The National Exhibition at Stafford is never going to emulate the ‘old’ National amongst Lizard canary fanciers as an end-of-season championship, simply because it is held at the beginning. Its real value is that it offers an opportunity for breeders to meet up again and perhaps, just perhaps, introduce some of the candidates for the big shows to come. Nevertheless, there were three aspects of the 2016 event that I think are worth highlighting
1. The Best Lizard canary in Show was a Novice bird, a broken cap gold cock bred by Tony Horton in only his second year. The bird had lovely spangles, and held its lineage throughout the show. This was no fluke; Tony had other birds that caught the eye. Congratulations! He has evidently listened to the advice he received from Joe Coakley last year. He can also thank judge John Record for judging the birds on their merits and being prepared to give a Novice bird the top award. Doesn’t happen often in other varieties.
2. Best Champion was a non cap gold hen bird bred by Stan Bolton. We all know what a torrid time Stan has had this year, but he was able to salvage his breeding season thanks to a fancier who returned some of his original stock, and he came up trumps. Another bird with excellent spangles.
3. There were more Novice entries than Champions this year. A good sign.
Lest we get carried away, let’s remind ourselves that it is very early in the show season. Stronger competition will be lying in wait . . .
My thanks to Joe Coakley for supplying the photos.