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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:49 am 
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Show Business – The Demonstration Class
(Article from the FCAQI by Cathy Newton)

How many of us have been to a show and seen a non-standard variety in an open class? Perhaps we’ve even seen a non-standard variety winning over a group of classes, beating the standard varieties. This puzzles and frustrates exhibitors.

Judges who understand the club’s requirements to judge to the Australian Poultry Standards may also be put in the awkward situation of needing to wrong-class an entry incorrectly put into an open class when there is no Standard for it. This leads to embarrassed exhibitors who may not understand why this has happened.

Our club shows run under the banner of the Australian Poultry Standards and FCAQI-affiliated clubs agree to this on joining the Association. On many club schedules, the reminder is there to be clearly read by those submitting entries – ‘Judged to the Australian Poultry Standards’.

When non-standard entries go into open classes it puts the judge in a quandary and can lead to disgruntled exhibitors. We should be seeing more use made of the demonstration class to cater for developmental varieties. They should not be entered or shown in open classes.

Definitions

Before looking more closely at the demonstration class, we need to clarify the following descriptions which are currently in frequent use, but often misunderstood:

AORC – Any breed that is included in the current Australian Poultry Standards in a colour that is listed in the Standard for that breed, but where the colour is not individually catered for in the show schedule.

AORV – Any breed or variety of a breed that is included in the current Australian Poultry Standards in a colour or variety that is listed in the Standard for that breed, but where that breed or variety is not individually catered for in the show schedule.

AOV – This is an abbreviation of AORV and is intended to mean the same. It does not include breeds or varieties outside of the current Australian Poultry Standards.

AOC – This is an abbreviation of AORC and is intended to mean the same. It does not include colours outside of those listed for that breed in the current Australian Poultry Standards.

AC – This includes an entry of any colour that is listed under the Standard for that breed in the current Australian Poultry Standards.

The Demonstration Class

Where exhibitors would like to enter a fowl of a breed that is included in the Australian Poultry Standards, but in a colour or variety that is not listed for that breed, then the demonstration class should be used. This class is useful for breeders who are in the process of establishing a new variety of an established breed, or even for the demonstration of a breed that is recognised in another country and for which a reputable Standard exists. It is part of the process of gaining acceptance for these new varieties or breeds where examples are shown to the public and to the exhibition community. This class is not a class for hybrids or crossbreeds, but for new varieties or breeds that are currently not listed in our Standards.
Some of these new varieties and breeds may in time become part of the Australian Poultry Standards and clubs need to know how to include these entries in their shows in an appropriate way. This is necessary to adequately cater for the growing community of people who are working on projects like these.

Running the Demonstration Class

If a club is willing to host a demonstration class, including it in the schedule would help to inform exhibitors, but it is also possible for a club to simply respond to a request made by an exhibitor. The Chief Steward should confirm that the birds being entered meet the requirements of the demonstration class. Nobody wants to see cross-breeds or random experiments displayed at club shows. Entries should be genuine breeds. Exhibitors should be prepared to reference the existing Standard for the breed in question, whether that is in the British Poultry Standards, the American Poultry Standards or another country-of-origin’s Standards.

FCAQI clubs run their shows under the current Australian Poultry Standards. Anything outside of that Standard cannot be eligible for higher awards. Demonstration or developmental entries are therefore not eligible for higher awards. A judge may rank them within the class and comment on them in relation to the relevant Standard.

As a judge is not required to judge any class outside of the Australian Poultry Standards, the judging of the demonstration class should be a matter for discussion and agreement between Chief Steward and the Judge well in advance of show, either at the time of the appointment or at the time when it becomes known that there will be entries in the class. A judge that has been informed of these entries should prepare himself to comment on them in an informed way by obtaining a copy of the relevant Standard and becoming familiar with it. The club should assist with this if necessary.

It would be sensible for the demonstration classes to be judged after the completion of the main show but before the deciding of Champion Bird. The majority of the judging has been completed and with good management, the judge doing the extra classes has a little time to complete the task. This timing maintains the demonstration classes as a legitimate part of the event. At a suitable time after the classes have been judged, it would be helpful for the judge to have a discussion with the exhibitor about the strengths and weakness of the birds presented and possibilities for future development.

If clubs are open to the possibility of using the demonstration class for developmental or new breeds or varieties, it may help minimise the problem of non-standard birds being incorrectly entered into open classes.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:18 am 
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Showy Hen
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This is a fantastic idea. I think as a whole it would be beneficial to exhibition poultry in aus, so many breeders have worked tirelessly to recreate breeds and develop unrecognised colours within breeds only to have them hidden in pens for years, surely it would give some ppl incentive to continue with their projects. On that same note like anything new it will welcomed by some and despised by others, personally I can see the benefits of having a class like that, or would it eventually open the doors for boutique crossbreds and the like to be allowed into the show ring?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:01 pm 
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It's not a new idea. It's been around for many years.

It just needs to be formalised and used by clubs which is what we are trying to do in Queensland.

Clubs are autonomous and do what they wish to do, but if they know this is an accepted approach they can choose to use it if they wish. We've been seeing problems of non-standard birds shown in recent years and there needs to be some clear way to manage it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:34 pm 
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I have occasionally seen similar classes in NSW and Qld, (mainly for juniors)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:57 am 
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Development or demonstration classes are usually the realm of specialist breed clubs ......we have a development class at our show , NSW Waterfowl Breeders Association....it is mostly new colours of existing breeds because getting a new breed or variety recognised in the standards requires that the birds have been exhibited......it is one of our biggest classes and we are looking at splitting it more for our 2017 show ....birds in the development classes are not eligible for major awards at our show, cheers pam

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:03 am 
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Thanks pjh for that insight. This shows the correct use of these classes and also why we need them. I think the time is right to raise awareness of demonstration classes and see if it catches on at poultry shows as well. What us at fcaqi are hoping for is if we show we are supportive of it some of our affiliated clubs might adopt the extra classes. Might take a few years to happen and also be used by exhibitors but you have to start somewhere.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:58 am 
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It is great that fcaqi has taken the Demonstration Class under its wing and has started to publicly promote them as a positive thing for the Queensland show scene.

As an Exhibitor of a non Standard colour I greatly appreciate you guys doing this.

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