The Poultry Club regulates and administers the poultry show structure and status system. Poultry exhibitions are allocated status according to prestige, size, excellence of organisation etc. A show may apply to Council for upgrading and any show found not to be meeting required standards is liable to lose its status. The National Championship Show is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of all poultry shows, underneath this are the Royal and Championship Shows, followed by Regional Championship, and lastly, Voucher Shows. Threre are also Show Rules for exhibitors.
Covered in depth elsewhere, at the top of the hierarchy, this event represents the pinnacle of the breeding season. Held in November at Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, the National is the event every fancier wants to win and attracts over 6000 entries with every conceivable breed and colour of poultry exhibited. The Specialist Breed Clubs usually hold their Club Shows at this event and attendance is highly recommended.
These shows are held at the prestigious agricultural events that are fortunate to enjoy Royal patronage. There are currently five Royal shows, including the ‘Royal Highland’, (at the Scottish Agricultural Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh), and the ‘Royal Welsh’ (at Builth Wells). Other ‘Royal shows’ include the ‘Royal Bath and West’, the ‘Royal Norfolk’, and the ‘Royal Cornwall’.
Shows designated as Championship shows are regarded by the Poultry Club Council as main shows serving a specific region and they are reassessed annually. In awarding this status the Council take into account the region served, the classification, provision for the area club shows, the venue, fanciers? support and the public prestige.
Embossed cards are awarded to Best in Show, Reserve and the main section winners. Poultry Club members who win five cards in the same section qualify for special Poultry Club Trophies.
This year, cards bearing the plumes of HRH The Prince of Wales, patron of the Poultry Club, are to be awarded to winners of the bronze award for best "utility breed".
January: Selston, The Northern Poultry Show, High Peak, Ballymena, Dyfed (Welsh National).
February: The Scottish National, Ulster Federation, North of England, Devon Fanciers, Peebles and District, Reading.
June: Three Counties, North Yorkshire County, Cheshire County.
July: Great Yorkshire, Nantwich.
August: Pembrokeshire Agricultural.
October: Ribble Valley, Hants & Berks, Oswestry, Countryside Live (Harrogate), Welsh Federation.
November: Holme and District, Egremont, Welsh Winter Fair.
At Championship shows the following conditions have to be met:
1. The club or show to be affiliated to the Poultry Club.
2. The show is held under Poultry Club Rules.
3. The majority of the judges making the awards are recognised as Poultry Club Judges.
4. To award the section cards the minimum number of classes and entries for each section are:
|a) Large Hard Feather||4||20|
|b) Large Soft Feather||6||30|
|c) True Bantams||8||40|
NB Separate Cards for Goose, Heavy Duck, Light Duck and Bantam Duck are awarded when there are 4 classes and 20 entries for these categories.
|g) Bantam Hard Feather||10||50|
|h) Bantam SF Heavy||10||50|
|i) Bantam SF Light||8||40|
|k) Rare Breeds||4||20|
Utility here means pure breeds. It is possible for shows to put on a class for Hybrids if requested.
NB If there are insufficient entries to qualify for the Bronze card the section winner is still entitled to go forward to Championship Row to compete for the Gold and Silver awards.
5. The bronze awards are given to the best exhibit in sections a.-k. One exhibit annot win two awards, it qualifies only for the award of the section in which it is entered.
6. The gold and silver awards should only be given to Poultry Club Members. Bronze awards are open.
7. The awards for juveniles are confined to their specific classes. (A juvenile is under 16 and over 11).
8. Juniors (under 11) compete in special classes in front of a judge when their knowledge of the breed, handling and show preparation are assessed in addition to the quality of the exhibit.
Regional Poultry Shows were the brainchild of our past President, Will Burdett. They were introduced in 1977 to mark the Club?s centenary year. The aim was to provide regions with a major show which was supported by way of specials from the Poultry Club. Over the years the rules have been modified and are presently the same as those given under Championship Shows.
Originally awards were given for Best Ladies but this was abandoned as political correctness arrived in the poultry fancy. True bantam awards replaced those for Ornamental and the Soft feather bantam category was split into light and heavy breeds.
In 1997 a Rare Breeds section was introduced bringing the awards into line with the judging tests. Turkey were added in 2002.
The Regionals offer prestige cards embossed in gold and these are much sought after. Five cards of a kind qualify the exhibitor for Poultry Club Special Trophies.
Winners of two section awards qualify for the Regional Roll of Honour that is published in the Yearbook.
It is important that the Show Secretaries send the results to David Sill so these exhibitors who have won more than two awards can be recorded.
|Scotland||Leslie, Peebles Agricultural, North of Scotland,Moray & Nairn.|
|Northern Ireland||County Antrim Agricultural.|
|Wales||Penclawydd, Anglesey, Denbigh & Flint Agricultural, Gwynedd, Caerwys Agricultural, Llanrwst (Vale of Conway)|
|North East||Northumberland and Durham, Northumberland Poultry Society|
|North West||Todmorden, Eden Valley, Ireby, Southport & Ormskirk.|
Barnsley, Driffield, Halifax, Nidderdale, Egton, Wharfedale (Otley),
Derby/Cheshire/Shropshire Bakewell, Oswestry Spring Show.
|Midlands||Stratford, Moor Green, Lichfield (Stafford County).|
|East Anglia||Norfolk Poultry Club, Tendring, West Essex.|
|South East||Surrey County.|
|South West||Cornish Bantam, Taw & Torridge, Taunton, St. Stithians, Bugle, Liskeard, Kingsbridge, Pool, Cornish Poultry Club.|
Any affiliated show or Breed Club is entitled to offer Voucher Cards for Best in Show, Best Opposite Sex, Best Eggs and Best Waterfowl at its main show. These cards entitle the winner of five Best in Show or Best Opposite Sex cards to an award.
These cards are not available at Regional or Championship Shows. Eight Best Egg Voucher cards qualify for an award. These cards must be awarded under Poultry Club Rules so eggs in produce sections of Agricultural Shows do not qualify unless judged by a Poultry Club Judge. It is emphasised that these cards must be signed by the judge or Show Secretary and dated, without this they are invalid.
Voucher Shows are the 'grass roots' of the fancy and serve the needs of local fanciers. They provide the novice with a chance to show and gain experience. Usually having between 200-400 exhibits they require two or three judges who are encouraged to discuss the qualities of the birds with their owners after judging.
Voucher Shows that wish to be upgraded should inform the Poultry Club Secretary by the 1st July providing details of their previous show, enclosing a schedule and a catalogue if one was produced.