Photo: Over the years, a highly successful fancier will collect a number of rosettes and trophies


Patronage… sections… statuses… Fred Wright offers a quick and easy introduction for those new to exhibiting


TONY Poole’s letter of May 16 developed the theme that there is a dearth of information and advice out there to encourage newcomers into the exhibition side of the hobby. So, here we go!

The Budgerigar Society (BS) sets the standards, provides a judges panel and sets up the rules of showing. It puts forward a standard show cage that everyone must use and provides “patronage”, which is simply rosettes, diplomas, Challenge Certificates (CC) and so on, to clubs and societies for their shows.

Challenge Certificates

CCs are highly treasured by members. They are an award for the Best of Colour group, but the exhibitor must be a BS member and the bird must be wearing a closed ring purchased through the BS office to win a CC. A CC can be won with a “bought bird”, but again the exhibitor must be a BS member and the bird ringed with a BS ring. BS awards are only available to members at BS patronage shows.

The sections

The young bird class is for budgies that are bred and ringed with the current-year rings, which are purchased through the BS. All of these rings have the fancier’s coded number on them, with a consecutive number and the year. There is a different colour for each year – for 2018 it’s red. Any age classes do exactly what it says on the tin; you can exhibit birds of any age.

Status levels

There are currently five status levels at open shows: junior, beginner, novice, intermediate and champion. The beginner section is soon to disappear! At most smaller shows there is usually a junior section and then novice and champion sections only.

Club shows

The smaller shows come through the clubs, which can be mixed clubs (cage bird societies) or specialist budgie clubs. The smallest of the shows are evening “table shows” where there might be just a handful of birds. Then come the members’ shows, which are restricted to club members. None of these events will be BS patronage shows.

Clubs put a lot of effort into running these small shows. They are just for members and not only are they good for first-time exhibitors, experienced members will always be pleased to help you enter your birds. During June and July, clubs will hold young-stock shows for birds bred in the current year. These are excellent first-time shows for new fanciers. Never underestimate these club events – they are the training ground for later in the hobby.

Open shows

Next on the level of shows come the cage bird society (CBS) open shows. These are open to any or all exhibitors. They are run by clubs and societies, but not restricted to those members. BS patronage is usually granted and rosettes are up for competition among BS members. Then come the small specialist budgie shows with BS patronage and these will have all sections. These are usually granted BS patronage, but do not receive CCs.

Awarding CCs

Now, confusion can really begin where CCs are awarded. There are various levels of patronage based on numbers of birds benched at the previous year’s show: rosette patronage at the lowest level, then bronze with CCs (pre-graded one point), silver championship with CCs (graded on the day) and gold championship for the largest shows. There are also area championship, area specialist & rare variety, and lastly BS specialist & rare variety categories.

I agree that at first sight this is a confusing system, but that is why I always suggest that you join your local societies and the BS. Read the BS literature and it will all slowly fall into place. Now get showing! ■


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