The Beginning - From Holland
In all Dutch Standard
books there is the description of origin: Different from the name, this breed
has not originated in Belgium but in England. The ancestors however do come from
The Belgians exported on a regular basis many rabbits for slaughter in the UK.
(These were all crossbred from smaller Belgian rabbits and the so-called
Patagonian rabbit). Among those were beautiful red coloured rabbits with some
black 'ticking' and these were picked out in England to breed on with. The
English breeder Mr Lumb is mentioned as the first breeder of the Belgian Hare:
he exposed this breed at a show in 1874.
In 1887 the UK Belgian Hare Speciality Club was formed. Within 10 years the breed was known and loved
in America, Germany and Belgium.
From the Avicultura Magazine of May 1920 -
For several years we have known Belgian Hares, which were
first exhibited at the Ornithophilia Show, and these rabbits were imported from
England. More breeders have been attracted to this breed but now there are two
classes. The very good ones and the poor. The good ones were nearly always newly
imported from Great Britain.