Normally I like to ramble on and on and make you wonder what I'm going to say by the end of this blog, but for a nice change of pace I'll just cut right to the chase:
I got BEST IN SHOW at the Greater California Society of Poultry Fanciers show in Fresno this weekend!!!! Woo hooo!!!!!!!!! It was "Diva" who won it this time, and if you've been reading the blog for a while, you know I have thought very highly of this bird for quite some time.
I can imagine from reading this blog that you might think this happens all the time. It doesn't! I swear! Things have been going amazingly well this season, but don't think it's always been that way. I've been showing at open shows for 15 years, average 5-7 shows per year, and there have been MANY more non-wins than wins!
It amazes me to win big like that. It's absolutely a thrill, and you wouldn't believe how suspenseful it is. There's nothing you can do but wait and see. You make sure your birds are clean and presentable, but they are judged in their cages, and the exhibitor is not present at the time (well, standing an aisle or two away watching intently perhaps, but it's frowned upon to hover too closely..) You can will your birds to stand nicely, spread their tails, etc, but either I'm not good at ESP or my chickens aren't, because one way or another they don't tend to pick up on it. I watched from the middle of the showroom while the judge was working on the RCCL class. I could tell from where he was standing that he was giving two of my birds a lot of attention when it came down to making the final decisions, and once he wrote the awards on the coop tags I dashed down the aisle to take a look. I was so glad to see that Diva had taken Best RCCL, and one of my males won Reserve RCCL! That's huge, to take both top class awards. There were a lot of nice birds representing other breeds in the class. I don't tend to win much with males. I do on occasion, but over the years it's been very rare, so it's exciting for me that this one male is doing so well also.
Since the RCCL class was judged late in the day, there was little time to do much of anything before Champion Row was judged (all the class Champions and Reserves get moved to coops in the center of the show room). Normally the final judging is Sunday morning, but since this was a one-day show, it happened a little after 5pm Saturday. So the birds were tired, I could see Diva standing there napping! Males will often still be "showy" by the end of the day, but most of the females up there looked like they wanted to take a nap. The one-day schedule is tough on the birds.
So during the final judging there's nothing you can do but watch and wait.. It's incredibly suspenseful and nervewracking! You know the judges are talking about your bird, but don't know what they're saying. They huddle together and the clerk writes things down, and you have no idea what. They walk away and you want to scream "what did you decide?!!" When you have a bird up there that you know is in contention to do well, it's hard to stay calm! And then the next thing I saw was one of the judges writing on my bird's coop tag, so I walked up as close as I could and read it and in tiny letters it said "Best in Show." Woo hooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's huge, there were over 1000 birds!
Oh what a feeling!
What a weekend! :-)
I tried to take some pics today but after a couple hours in the box Diva was in no mood to stand still and pose, so... I'll shoot some pics later. And yes I know I've left out all the details about the people this time, but I think I'm more inclined to talk about the people when I don't have a bird to brag about!