Above: novices, intermediates and champions at Éire BS can only bench owner-bred birds. Beginners are allowed to show bought birds to gain show experience. The same rule applies to the Northern Ireland BS shows after this was met with overwhelming support at its AGM last December

Novices, intermediates and champions at Éire BS can exhibit only owner-bred birds, following a member’s proposal that was agreed at January’s AGM.

A total of 16 members gave their support for the proposal made by 54-year-old William Twyford from Glengormley, North Belfast, who is moving up from beginner to novice this year.

The rule change, which was mainly backed by beginner and novice exhibitors, comes into effect immediately and applies to all of the club’s shows and affiliated society shows in 2018.

Exhibitors are asked to prove their ownership of entries with a closed ring, which must bear their unique ring code.

Mr Twyford told Cage & Aviary Birds: “I simply wanted to see a level playing pitch for all breeders. I would like the awards to go to those who had put in the effort breeding the birds, as opposed to others who went out and bought a winner.”

He continued: “Champions winning best in show with expensive bought birds was leaving a sour taste in many people’s mouths.”

A written proposal of the rule change was first brought to the club’s management committee last October. This was then posted on Éire BS’s social media for open discussion and included in the club’s magazine a month later in preparation for the 2018 AGM.

Secretary Gerard Lanigan commented: “We are not concerned that this will affect the total entry at shows, in fact we believe the opposite will be the case.

“We found that many exhibitors would hold back their entries, believing they would be beaten by the fanciers with the deep pocket who arrive on the day with a bird bought from a major stud.”

This new rule has no effect on current-year birds, as they must be owner-bred.

● In 2016, the South of Ireland Gloster Association voted to only accept closed-ringed owner-bred birds at shows. This rule was implemented in 2017 and 2018 and applies to both champions and novices.

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