|From left to right: A. Tebroke , J. Martin, H. Evans,F. Barale,A. Citro, Harry Kape, S. Bolton, V. Ventre, G.M. Orazi, G. Carbone|
WORLD SHOW 2014
A year ago I started my report on the World Show with complaints about the poor lighting and dangerous overcrowding. This year I can start with a tribute to the Fiera del Levante in Bari, the venue for the 2014 World Show. It is a beautiful building with good lighting (particularly in the morning) and plenty of space and good facilities. As soon as I entered the hall I knew that I was going to enjoy my visit.
There were over 270 Lizards on show from the top breeders in Europe. My initial impression was that the quality was not quite as high as at Hasselt, but the more I looked at the birds over the weekend, the more I liked them. There were many beautiful Lizards, but I did not see a bird with the exceptional quality of Jules Etienne’s non cap gold hen of 2013 or Alfons Tebroke’s clear cap gold hen at Amiens in 2003.
The medal winners came from Italy, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Great Britain. This is a good sign that the judge was impartial. It was also good to see Lizards from Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, although their overall quality was not in the same league as the winning nations.
We all know that a Lizard can change in ten minutes, so it would not be fair to comment on individual birds a week after they were judged. I will therefore make some general observations:
• The COM system of awarding 94 points to the gold medal winner, 93 to the silver, 92 to the bronze, and 91 points or less to the others gives a distorted impression of their merit. The truth is that the top ten birds in each class were probably separated by no more than 1 or 2 points. The top three birds get all the glory, but many top quality Lizards get nothing.
• There were some excellent male birds at the show. Some of them had beautiful rowings, which are much harder to achieve in a male than a female, but alas the COM system does not encourage the judge to take this into account.
• It was good to see that the judge was prepared to award medals to broken caps - but only because their overall quality was excellent. He also had the courage to disqualify a bird with a “bald face” (light feathers below the eye). Well done.
• I thought the competition in the classes for gold and silver Lizards was much stronger than the blues.
• The quality of the stams was good, but in the classes for single birds there was a big gap between the best birds and the worst. Some were very poor.
• I haven’t seen Italian Lizards for many years, but I am pleased to say that the best birds were excellent. The only feature that was lacking was the blackness of the legs, but I am sure that will come.
• I was told that most Italian breeders colour feed their Lizards. This was most noticeable in some of the silvers, which had an unnatural bright yellow colour. It made less difference in the golds. The Belgian breeders proved that you can breed for good colour and that you do not have to rely on artificial agents.
• The major difference between the Italian breeders and those from northern Europe is their age! I was very pleased to see so many young and enthusiastic Lizard breeders at the show.
The highlight of the show for me was Sunday morning when Angelo organised a meeting of the Lizard breeders at the show. It was wonderful to meet so many keen breeders from different countries. We had a good discussion thanks to Angelo’s skill as a translator, but we also had fun and there was a lot of laughter!
Stan Bolton: I was surprised how young the Italian exhibitors were. This means the
Lizard in Italy has a healthy future.
Stan Bolton: All the Italian fanciers were very friendly. Having the meeting on
Sunday morning was a good idea, something I really enjoyed.
My Best in Show award goes not to a bird, but to the judge Mr Vito Ventre. He was kind enough to accept Angelo’s invitation and came to meet the Lizard breeders on Sunday morning. He is a charming man, modest in his manner yet confident in his abilities, and happy to explain his decisions. This is the first time I have seen a judge do this at the World Show. All the British breeders respected him for it. Well done sir.
|From left to right: A. Tebroke , J. Martin, H. Evans,F. Barale,A. Citro, Harry Kape, S. Bolton, V. Ventre, G.M. Orazi|