Feather in the cap for show committee

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With more than 1,400 entries crowing, cackling and quacking away in Peebles recently, the town was once again host to the biggest annual one-day poultry show in Scotland.

The committee of Peebles Poultry and Bantam Club were delighted with the huge success of this year’s show, held at the town’s community centre, which club chairman Davy Cuthbertson and show secretary Hazel Dickson said had been probably the best show in the club’s 30-year history.

There were more than 50 breeds in attendance – in every shape, size and colour – showcasing absolutely the best of exhibition poultry and waterfowl in the UK.

Top honours went to H. Shanklin from Aspatria, a regular exhibitor at Peebles, who won the Overall Show Champion with a stunning old English game pullet originally nominated by judge Mrs Joan Barry of Wigtown as winner of the Hard Feather Bantam section.

The exhibitors and judges came from all over the UK to Peebles, with many staying over in town.

Exhibitors came all the way from Country Tyrone in Northern Ireland to take many honours back with them. Peter Hamill from Dungannon had an enviable two birds achieving Championship Row. He had Reserve Champion with a coloured call duck, and Best True Bantam with a black pekin male. This pekin previously won Show Champion and Best True Bantam at the Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland, last year.

Peter also went onto win the points trophy awarded to the True Bantam section this year.

True Bantams are those with no Large Fowl counterpart and the breeds under this heading are usually for ornamental purposes. They are a particularly well-supported section with 234 exhibits from 40 exhibitors, very hotly-contested.

So the following exhibitors who had top points from this section deserve massive congratulations: 1, P. Hamill, Dungannon; 2, S. Taylor; 3rd – S. Chambers, Bonnyrigg; 4, D. Moore, Dungannon.

The club always has the greatest of respect for the exhibitors who do well in this points competition, as success needs consistency of results across a number of classes or breeds in a section, or great success in one breed. Thanks go to Sheena Dickson of Dolphinton for carefully calculating these results.

Local exhibitors also did very well, with Ed Glass of Earlston winning Best Rare Breed with a simply stunning Sumatra male, and the team of Glenn Keay and Hazel Sterricks of Peebles winning Best Goose, with a very handsome African gander.

Marie Evans from Duns won best Hamburgh in the Hamburgh breed club, despite tough competition from a number of Hamburgh specialists. The club is always delighted to see these local exhibitors holding their own amongst challenging competition.

Last year’s winners, Waterworth and Woods from Lancashire, repeated their consistent success in recent years by winning Best Large Fowl Light Breed and Best Light Breed Bantam, both with Leghorns. These gentlemen are renowned for their Leghorns across the country.

Large fowl sections continue to be very popular and Best Large Fowl went to Robert Waugh with an exceptional Old English Game male. Robert was showing at Peebles for the first time, but brought along an exceptionally strong and varied team of Large Hard Feather birds. He went home to Newcastle with a number of well-deserved awards, commenting what a fantastic, friendly show Peebles is.

The Utility section is for breeds that would have been originally bred for/most suited for egg production or meat, purebred, and the winner was Jim Finlayson Jnr of Dumfries. He received a special embossed card supported by his HRH The Prince of Wales (the current Poultry Club of Great Britain patron).

Jim’s winning bird was a strong, large Wyandotte male, one of a great number of this breed at the show. Best Wyandotte – a gold-laced Wyandotte pullet – went onto win Reserve Heavy Breed Bantam and Best Ladies was a silver-laced Wyandotte, both shown by club secretary Hazel Dickson.

This year’s egg classes were judged by Bill Oldcorn of Preston. Ben Goulding of Cockermouth took Best Eggs from 216 entries with his amazing plate of 12 large fowl eggs. The egg to show is as near to perfection as possible, with the judge considering shape, shell texture, colour and size and looking for a fresh appearance and bloom.

Eggs should be as well-matched as possible. Getting three or six perfect eggs to match is difficult, so getting 12 is nearly impossible, so many congratulations to Ben.

The poultry photography classes again drew a good entry this year and were judged by keen photographer Mark Beedie of Biggar. Mark kindly also photographs the winning exhibits.

The winning photograph was taken by Y. & N. Hastie of Tarbrax.

One of the show highlights is the well-supported auction, again hosted by popular and professional auctioneer Alex Young of Lawrie & Symington, who will be known to many readers through his work at Lanark auction market.

There were 24 selling pens of exhibition quality birds. Only exhibitors or judges are allowed to sell at the show and there were breeding stock, several pens of female-only birds and ducks. Top prices were £58 for a trio of barred Wyandotte bantams sold by J Hardie of Ayrshire to Yvonne Hastie of Tarbrax, and a pair of Pekins from Daniel Hodge of Ayrshire which went for £55 to DM Smith of Stranraer.

Once again, the show received sponsorship from the Peebles branch of agricultural merchants Harbro, who supplied most of the shavings and feed for the 1,000-plus pens at the show. Thanks go to Brian Beattie.

z In addition, the junior handling competition was sponsored by WCF Country Centre, Lanark. In this section, six young exhibitors were assessed by the judge/show manager, Callum McConnell, of Gorebridge.

The juniors were required to take the birds out of the pens and demonstrate their handling skills, and talk about the breed and how to look after them.

Experienced enthusiast Sean Dunbar from Lockerbie defended his title of 2014 Young Handler of the Year with another strong win this weekend.

Many thanks to all the amazing volunteers who helped to erect and dismantle the show.

For more information and full results, please see the Facebook group, Peebles Poultry Club.