CDE National Championship, Chantonnay, France 2016

On the 3rd weekend of October was the CDE National Championship of France and I was invited to judge the Agapornis. On Thursday evening I made an uneventful trip to Brussels Airport to catch a flight out to Nantes, France. I am not a big fan of flying, and even more so on such a tiny aircraft that held only 50-60 people! After a nail-biting departure we was in the air and I could enjoy the short flight with the old lady sat next to me, fast asleep and snoring like an elephant. I used the time to go over some of the guidelines for the show and before I knew it we landed in Nantes.

Florian Gouze collected me from the airport and drove us to the show in Chantonnay where I was greeted by Jérémy Pellerin and the CDE staff. After a brief chat and a bite to eat, it was off to the hotel for a good night’s sleep before the judging commenced the following morning.

Bright and early I was back at the show and ready to begin judging, alongside French judge Loïck Lenee. This is my first foreign judging experience, in fact it is only the second show I have ever judged! Couple that with the fact that my French language is somewhat limited to “bonjour” and “merci” it took me a few minutes to get my head around the system and understand the judging papers! I was soon off the mark though and busy working through the 550 Agapornis that required judging! There was a great team of CDE staff on hand who made it a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Jean-Paul Roux and Emmanuel Chupeau were a great assistance during the judging, along with Gilles David, Antoine Castenada and Georges Inizan. Hats off to them all!

The overall quality of the birds was impressive. Whilst the A.roseicollis lacked the size I’m used to seeing at home, the quality of A.fischeri and A.personatus was good, there were some really nice examples on show. There were also some beautiful A.taranta and A.canus present. Several birds really caught my eye: a beautiful dominant pied D blue A.personatus and stunning dominant pied green A.roseicollis that was very close to taking Best in Show mutation roseicollis, but didn’t quite make it!

We finished around 18:30 in the evening and it was soon time for dinner. I believe Dominique Gille was the resident chef for the evening and the food was delicious. I tried some wine which came from the vines of Florians parents, which was very nice indeed. I also tried something else, and I have no idea what it was … something “prune” related? It smelt like Tequilla, tasted like something I couldn’t describe and hit my throat like rocket-fuel! It was soon time to head back to the hotel for the night. In the morning I briefly visited the show before heading back to Nantes for my flight home.

A big thank you to Florian Gouze for all his help, and Jérémy Pellerin and the Chairman of the CDE, Jean-Michel Cazes for the invitation and hospitality.

I wish you all the very best and good breeding results for 2017!

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