Above: Best canary: the Irish hen remained beautifully alert all day


THE 2019 BRIAN Hogg Memorial Show was won by an exhibitor who entered with one aim in mind: to honour the late canary maestro.

Graham Brunt’s superb clear buff Irish fancy hen was a popular victor out of more than 800 canaries at the South Bucks Canary Breeders Association event at Hazlemere on November 16. Mr Brunt, from Shrewsbury, told Cage & Aviary Birds: “This was the first time I’d ever exhibited at South Bucks and I attended really in order to commemorate Brian.” His best canary winner was only the second Irish fancy to have taken the honour at the intensely competitive specialist show.

The best canary award was decided by a ballot, which finished in a three-all tie between Mr Brunt’s Irish and a green buff self Norwich put down by Brian Rayfield. To Gary Mann, judge of the old and rare varieties, fell the task of adjudicating. “The Irish fancy just stood up so perfectly in posture,” he commented. “And its feather quality was wonderful.”

Other winners on the day included novices Tony Horton (best Lizard) and Fergus McCarthy, who staged a powerful team that won him best Gloster with a three-parts-dark corona cock.

Decisively back to winning ways, after the loss of his entire stud in 2016, was Stan Bolton, whose clear cap gold cock was judged best champion Lizard canary. After the show, LCA president John Martin took the opportunity to present Mr Bolton with a beautiful engraved clock in recognition of his outstanding services to the association.

Most talked-about bird of the day was a variegated white-ground Norwich canary benched by Keith Ferry, which showed an anomalous yellow patch on the right side of its chin. The bird’s parents were a buff cock and a variegated white hen. “I thought it must somehow have got at the colour food, so I pulled out the yellow feathers – but they grew back,” said Mr Ferry. Fellow Norwich breeder Nigel Pratt explained that the likely cause was the early fusion of two fertile embryos: the same phenomenon that can result in “half-sider” offspring.

“I’ve bred Norwich for 46 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Mr Ferry.

A full show report will follow in a future issue.

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