More than 1,000 birds at record-breaking Peebles event

Champion: an old English game bantam, owned by P. Roswell of Moffat.
Champion: an old English game bantam, owned by P. Roswell of Moffat.
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Peebles Poultry and Bantam Club’s championship show was held on Sunday, February 28, and it continues to go from strength to strength.

This year’s show broke entry records, with a total of 1,617 entries, 1,029 of those being competitive birds from a total of 154 exhibitors.

Reserve champion, a buff rock cock owned by B. Slater of Windermere.

Reserve champion, a buff rock cock owned by B. Slater of Windermere.

The show champion was an old English game bantam, owned by P. Roswell of Moffat, whose family are very experienced exhibitors with generations having been involved in breeding and exhibiting poultry for many years.

The winning bird was exceptional and the judges commented on how handleable it was.

Reserve champion was a buff rock cock owned by B. Slater of Windermere, who has supported Peebles shows for many years, and has had birds in championship row before, but this has been his greatest achievement at Peebles to date.

Once again the number of pekins entered was incredible, with 78 birds entered in their 12 colour varieties and some non-standard colours. Best pekin was owned by P. Hamill of Dungannon, who also took the prize for best true bantam.

Best trio was a stunning Dutch threesome, owned by D. Taylor.

Best trio was a stunning Dutch threesome, owned by D. Taylor.

Another true bantam that is gaining popularity is the serama, with 40 birds that were entered. The best serama, owned by M. Kerr, was awarded the new Bonkers Perpetual Trophy, named after last year’s winner.

The Peebles club was delighted to welcome exhibitors from Northern Ireland and of the 12 birds on championship row, five of them had come from there – four of them owned by P. Hamill, an unprecedented feat.

Best trio was a stunning Dutch threesome, owned by D. Taylor.

The egg entry surpassed all previous years with a total of 280 plates of eggs. Winner E. Eastham’s plate of 12 perfectly matched bantam eggs.

E. Schnitzer won best juvenile.

E. Schnitzer won best juvenile.

Another egg exhibitor, M. LeClerq, showing at Peebles for the first time, won best contents.

The Points Trophy, awarded to the most points in a section which changes each year, was competed for in the hard feather bantam section and the winner was B. Welsh.

Special thanks goes to Sheena Dickson of Dolphinton who carefully calculated the results of the points section.

The show includes sections for younger exhibitor – the junior handler and juvenile sections. They are required to take the birds out of the pens and demonstrate their handling, before being prompted to talk about the breed and how they look after them. Experienced enthusiast S. Dunbar of Lockerbie defended his title from 2015 and 2014, winning both junior handler bantam classes as well as both overall titles. Best juvenile was a stunning barred wyandotte, owned by N. Hastie of Tarbrax.

Winner E. Eastham's plate of 12 perfectly matched bantam eggs.

Winner E. Eastham's plate of 12 perfectly matched bantam eggs.

The photography section at Peebles may be the largest in the country, with 58 photographs over five sections. The best photograph was won by S. Pickles of Liverpool.

The club’s photographer, Mark Beedie of Biggar – who took the photos on this page – also had the challenge of judging the photography section as well as a new poultry artwork sections, in which A. Jarvis won best adult and E. Schnitzer won best juvenile.

Two native Scottish breeds featured within championship line-up. Best large soft feather light breed was a Scots grey male from L. & A. Main-Reade and the best non-standard overall was a critically endangered, ancient Scottish breed of duck which was represented for the first time in the non-standard waterfowl class. The Shetland duck is keenly supported by exhibitors who are working hard to increase the numbers of the rare gem. K. Dunbar of Lockerbie won this class.

A big thank you goes to all of the judges of this year’s championship show, who all showed a golden combination of experience, talent, speed, accuracy, fairness, impartiality and knowledge.

A regular appearance at the Peebles championship show is the auction. Only exhibitors may enter birds for sale and therefore it is a rare opportunity for the public and other exhibitors to buy stock of exhibition quality from breeders from all over the country.

There were 25 lots for sale with the top price being £100 for a pair of call ducks sold by T. Moody to a local visitor, Mrs Brown of Walkerburn – a sale record at Peebles.

Organisers thanked auctioneers J. Finlayson Jnr and R. Ferguson from Wallets Marts of Castle Douglas, who will hold their inaugural poultry at Castle Douglas on Saturday, May 28.

The club takes great pride in hosting the largest one-day poultry show in Scotland and it does so with the help of friendly and dedicated committee members and volunteers.

The show would not run so smoothly if it weren’t for the clubs secretary, Hazel Dickson of Carluke.

Special thanks go to Carrs Billington of Selkirk for its sponsorship of this year,s championship show, providing the much-needed shavings and feed for the birds.

The next event by Peebles Poultry Club is its summer regional show at Peebles Agricultural Show, on Saturday, August 13.