Isn’t it wonderful when the underdog wins? It restores your faith in the human spirit when the competitors who always try hard, but usually have to settle for second best, finally have their moment of glory. The 2016 Lizarddag was one of those wonderful occasions.
Best Silver Lizard and Best in Show was awarded to Wim Radstake, one of the nicest yet most modest Lizard breeders in Holland. His broken cap silver hen excelled in her spangles. A home win at last!
Best Gold was awarded to the irrepressible Jean Degroot, a real character, always making fun of things, but deadly serious about his Lizard canaries. His non gap gold hen was a cobby bird with outstanding rowings.
You can see both Wim and Jean in the photo at the head of this article. A very popular result.
Some other highlights:
My award for the Strongest Class in Show goes to the clear cap silver hens. The standard was high, yet the winner was entirely predictable. I don’t know how he does it, but Fernand Moes seems to win this class more often than anyone else and 2016 was no exception. His birds were first and second in the class, quite an achievement against such tough competition.
My award for Unluckiest Exhibit goes to Jules Etienne’s beautiful clear cap silver hen that was unplaced in the same class. This bird will surely be in the prizes at future shows.
My award for Best Newcomer goes to Bart Deckers. ‘Newcomer’ is an odd way to describe him because he’s already a successful exhibitor, but this was his first appearance at the Lizarddag. His birds won no less than three classes. I’ve seen his birds improve over the years, but this was the strongest team I’ve seen him produce yet. Another to watch at future shows.
My award for Unsung Heroes goes to the show organisers: Hans Hermans, Hans Reijers and Marko Dielen, plus two volunteers whose names I don’t know, but who turn up every year to set up the staging and then clear everything away. Of these, only Marko keeps Lizards.
This tells us a lot about the Lizard canary fancy in Holland, and it worries me. I asked a number of leading Dutch breeders why didn’t they form a specialist club for the Lizard canary. Everyone thought it was a good idea, but no one seemed inclined to take the lead.
In the absence of a specialist club, others have filled the void. In the case of Hans Hermans and his team they are in good hands, but at national level, they’ve allowed the colour canary breeders to dictate the Lizard show classification. A specialist club would give the Lizard breeders a voice. Let’s hope they shout.
Class 1 Clear cap gold: 1 Bart Deckers, 2 Jules Etienne, 3 Bart Deckers.
Class 2 Broken cap gold: 1 Jules Etienne, 2 Jean Degroot, 3 Ronald Wauters.
Class 3 Non cap gold: 1 Jean Degroot, 2 Kees Everaers, 3 Jules Etienne.
Class 4 Clear cap silver: 1 Fernand Moes, 2 Fernand Moes, 3 Bart Deckers.
Class 5 Broken cap silver: 1 Wim Radstake, 2 Jukes Etienne, 3. B. Doornhegge.
Class 6 Non cap silver: 1 Bart Deckers, 2 Jean Degroot, 3 Jean Degroot.
Class 7 Colour-fed: 1 Marko Dielen, 2 Marko Dielen, 3 G. Leunk.
Class 8 White ground: 1 Bart Deckers, 2 Bart Deckers, 3 Bart Deckers.