The Modena Club Centenary
As part of the celebration of the Centenary of the National Modena Club of Great Britain the Committee devised what is believed to be a unique form of international competition. The competition was open to modenas from all parts of the world where the fancy flourishes but instead of live birds being assembled in one place for assessment by judges the various Modena clubs were invited to submit photographs of their best examples of the breed. An international panel of judges was then assembled to judge the entries according to their interpretation of the standard for the English Modena devised by the late W.F. Holmes a century ago. As with most standards for fancy pigeons there is a great deal of difference in the interpretation and in the emphasis given to various points of note. The competition was a useful way of determining how such variations have impacted upon the development of the Breed.
The rules required the judges to award points on the following scale – 10 points for first place, 7 points for second place and 5 for the third place. Judges were not permitted to award points for birds entered from within their own jurisdiction.
The countries taking part were UK, USA, Holland, Germany, Canada, Norway, South Africa, France, Belgium and New Zealand. Others were invited but failed to produce photographs within the time frame imposed. All participants put forward highly respected judges.
Whenever Modena fanciers meet at a show wherever it is held there are lively discussions and debates about the placings of birds and there are differences aired as to whether the standard is being correctly interpreted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. Despite this there has been a remarkable degree of consensus as to the final placings. For example some judges who are known to prefer birds from one particular country and who have expressed strong opinions on the matter have favoured birds from another country.
The entries were divided into the two main classes for Modenas, namely, Gazzi and Schietti. The Best Gazzi was a Black Mottle entered by New Zealand which scored 67 points closely followed as runner up by a Red Chequer entered by the USA. Third place went to a Bronze Tri entered by Germany. The interesting feature of this class was that the winning bird scored well across the judging panel but if the decision had been based upon the number of first placings only then the outright winner would have been the USA with Germany second.
The Best Schietti and the bird that emerged as the overall winner scoring 84 points was a white Schietti which was bred in the USA by Ed Loomis but is currently owned by Canadian fancier Don Affleck. This not only scored heavily with all judges but secured the highest number of first placings. The runner up in the Schietti Class was a bird from France with Belgium taking third place.
The highest place UK bird was a Blue Gazzi entered on behalf of the well-known breeder David Iddon which took fourth place.
Commemorative certificates have been issued to all entrants with Diplomas for those securing the final placings.
All of the birds entered were Champions in their own right with impressive pedigrees as might be expected when they were put forward to represent the country of origin and all were of a high standard. The full details of the placings with the judges’ comments will be made available at the Centenary Show in October.
Meanwhile our grateful thanks for all who agreed to take part in this unique competition and our congratulations to the winners. Finally our thanks to all members of the judging panel without whose time effort and expertise this event would not have succeeded. More details can be seen on the Club website: www.nationalmodenaclub.co.uk