits from Burgundy, talks about the day on February 12, his face lights up. An owner who has won the Grail of any breeder of rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons, pigeons, chickens, geese, ducks or other turkeys, the prestigious “Prize of the President of the Republic”.
It was in Morten (50), during the local poultry show, which celebrated its 25th anniversary and received this presidential favor on this occasion. A prize awarded to only six poultry shows in France each year, which rewards the most beautiful registered animals of all species combined. Far from thinking of winning, breeder Grace was aiming with one of his eight rabbits (four males and four females) to win the regional title.
Pigeon and duck at the pole
After leaving the judges in Normandy to examine the approximately 1,242 animals that competed in peace, the gracious breeder returned to Tregor’s lands to conduct his frozen food telemarketing tour at home. In the afternoon, a text message from the rabbit judge at the show, Morten, stuck a flea in his ear: “Bravo. You should have good news tonight. And it wasn’t salad! A few hours later, another judge informs Eric Ropars: one of his rabbits won the regional competition, but also – and most importantly – received the prize of the President of the Republic, decorating a dove on a pole and a duck, with which she was chosen as the most beautiful exhibit in Normandy. “I was in seventh heaven, I was euphoric, I would never have hoped to win such a prize,” says Eric, clearly still excited, showing off the trophy, the Sèvres vase and congratulations from the President of the Republic on an official postcard. received by chance. It must be said that this dynamic fiftieth has appeared in the Fauve de Bourgogne only since 2012.
The fruit of a “good combination”
“I found a strain, that is, a good combination,” he analyzes. Moreover, on the way back from Normandy I was in a hurry to get home to see if I had divorced the parents of the champion again, which I really did! The babies were already five weeks old … I told myself that I have a good multiplier! he smiles, reminding him that the breeder’s mission is to “maintain the breed”, that is, to perpetuate the characteristics of his standard.
Careful feeding and care
There is no doubt that the diligence with which the breeder squanders the daily care of his wards, whose number approaches 80 pairs of ears, also has a bearing on his success. “I spend a lot of time there, too much for the taste of my wife,” admits this enthusiast, for whom the cleanliness of the houses and fresh air are the law in terms of habitat. The rigor he brings to their diet is certainly also part of his success: “My rabbits’ rations are distributed in exact amounts and only in the evening,” he emphasizes earnestly, eluding the occasional small vegetable-shaped dessert. . His competitive instinct, which commands him to always “want to be first,” is also the key to his rapid ascent. An instinct that may have led him to strive to excel in other areas, such as chickens, in particular Coucou de Rennes or Sussex, confirms his attraction to regional breeds. “But here I really need more time, because I want to do everything well,” he admits.
On the way to the championship of France and Europe
In the short term, his goal is clear: to win “one day” the French Championship (in Montlucon in November) or the European Championship (in Metz, also in November), in which he will take part for the first time this year. year. Great happiness never comes alone, let’s bet the challenge is within reach!