Six years on and the National Winner Show has established itself as the premier one-day show in the UK.
This year the show racer classes attracted 702 show racers competing for the coveted Best in Show trophy and qualifying for the Supreme Champions Class at the 2013 Blackpool Show. This year also saw the introduction of the £10 class where by we received 10 entries, which meant the winner of the smallest class in the show would walk away with £100. Now that can’t be bad!
Just as always, the show racers were single-tiered in the main hall surround by the many trade stands that this event attracts many of which have been with us from we first started our events back in 2002 so we must have something right for them to still be with us some 10 years down the line.
Show secretary for the day was Julie ably assisted by the young Amy Staples the girlfriend of my youngest son. This was a baptism of fire for Amy as it was a first visit to a pigeon show but made easy work of getting the cards done and ready for placing on the pens.
The birds were quickly put down for judging and this got under way promptly at 9.30am. With the results in John and Alice Bell brought the winners up to victory row and instead of putting them in class order we mixed them up. Richard Henderson had the honour of selecting the Best in Show and this year the honour went to Colin Bullard from LowestofColin has kept pigeons for over 50 years and in the past has had various wins included in which are, Best in Show at the old East Coast Show at Cleethorpes, Best in Show at the East of England Spectacular and Best Opposite sex at the Old Comrades back in the seventies when it was held at the Alexander Palace in London.
Colin went on to say about his victory at the Dome: “I’m shocked and delighted, but really I have to thank Paul Yates of Harrogate as without him this win would just not have been possible. A few years ago I lost a lot of good birds to paratyphoid, on hearing this Paul gifted me this mealy at Countryside Live in 2011, who said sportsmanship had gone from the game? Thank you Paul!”
Reserve Champion went to a young grizzle cock belonging to R Hughes. Bob has only been showing for three years. His winning bird was a 2012 grizzle cock that was gifted to him by a previous winner Jimmy FitzpatrickBob was up at Jimmy’s when the latter was weaning some youngster and this young grizzle caught Bobs eye and the rest shall we say in history. Bob rang Jimmy on returning from the show to give Jimmy the good news, the result being Bob can’t visit any more when Jimmy is weaning! I am sure Jimmy is kidding you on Bob.
Winner of the £10 class and walking away with £100 for doing so were John and Alice Bell from in Scotland. This loft is currently in form on the show circuit as only two weeks ago they took six red cards at the North Eastern Counties Show.
John and Alice’s winning bird that was picked out by Keith and Gill Robson from County Durham was a three-year-old chequer cock that had previously won the Shildon Open Show in 2010 and went on to win the Supreme Champion Class at Blackpool in January 2011, so judges give yourself a pat on the back for an excellent choice.
I asked Keith what he thought of the birds in his class as he seemed some what shocked when he was passed his judging sheet with only 10 pen numbers on it. The reply: “Jjust class they were all a credit to the fanciers that had entered them, my eventual winner though just smacked of quality!”
Only two juniors entered this year, one being young Thomas Braithwaite who is not as short as he was six years ago when he used to help me put the waters on. Young Thomas finished first and second in the junior class followed by Millie Longbottom, who had best fancy pigeon with the juniors in the Fancy Pigeon Classes.
We will be back at the Dome in 2013 on Sunday March 24 for the Spring Fair and in November on Saturday the 9th. Get the dates down in your calendar.
In closing, on behalf of Julie and myself, we would like to thank all of the judges for their tireless work, you the exhibitors, all trade stand holders, the public and Peter Bennett for all his photographs of the show racers and fancy pigeons.
There are some others, of course, these are my family none more so than “me Julie” who keeps me sane through all the madness. Ray