Mission accomplished: the London Fancy recognised by COM

I imagine most of my readers will have heard the news that London Fancy canary passed the final examination at the Gouden Ring show last week.  The breed has been formally recognised by COM.

Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
A non-intensive yellow-black London Fancy (cage 3275) at the 2022 Gouden Ring.
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
A white-black London Fancy at the Gouden Ring.

Under COM’s rules, candidate varieties are required to pass three examinations within a period of four years.  Time was running out because the London Fancy had passed the first two tests, but the cancellation of the World Show in 2021 and 2022 had prevented it being presented for a third time. To its credit, COM came up with a pragmatic solution by moving the final presentation to the Gouden Ring show, which meant that the process could be completed before the end of the fourth year. That came as a relief because had COM not done so, the process would have had to start all over again.

Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
London Fancies of various colours from which the 12 candidates were selected.
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
The five experts at work.

I wasn’t able to attend the show, but Andy Early had stepped up and travelled to Belgium with Joe Coakley to make the presentation.  He, Marko Dielen and Danielle Sugliani kept me informed of events and sent me the photos that you see here.  Twenty nine birds (1) were entered at show and the best twelve were selected for the final assessment by the five experts, all of them OMJ judges. Only yellow and white-ground birds were selected for the top twelve (all bred by Piet or Marko I’m told), but there were also some spanglebacks and cinnamon (brown) London Fancies that caught the eye even though they didn’t make the final cut.

Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
Piet Renders and Andy Early at the Gouden Ring.
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
A jonque (intensive) yellow-black spangleback at the Gouden Ring.
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
Marko Dielen and Andy Early at the Gouden Ring.
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
A yellow-brown (cinnamon) London Fancy at the Gouden Ring.

The recognition of the London Fancy by COM is a major milestone in the history of the breed, and I hope you will indulge me if I reflect on that achievement.  There have been several attempts to recreate the London Fancy since the last survivors of the original breed were destroyed by a bombing raid during the Second World War, but none succeeded until Piet Renders of the Netherlands began his breeding programme in the late 1990s.  The breakthrough came in 2003 when one of Piet’s green juveniles transformed from dark to light at its first moult to reveal a yellow canary with black wings and tail. That bird became the foundation sire of the modern London Fancy.

Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
Piet Renders and the first modern London Fancy canary at the Meijel show in 2003

It is 18 years since I visited Piet to see his wondervogel, and it is five years since Andy Early asked me to become involved in the LFCC’s campaign to seek official recognition of the breed. Over that time, interest in the London Fancy has never stopped growing and excellent specimens are being bred in several countries including, I’m glad to say, Great Britain.  Recognition of the breed by COM will give the London Fancy a major boost; its future looks secure.  Mission accomplished.

Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
The London Fancy show standard signed by the five experts and other officials at the Gouden Ring.
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
Extract from the COM show standard for the London Fancy: 08.12.2022
Recognition of the London Fancy canary by COM
Extract from the COM show standard for the London Fancy: 08.12.2022

My thanks to Danielle, Marko and Andy for sharing their photographs.  Just click on any image in the gallery below to view it at a larger size.


  1. The 29 entries comprised 18 birds from Piet Renders, 8 from Ralph Pitz, 2 from Marko Dielen and 1 from Geert De Sutter.


  • Piet Renders for his original breeding achievement and his contribution to the recognition process (the vast majority of the birds presented for examination have been from Piet).
  • A group of international supporters who translated the London Fancy show standard from English into several languages: Danielle Sugliani (French), Ernest Gracia (Spanish) who also guided me on how to achieve our goal, Angelo Citro (Italian), Paulo Ferreira (Portuguese), and Marko Dielen twice (Dutch and German – the latter with the help of Helmut at Quiko).
  • Several people who helped at the presentations: François Villaume and Jorge Quintas for their supervision of the process; Richard Lumley, Ghalib Al-Nasser and Simon Tammam of COM-UK for their work behind the scenes; Gary Mann for his practical help at Matosinhos; and above all, Harry Kapel for being such a good ally in the face of unexpected challenges at the first presentation at Zwolle.
  • Last but by no means least, Andy Early for inviting me to conduct the campaign and always being willing to share the load.

15 thoughts on “Mission accomplished: the London Fancy recognised by COM

  1. Hi Hew, these birds look great and are a credit to the breeders who have stuck with the task,that many thought would never be achieved. Do you know how the original stock was chosen and the progression to produce today’s birds, as I am sure there will not be many birds available.. excellent website Hew, well done to you Terry

    1. I only know that Piet crossed Lizards with a colour canary. We will probably have to wait until his impending book is published to learn more.

  2. In the UK, when referring to the London Fancy we have the usual reference to “Yellow” and “Buff”, “”Jonque” and “Mealy”, and “Intensive” and “Non-intensive”. We also now have the addition of “cinnamon” and of course, classic black denominations. In the UK any mix of the above terms will be perfectly understood, but the combination of these, especially for correct identification at the now new international stage for the LF, perhaps it would be a good idea to agree one common set of class denominations. In any case it will be very interesting to see with what named classes COM will come up for the LF at the 2023 World Show.

    1. I agree Ernest, but COM does does not have a great record of consulting with the home nations of traditional breeds.

  3. Well done to all those concerned and mentioned by you Huw, it has been a long road for all of you, now it is time to enjoy the rewards! It is a pity that the GB birds cannot participate at European shows, any idea when this matter might be resolved?

    1. I’ve heard that good progress has been made in discussions with DEFRA, but no timetable has been set for the enabling legislation as far as I am aware.

  4. enhorabuena a todos los que habéis trabajado tanto para conseguir esas bellezas, mis mas sinceras felicitaciones.

  5. Extremely happy that London Fancy was officially considered by COM.
    Congratulations to everyone involved.
    Where can I get the COM standard?

    1. A new edition of the COM/OMJ Section E show standards was issued on 8 December 2022, but it is not available on the COM website. I have therefore added two extracts from the COM standard to the article. You will see that contrary to the show standard of the London Fancy Canary Club, brown London Fancies are not recognised by COM. My thanks to Andy Early for sending me this.

  6. I am happy to see the classic london fancy officially recognized by the COM however as the brown fancy london was part of the presentation it is a pity that 12 brown subjects were not presented at the same time. Could this have done a difference ?
    Many thanks to everyone involved in this project.

    1. The exclusion of brown London Fancies came as a surprise to me. It would be interesting to know when this decision was made, by whom, and if COM-UK were informed.

  7. The results of the Gouden Ring Show about the lizards and London Fancies on their website: catalogus

    Lizards page 22/54 and 23/54
    An excellent job by judge Marc Devos

    London Fancy page 23/54
    Personally I made a note on cage 3127, a bird by Ralph Pitz, as having a lot of lizard features. In my opnion a necessity for a good LF. I believe it is the spangled back photo 8/10 of this post by Huw Evans.

  8. According to the palmares list given by Gust the total of london fancies is 29 birds
    18 from Piet Renders
    8 from Pitz Ralph
    2 from Marko Dielen
    1 from Geert De Sutter


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