2017 was a year of innovation for the Lizarddag. The classification was enlarged and saw the introduction of classes for gold and silver cock Lizards, a class for the Vectis and perhaps most importantly of all, a class for London Fancies. The organisers Hans Hermans, Hans Reijers and Marko Dielen were rewarded with a big rise in the number of birds on show, with a total entry of 227 Lizards including 19 gold cocks and 18 silver cocks, plus 9 London Fancies, but no Vectis. The 23 exhibitors (another increase) came from Holland, Belgium, Germany and Great Britain.
The judging also used a different format. The best birds in each class were placed in order from 1 to 7, British style. Points were still awarded, but rather than compiling the usual detailed list, the judges simply noted the strengths and weaknesses of each bird on the score sheet. I thought this format was more informative, the comments were more relevant, and it saved the judges time. Another success.
2017 was also the year when Bart Deckers swept all before him, winning four classes, and the awards for Best Silver, Best Blue, and Best Lizard in Show. Fernand Moes was not far behind, winning three classes. Jules Etienne’s team was packed with quality, but while they were consistently in the top seven, they didn’t win a class. For me that was the biggest surprise of the show because his birds consistently caught my eye, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out on top next time. Kees Everaers was the best of the home team, with several impressive birds.
There is no doubt that Dutch judges have a distinct view of what a good Lizard should look like. The Belgian and British breeders were sometimes puzzled by their decisions; one shaking his head in disagreement even though his bird had won its class. In situations like this, it takes more than a good bird to win; the exhibitor also needs to be smart. Bart sent a strong team, but I didn’t think that the winner was his best bird and I told him so. He agreed, and then told me that his show team was a mixture of birds that he liked, and birds he thought the judges would like. Sure enough, it was a bird from the second group, a broken cap silver hen, that won Best in Show. What a showman.
The overall quality was high, and I thought the gold hens were particularly strong, yet the bird that lingers longest in my memory is Fernand’s clear cap silver hen that won her class. Fernand consistently produces excellent clear caps, especially silvers, and this bird was immaculate; the photos don’t do her justice.
Speaking of photos, the weather was overcast and the light in the hall was not good. My camera struggled at times, and I’ve had to discard photos of some very good birds. My apologies to their owners. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the gallery; just double click on any picture to enlarge it, and then click on the ‘View full size’ button to see an even larger image.
- I will discuss the London Fancies in a separate post.
- Click on the link to see a PDF of the Lizarddag 2017 prize winners