THE LONDON FANCY canary faced its first approval by judges at the 2017 World Show, but reactions were mixed when six exhibits were disqualified.
At the Confederation Ornithologique Mondiale (COM) World Show in Almeria, Spain (January 20-22), a class of 14 London fancies – 10 from Bernard Howlett, of Norfolk, and four from Dutch breeder Piet Renders (both members of the London Fancy Canary Club UK) – were put forward for the new breed to be evaluated by COM before it can be officially recognised.
Simon Tammam, the OMJ representative for COM-UK, had to present judges with the best 12 exhibits. The birds were judged via the points system in a non-competitive class. Four gained points between 91-93; others gained 88-89 (the minimum required is 87). However, according to Mr Tammam, six birds were disqualified for not complying with the breed’s official classification.
The scale of points for the ideal London fancy states that a maximum of 20 points is awarded to “wings and tail: for neatness and darkness”, but some of the birds had light feathers in the tail.
Mr Tammam told Cage & Aviary Birds: “Tails have to be dark, but some of the birds had clear tails and that is the reason why they didn’t pass. The judge said if some of the birds had one or two light tail feathers then only 1-2 points would have been knocked off.”
The London fancy can be put forward again in 2018 but must receive a “positive”. If the breed is not accepted for a consecutive year, fanciers will have to wait three years before they can try again. For the breed to be accepted by COM, it needs three consecutive positive years.
The setback hasn’t dampened spirits. Supporters of the breed told C&AB it has been a learning exercise and they now have a better idea of how to get the breed recognised.
Mr Tammam added: “I have all the confidence in the Dutch breeder and UK breeders to supply good quality birds in the future. “There are about seven UK breeders of the London fancy, and between them this year they need to breed about 200 birds to choose the best from.”