Poultry show organisers cock-a-hoop

Peebles poultry show. Best Pekin and Best True Bantam went to Brian Carlos of Lancashire for his Pekin Bantam
Peebles poultry show. Best Pekin and Best True Bantam went to Brian Carlos of Lancashire for his Pekin Bantam
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Record entries received in record time gave that extra sparkle to the silver jubilee show of the Peebles Poultry and Bantam Club, writes Mark Entwistle.

Organisers had to stop accepting entries before the closing date. With 1,002 competitive birds and more than 250 plates of eggs entered by 149 exhibitors, the judges had their work cut out. As always, the entries at this extremely popular show covered almost all breeds of chicken and many types of waterfowl.

Peebles poultry show. Show Champion and Best Soft Feather Light Breed Bantam, a white Leghorn hen exhibited by Hugh Guthrie of Kilmarnock

Peebles poultry show. Show Champion and Best Soft Feather Light Breed Bantam, a white Leghorn hen exhibited by Hugh Guthrie of Kilmarnock

Local enthusiasts were strongly represented, and with five times as many novice entries and almost twice as many junior entries as last year, the show bears out the recent growth in popularity of poultry-keeping and showing.

Jimmy Hope of Broughton, an honorary lifetime member, repeated his success of last year with his Polands by winning both best Poland and best trio.

Last year’s champions, A.&J. Cumming of Glenfarg, had success again this year with their Old English Game bantam hen placed on Championship Row as best hard feather bantam.

Ben Welsh of Cumnock did well over a number of classes in the large fowl hard feather breeds with both his Old English Game and his Asian Game. He won the best large hard feather and narrowly missed out on the points trophy for the section.

Robert G. Martin of Glasgow took the points trophy thanks to his success over all three breeds in the large fowl hard feather section. His success in the Indian Game secured him the trophy.

The club was delighted to have three Panel A judges this year - John Barry of Kendal, Chris Parker of Preston (president of the Poultry Club of Great Britain) and home-bred Bill Dalgleish.

Panel A judges are the most highly qualified and experienced judges in the country and it was particularly fitting that Mr Dalgleish was judging at this year’s jubilee event, as he judged at the very first championship show 25 years ago.

Joining the Panel A judges were five others who together selected Hugh Guthrie of Kilmarnock’s white Leghorn bantam hen as overall champion, the second time he has taken this accolade at Peebles. He had a second bird on championship row with best heavy breed bantam, a white Wyandotte bantam hen.

He judged at the show last year as did Brian Carlos who won best true bantam with his Pekin. Following closely behind Mr Guthrie’s Leghorn was the reserve champion, a beautiful large fowl white Silkie owned by Mr D Anderson and Mr I Watt of Stonehouse.

Neil Watson of Airdrie won best waterfowl with his stunning Rouen along with several other bests – for Minorca, Sussex, Saxony and goose. His son Andrew is an up-and-coming young exhibitor, and scooped best junior at the show.

This year, Peebles was delighted to have been awarded regional show status for the Serama Club of Great Britain, which adds to the other four special awards on offer at the show from other breed clubs. Regular Serama exhibitors C.&J. Driver of Broughton won several classes, along with reserve best Serama and best opposite sex Serama. However, best Serama was won by Tracey Smith who had travelled from Stafford.

In addition to the 58 trophies that the club awards, there was a new one this year for best black East Indian duck, presented as a memorial for Terry Jennings. Terry was a popular and supportive fancier and exhibitor, showing regularly at Peebles, who died last summer. His widow and family attended to present the trophy to the winner, Jenny Downing.

Organising and running the largest one-day poultry show in Scotland is no mean feat. The club’s secretary, Hazel Dickson, said: “We would like to thank the many volunteers who help with building and dismantling the show, as well as helping on the day, which ensures everything runs smoothly”.

The club also runs a regional show at the Peebles Agricultural Show in August. Contact www.peeblespoultryclub.co.uk, on Facebook (Peebles Poultry Club), and on Twitter (@peeblespoultry).