Bantam Modern takes top title at 2009 National

Every major prize at this year’s National Show went to a handful of English northern counties. There was some Southern consolation that the coveted waterfowl trophy went home to Norfolk with Stuart Kay while the equally prestigious trio cup ended up on Grant Betherton’s mantelpiece in North Wales.

However, the blunt reality was that the light soft feather cup went back with Ian Mills to County Durham and the rest of the major accolades were divided between Derbyshire, Cheshire and Lancashire.

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Best White Croad Langshan belonging to Clare Curtis  from Cheshire.
As Clare Curtis works as a teacher on Saturdays, she had leave her Croad Langshans at Stoneleigh Park, Wawickshire on Friday night. Although Clare felt that her cockerel was the best that she’d ever bred, she was unprepared for a phone call on Saturday lunchtime telling her that she’d won best of breed.

She was particularly pleased to gain this honour in 2009 as the Croad Langshan Club is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Of course it was founded much earlier, but it fell to ruin which is hard to believe considering what a dynamic competitive club it’s become since being reformed 30 years ago.

Clare was further elated to receive another phone message telling her that her Croad had gone on to win the large soft fowl championship. She’d hardly composed herself before being informed that she had won the overall soft feather championship.

At this stage she was bemusing her class of children with whoops of joy. Eventually she was given the astounding news that her Croad Langshan had been made the Reserve National Champion. Clare, who is universally admired and popular in the poultry world, for once was left speechless. Her only regret was that she was working in Cheshire while her wonderful bird was reaching these dizzy heights down in Warwickshire.

Another person to have phenomenal success at the National was Peter Watkinson. He is chairman of the Old English Game Club and he’s no stranger to top awards, but he’s enjoyed a year which will end up in the record book.

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Supreme Nationala Champion – a Partridge Modern Game female belonging to Peter Watkinson.
He started his season at Wennington where he pulled off a remarkable double, winning both the large and Bantam Game trophies. However Peter went one better at Harrogate as he not only took the cups for both the large and bantam classes, but he went on to take the overall supreme championship. Shortly afterwards at Southport he pulled off a legendary double by winning all three major titles again.

Peter pulled off another incredible treble winning all three of the Game classes at Cockermouth. This Cumbrian town was devastated by some of the worst flooding in the last millennia, but this didn’t stop this amazingly resilient community from staging their annual show just as the waters were subsiding. An even greater achievement considering that this area is often argued as the centre for Old English Game. Peter had to be satisfied with taking all of the Game classes as they have no overall championships.

Back at the National, he judged the bantams, but his large Carlisles excelled themselves yet again. He took both the championship with a Grey pullet and opposite sex with a Birchen Grey cockerel. His Moderns did phenomenally well too; winning both the large and bantam classes and of course the overall title. The bantam female went on to take the hard feather championship and then took the ultimate title of Supreme National Champion.

Visit our online Poultry Winners Gallery to see all the pictures from the event.

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