‘A Yorkshire canary is a long elegant bird’ Joe Cluderay
For me this has always been the serious part of the fancy. Breeders toil for many years to produce their show team and their exhibits therefore deserve the best assessment possible. Having said that, a judge can only judge what is placed before him or her on the day. I have had the pleasure of judging many wonderful exhibits over many years yet the disappointment remains where it proved to be a struggle to find that elusive section or special winner .
It has been reported correctly that on one occasion at the YCC class 14, unflighted green marked buff cocks, was and still is the best class I have judged. Three of these birds ended up being placed within the best seven champion exhibits on the day with Oliver Quinn’s excellent class winner taking the supreme award. These experiences will always remain with you.
It is essential that a judge judge’s the exhibit’s with an honest and open mind. Some of the birds do not make it easy with unsteadiness through lack of training yet it is the judge’s task to get the best out of such birds should their quality demand.
Apart from shape I like my winning choices to be clothed in first class feature and to be of good length.
I have had many enjoyable days judging Yorkshire canaries. I started the ''old way' by judging at local cage bird society shows as well as table shows run by my local clubs.
I judged my first local show at the age of thirteen and moved onto open shows in my early twenties. I was encouraged in my early judging days by the late Arthur Gear from Kent who initially recommended me to many of the cage bird clubs throughout Kent.
For several years it seemed as if I was travelling to Medway towns each weekend of the show season. This was an excellent way to gain confidence and experience as the shows in thoses ays all received a good entry of Yorkshires.
My first specialist club show appointment came in 1983, The Midland Yorkshire canary club. I have gone on to judge that great show on eight occasions and enjoyed every one of them.
I went on to judge at all of the Yorkshire canary specialist shows in the UK including the Yorkshire canary club on seven occasions including the 1994 centenary show. I was pleased to judge this with my great friend Reg Reeve, This was a great occasion soured many years later with comments placed in print by a fellow judge. I also was also proud to have judged the Northern YCC centenary show.
I have judged at over fifty specialist shows from over seventy invitations as well as some of our continental shows. Although not a proven traveller abroad I did enjoy these experiences. Being tapped on the back by an exhibitor , in a friendly manner I should add, while marking a class winner in Italy will always remain with me.
I judged the national exhibition twice. The second occasion was with Terry Salt. We had awarded Oliver Quinn best Yorkshire with his excellent green marked yellow hen. We were all delighted when it went on to take best canary and third best in show. Terry still talks about it, being proud of taking it forward.
Stewards help the judging process run smooth and I have been fortunate to have experienced the best stewards bar none at most of the shows.
I choose not to judge at so many shows today but have many experiences to look back on.
A new venture came during 2016 when Bob Pepper and myself judges in Turkey at the Edremit Yorkshire Cnary Club Show. Here we judged a world record 1700 Yorkshire canaries, taking elven hours over thr process. This was a great experience for us both. We are both founder members of the ckub and annual resident judges.