Seen only in white, the Giant Angora is also distinguished by its forehead tufts, mutton-chop cheeks, and fringed, tasseled ears.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1988
USES: Wool, show
WEIGHT: 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and above, senior does
BODY TYPE: Commercial
FUR TYPE: Wool, with great density
COLOR: Ruby-eyed white
THE SPECTACULAR BUT RARE GIANT ANGORA is a comparative newcomer to North American rabbitdom, having achieved recognition by the ARBA in 1988 after Louise Walsh of Massachusetts began developing the breed earlier in the decade.
Walsh wasn’t particularly interested in developing a giant Angora Rabbit, but ARBA officials forced her hand. Walsh owned German Angoras, an old breed noted for its tasseled ears and exceptional wool production. Her effort to have the ARBA recognize her American version of the German Angora was thwarted, ostensibly because they were too similar to English Angoras.
The ARBA Standards Committee recommended that she drop her request and instead breed an animal considerably larger than the English Angora to achieve “separation” of the Angora breeds. Walsh added French Lop and Flemish Giant blood to her Angora gene pool and created the Giant Angora.
The Giant Angora has the heavy, commercial body type of the French Lop, rather than the more cylindrical shape of the German Angora. Like a great marshmallow in fur, the Giant Angora can be shown only as a ruby-eyed white. It has forehead tufts, furry cheeks, and lightly fringed ears that are heavily tasseled, much like the German Angoras.