The World Show
One of the highlights in my yearly show calendar is to visit the COM World Show, not only in my capacity as COM-UK secretary but also as a bird fancier, and this year has not been an exception. I usually travel for the weekend with my close friend Ron Pearce and on occasions with my wife Janice and other close friends Grant & Maggie Findlay from Scotland.
Prior to setting off for Zwolle, Holland, I had a phone call from our President Richard Lumley to inform me that the presentation on the London Canary Fancy by Huw Evans had the first approval for recognition of the variety and this means that the same approval needs to be obtained for the next two years before COM recognises the variety as a breed and includes it in the show classification. This indeed was good news to start the trip to Holland; crossing from Harwich to Hook of Holland then a two hour drive to Zwolle.
I was very pleased to see, once again, many of our British fanciers as coach loads from the north and west country descended in early January to attend the 67th World Show organised by the Dutch Federation (COM-Holland) on behalf of the legislative World organisation Confederation Ornithologique Mondiale (COM) which was formed in 1952.
COM structure has two executive committees each consisting of seven members; the COM Board of Directors and the judges’ committee called the Ordre Mondial Des Juges OMJ. Each committee has its own president, vice president, secretary and members of the board. The affiliated countries are divided into two groups; A & B depending on the size of their show team at the World Show and the number of OMJ judges that they have. Our country is sadly in the B group.
Every year there are some elections to both executive committees at their individual congresses (Annual General Meetings) and this year was no exception. At the COM Congress on Saturday morning both Iran and Mexico were welcomed as new members to COM making it 50 countries strong.
There were two positions on the COM committee that were contested; the President and Vice President and on both occasions there was a ballot for the nominated official from each member country to use to cast that country’s vote. At the Congress on Saturday morning there were 43 countries present, the highest ever in attendance. The current President Carlos Ramôa (Portugal) beat Antonio Sposito (Italy) by 32:10 votes. For the Vice President’s position the three candidates were the current Vice President Slobodan Kulic (Serbia), Alberto Rubens (Israel) and Albert Zomer (Holland). Mr. Rubens was eliminated in the first ballot and the eventual winner was Mr. Zomer with 25:16 votes. Both the President of the OMJ Roberto Rossi (Italy) and the COM Treasurer Christian Lamée (France) were re-elected unopposed.
The Saturday evening was the Gala Dinner and the flag & medal presentation with over 500 fanciers and partners attending the evening. This is unique to COM as fanciers attending from each country are called to the stage to be presented with their national flag while their national anthem is being played. This year we had 13 British fanciers and wives attending and all the men went up to the stage to sing God Save the Queen while our national anthem was playing. It is always so wonderful to be part of the family of nations sitting together and enjoying each other’s company.
One needs to pay tribute to the conveyors from those countries benching birds as they take 2 weeks of their time to drive their country’s teams to the show venue and then spend every day stewarding by feeding and watering a section of the show birds allocated to them and do all the necessary stewarding jobs. It is a thankless task but they do it for the love of the hobby and we should be extremely grateful to them for carrying out this task on our behalf.
Our conveyors this year were Richard Lumley, our COM-UK president, together with the Irish conveyor Peter Sherlock who took our northern team on Wednesday 2nd January crossing from Hull to Hook of Holland then driving to the show hall while Gary Mann took the team from the south crossing from Dover then driving all the way to Zwolle and back to Bournemouth, Dorset in the same day. On behalf of COM-UK and all the exhibitors we would like to say a big THANK YOU to both Richard and Gary for their excellent effort in carrying out this thankless task. Also we must not forget the dedication of Willie McKay who travelled all the way from Whitburn, Scotland to take his 8 birds to Richard in Norton, North Yorkshire and back in the same day and donating all the biscuits for the COM-UK stand at the show. This is dedication to be commended indeed.
Judging commenced on the Sunday and finished Monday. As always our conveyors do a great job in taking the teams and bringing them back safely with more medals than in previous years. Our sincere thanks and gratitude are extended to them for a grand job well done. Our stand was the centre point of gathering for all the British fanciers who attended the show. At the stand we made a special presentation to Kevin McCallum with his 10 years OMJ Silver Judging Badge and the same will be made to Brian Hogg who, unfortunately, was not well enough to attend the show.
The show attracted a total entry of 24,863 birds from 3,342 exhibitors representing 23 countries. COM-UK had an entry of 202 birds from 39 exhibitors and came home with 19 medals, not our best by any means, with 7 golds, 5 silvers and 7 bronze medals. It was still a great achievement for our team and hope that we can better it in the future if British fanciers give us their support and backing.
This year’s show had 122 judges invited from 16 countries from Europe, North Africa and South America but missed out on supplying a judge from COM-UK as it is not our turn to do so. The show operates on 2 year owner bred breeder classes with one status of exhibitor for most varieties but for the canary section it is only 1 year rung birds that can be shown.
Fanciers always question the length of time the birds are away from their premises and in show cages, however despite the length of time the birds are away (usually 2 weeks from the time they leave the exhibitors’ home till their return) they are well looked after by being fed and watered daily during their presence at the show and always come back healthy and eager to breed. But it is all about the atmosphere at the show and the camaraderie between the fanciers who are attending from all over the world and the friendship is next to none. Each country is supplied with its own stand to decorate as it wishes and it is the focal point for those fanciers from that country to meet.
I was surprised and pleased to meet Jay Bunker from Edmonton, Canada at the show. I met Jay for the first time a few years ago when I judged the Canadian National. This was Jay’s first visit to the World Show and he said that everyone talks about the World Show so he decided to visit it and was overwhelmed to see so many birds, people and noise in the show hall and is so very easy to go bird blind after a while. He was very interested in meeting people who are chasing rainbows and ribbons.
I was pleased that Roy Aplin joined me on this occasion to exhibit budgerigars from the UK and the budgerigar entry was only 292 with a further 602 Colour Budgerigars. Of course I (unfortunately COM do not accept partnerships at shows) was very pleased to learn on arrival to the show that my team of 6 birds had won 2 gold medals in the yellowface class and the opaline cobalt colour budgerigar class and a silver medal in the cinnamon grey class. My yellow-wing and whitewing missed out on medals as they won their classes but only gained 89 & 88 points. I was even more pleased to learn that Roy also won a gold medal for the cinnamon grey green class so we were quite happy with our results.
Roy was very pleased with his gold medal which he won for the same colour back at the 2015 show. This was Roy & Lucy’s first ever visit to the World Show and what a fabulous show he felt it to be. The budgerigars were of quality but not in number and this was his 4th time showing since 2011. He felt that more Brits should support this show as every show is a challenge.
Willie McKay attends the show nearly every year and exhibits every year. He said that the birds are getting better every year he visits and on this occasion he entered 8 birds in the Fife Canary Fancy but sadly he missed out on a gold on this occasion with the highest he achieved being 91 points. He recalled his pleasure at the 2003 show in Amiens, France when he won gold in the Fife section and a silver and bronze in the stam section while Ernesto Gracia won the other 3 medals so it was a clean sweep for G.B. that year. In those days there were only 2 sets of medals in comparison to today’s 10 sets (5 for single & 5 for stam).
Our President, Richard Lumley, felt that the show was better organised and the journey from Hull to the Hook was good and no extra help was needed. He had praise for the organising committee for the Gala Evening with a good dinner and entertainment as well as the hotel and the services.
Both Richard and the Irish conveyor, Peter Sherlock, should have been presented with their 10 years’ conveyor badges at the Gala Evening but, due to an error, these will now be presented to them in Portugal next year.
Gary Mann, our second conveyor, took half the team from the south and it took him 8 hours and 500 miles each way and was back home the same day; what dedication indeed! Gary did the job for the first time in 2011 when the show was held in Tours, France. He had praise for the organising committee and felt the show was very good and well organised and all the information readily available and also on line. He felt that the Gala Evening was excellent and was good to meet old friends and make new ones. He said that it is not only about the birds but also about the social side of the hobby as well.
Chris Driver who won gold at the 2017 show repeated his success again at this show with gold of 93 points with an intense yellow ivory white wing hen. This was his first visit to the World Show and he enjoyed it very much with plenty of room in the show hall and very nice and friendly people to meet.
Other winners were:
The medals are like the Olympics where the winner gets the gold, the second gets the silver and the third gets the bronze. The show is judged on the points system and the bird must achieve over 90 points to be eligible for winning a medal. For example if the bird wins 95 points (the highest points a bird can achieve) then it will win the gold, the second can get 94 or 93 or 92 points so it will win the silver and the third can get 91 or 90 points so it will win the bronze.
Unfortunately we can never host a World Show in the U.K. because we are controlled by government law of the 72 hour maximum rule that birds are allowed to be in cages.
Our congratulations are extended to all exhibitors from the UK for participating at this unique event and those who attended this event are already planning their trip to next year’s World Show in Matosinhos, Portugal from 24th to 26th January 2020 so my appeal is for more exhibitors and more birds for next year’s event please. For more information and photos about the show visit www.comuk.co.uk
The World Show January 2019
The 67th COM World Show will be held in Zwolle, Holland and will be open to the public from 10th-13th January 2019.
This event attracts a large entry and in 2018 the entry was 32,061 from 4,002 exhibitors representing 28 countries. Apart from the large number of birds on display there are many sales stands for fanciers to buy an array of goods as well as birds.
The UK entry is taken by experienced conveyors who transport the U.K. team of birds to and from the show. Entries have to sent to the COM-UK Show Co-ordinator Simon Tammam (396 Ashley Road, Poole, Dorset BH14 0AA. Tel: 01202 730221 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Birds are well looked after while away at the show; being watered and fed twice daily. Please contact Ghalib Al-Nasser (email@example.com) or Simon Tamman for any further information.
Click on the following links for Variety Schedules and Entry Form for the 2019 Show.