Dessie Horner’s thoughts on being a poultry judge

Ducks 4/10/18 SM Farm

I guess I have been very fortunate in the world of poultry showing, with both the exhibiting side and also the judging side.

Having become involved in the hobby back in 1978, I had my first judging engagement at the local Bangor & District Bantam Association Show in 1985.

Since those early days I have enjoyed many judging engagements the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland. I judged my first solo breed club show in 1989 – the Minorca club held at the Federation of Poultry Clubs Show at Stafford in England. In total I have now judged this breed club show five times.

I have also had the honour to have judged the Leghorn Club Show at the Poultry Club National (once), the Sussex Club shows at both the Federation and National shows (once each), and the White Wyandottee club show at Federation (twice).

I have also been privileged to award the placings at several Royal shows, including The Royal Dublin, The Royal Welsh, The Royal Highland and The Royal, when it was held at the old Stoneleigh grounds. I have placed the awards from Cornwall right through to the Highlands of Scotland, including several times on the Isle of Man.

I believe I have judged every club show at home and also at the Irish National when it was held many years ago in Drimnagh Castle, Dublin.

The greatest honour to be bestowed upon me was being the Champion Judge at the Scottish National in January 2015; this was further boosted by the Ulster Poultry Federation committee selecting me to be its Champion Judge in February 2018.

Some great achievements and none more or less important than the first. Having turned many shows down, I am presently looking forward to 2019 with three appointments in place.

A friendly piece of advice I would offer to anyone wishing to judge is ask to steward as many times as you can, gleam as much knowledge as possible and be grateful to those who offer genuine help.

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