BVA Masters 2017
25th Anniversary Show

This edition of the BVA Masters was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the BVA! In usual fashion I arrived on Thursday and got to meet Wendy Edwards Collins and Vicki Meyer who came all the way from the USA. It was great to finally meet them and it was a privilege that they travelled all that way to visit our show!

Friday morning came and it was judging time. I was partnered up with Frank Van Coppenolle, an A.O.B judge from Belgium. Our task was to judge some A and T class mutation series in Agapornis personatus. Frank was a great judge to work alongside; he was precise, firm yet fair and knew exactly what to look for. He clearly stays updated with the latest mutations in Agapornis and that is something that I feel is crucial. You should be constantly learning and studying the latest developments in mutations and colours in order to judge appropriately. If a jobs worth doing, it's worth doing properly, right!?

The overall quality of the birds was great, as usual! There were birds that gave an amazing first impression, but on a closer inspection they had faults that could not be ignored. Some of these faults may not appear overly sinister when some exhibitors see them, but they are judged firmly because they could well be traits that will pass on to further generations and “contaminate” a line so to speak. Different coloured nails for example. Ideally if the nails should be dark grey/black then it’s not necessarily a problem if they are slightly lighter shade of grey. The problem comes when all the nails are a lighter shade of grey except for one or two darker nails. Or, more commonly vice versa where all the nails are dark and one or two are lighter. This is known to pass on to the youngsters when breeding, and so it’s something that should be, in my opinion, judged accordingly to get the message to the breeder to pay more attention to this fault. Several breeders asked me why their bird received such a score (so many points) and I explained this to them. They seemed to appreciate the information, or maybe they cursed me with every name under the sun when I walked away, who knows? Haha!

Early in the morning I felt that horrible feeling in my throat. I was coming down with a bad cold and it developed rapidly, absolutely ruining my weekend. I would have gone home that day but I wanted to stay for the simple fact that we had visitors all the way from the USA and I wished to spend more time with them. Wendy and Vicki are both part of the African Lovebird Society (ALBS) in America. From my short judging experience I can say with certainty the hobby we know in Europe is somewhat different in other parts of the world. Things are definitely different across the Atlantic with our American friends. We may think and do things differently but at the same time we can also learn from one another. In my opinion, the only way we can do that is by been open-minded and remembering that we are all in the same hobby together, even if there is a gigantic ocean separating us! I really enjoyed my time with Wendy and Vicki, even though I felt like utter crap! Wendy’s accent was amazing! After been in touch for quite some years on Facebook, it was quite surreal seeing and especially hearing her in person! Ladies, thank you for your visit, it was an honour for us to have you here.

This year I FINALLY managed to find the time to visit the Forpus International Show! I spent a bit of time with Edwin and Panagiotis over the weekend, which was cool too. I had a good look at the forpus on show there, accompanied by the expert eye of Hayley Baker! Hayley also entered into her first BVA Masters show too, with an Agapornis nigrigenis. I saw this bird at the BVA Agapornis Day UK event, where it won best bird of the day. It was an absolute belter and I recommended she entered the bird into the next BVA show. Unexpectedly to her, but obvious to me, the bird rightly won Best in Group which is an amazing achievement! The bird was just incredible, so a big well done to Hayley, Toby and Jack! The other UK entries also did very well. As usual, Andrew Morton was in the prizes with his beautiful Agapornis roseicollis and WeiWei and Janet one again got into the prizes with their beautiful Agapornis personatus! Well done!

My mate Vincent Schuttelaar also had a result, taking Best in Show with a blue Agapornis personautus. A stunning bird no doubt, and a great result for him taking a lot of big prizes. The best result for him was no doubt the birth of his child though, the day before the show I believe? What a weekend that must have been for him. Congrats!

So even though I felt sick as a dog, in hindsight it was certainly a memorable weekend! I didn’t take any photos this year because I wasn’t well, but I did manage to grab some footage of the birds for my YouTube channel. Check the video out below! Thanks to everyone who made the show a special weekend, apologies to everyone who I made sick and see you next year!

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