It may be two years since the last Lizard Classic, but the LCA had put the time to good use. The show retained most of its tried and tested format, but there were innovations too.
We had new staging; a much simpler two-tier assembly that is easier to store, transport and assemble than the old version. There was a new LCA banner, an eye-catching display that provided a backdrop to the prize ceremony thanks to the initiative of Alex Maclean. The icing on the cake was a generous cash prize list donated by an anonymous supporter of the LCA; a much appreciated contribution.
The show ran like clockwork. Chris Jordan took on the stewarding single-handedly because David Newton was forced to miss the show due to illness; he never missed a beat. Noel Sidney presided over the catering with his usual exuberance, this time aided by Anne Maclean who added a Scottish twist to affairs and introduced us to ‘clootie pudding’. Debbie Goacher organised the raffle with some very generous prizes donated by LCA members. Life is so much better when people work together.
Now to the birds. This year’s show attracted over 160 entries, but a number of exhibitors had to withdraw for unavoidable reasons, and the number of birds benched was closer to 130. Joe Coakley judged, and as anyone who knows Joe will tell you, he doesn’t cut corners. Each bird is given every chance to display its qualities.
Amongst the Champion colour-fed Lizards, Carlos de Santa Ana, Gary McCarthy and Neville Jones all won classes, but the big hitters on the day were Kevin Skinner and the Maclean & Benussi partnership. Kevin’s star has been on the rise throughout the 2021 show season, and so it proved here. He had an excellent show, winning several classes with a team that was consistent in appearance.
His strongest competition came from the Maclean & Benussi partnership which not only won Best Champion Colour-fed, but also Second Best and Fourth Best colour-fed Lizard in show. The partnership’s performance was all the more commendable considering the difficulties Alex faced when he worked away from home for much of the year.
Unlike some sections of the canary fancy, novices have an excellent record against the champions at Lizard canary shows. So it proved in 2021. Ian Adcock, in his final year in the novice ranks, not only won Best Novice Colour-fed, but went on to win Best and Third Best Colour-fed in show. He didn’t have everything his own way though; John Hannam won several Novice classes and junior Toby Ashpole also put up a good fight (1).
The classes for natural coloured Lizards attracted an entry of over fifty birds, and even without David Newton’s show team, the quality was consistently high. Tony Horton, in his first year in the Champion section, entered a very strong team. He not only won four of the seven classes but also Second and Fourth Best Natural Lizard too. Toby also entered a small team of natural coloured Lizards, and it was one these birds that won Best Junior.
I don’t normally end a show report with the highlights of the LCA’s AGM held on the morning of the show, but this year was an exception.
First, it was good to see our chairman Jeremy Goacher being awarded the Robert Yates Shield for his work in the resurrection of the LCA in 2019 and ensuring that the Association remains dedicated to the promotion and conservation of the Classic Lizard canary.
Second, the LCA Council was augmented by three new members: Andrew Beesley, Andy Chaney and Jon Martin. Their enthusiasm for the classic Lizard canary is evident and I am expecting the 2022 Classic to be even better thanks to their input. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another two years to enjoy it.
- Juniors compete in the Novice classes at the LCA Classic to give them useful competition, but their birds are eligible for separate prizes in order to ensure that their junior status is not compromised.
- Gallery: just click on any photo to see a larger image.