Above: Bronze: Mark Denton-Snape’s winning crest. Fellow exhibitor, veteran World Show winner Bernard Howlett, won silver for his mutation blackbird

STAMS OF IRISH fancy canaries bagged seven out of the 20 medals won by the COM-UK team at this month’s Confédération Ornithologique Mondiale (COM) World Show.

The show in Cesena, Italy, was open to the public from January 19-21.  COM-UK’s entry of 205 birds from 34 exhibitors secured 20 medals:  five gold, 10 silver and five bronze. Of those, one gold, three silvers and three bronze medals were awarded to Irish fancy canary stams benched by Geoff White, Maurice O’Connor and Darren Hadley, and in one stam class COM-UK secured the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Mr O’Connor said: “I put in four stams and 12 single birds, all Irish fancies, and I’m happy with how high up in the points system my two medal-winning stams fared [silver, 361 points; bronze, 364 points]. I believe there were more than 300 birds in the Irish fancy classes, and the competition was high.”

Due to the increased entry at Cesena, extra COM judges were invited (138 in total) and included two from the UK: Ernesto Gracia of Gibraltar (canaries) and Ghalib Al-Nasser (budgerigars).

Commenting on the most successful exhibitor of 2018, Mr Al-Nasser, from Suffolk, said: “Hungarian budgie breeder Tibor Gyerko had by far the best budgie team at the show and won 34 medals: 21 gold, nine silver and four bronze. In fact, he scored his 100th gold medal with this year’s results.”

Mr Gyerko and his wife Zita had the only two budgerigars in show to be awarded the maximum 95 points: a cinnamon grey green cock and a skyblue, respectively.

“Tibor is one of the successful exhibitors in Europe and always wins his Hungarian National show,” said Mr Al-Nasser.

“His wife Zita is now developing her own bloodline and competing against him, because at the World Show a partnership is not allowed.”

More than half of the show’s total medals were claimed by host nation Italy: 890 gold, 773 silvers and 659 bronze – on average almost exactly one medal for every winning entrant. Second place went to Belgium, whose exhibitors’ 457 medals were shared by just 166 winners.

A COM-UK show report will appear in a forthcoming issue.

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