Judging is a family affair

Derek Wakeham with his sons Andrew (left) and Daniel. They will be judging the poultry at the Bath &

Derek Wakeham with his sons Andrew (left) and Daniel. They will be judging the poultry at the Bath & West Show - Credit: Archant

Three members of the same family will be judging poultry at a top show

Three top judges from the same family will be taking on the poultry judging at this year’s Royal Bath & West Show from May 28-31 – an unprecedented first for both the show and the family.

Team Wakeham, comprising father Derek, 23-year-old son Andrew and his 21-year-old brother Daniel, have been showing pure breed poultry and waterfowl together for more than 10 years. However, it is the first time they will be assuming joint responsibility for choosing the prize-winning birds at the Bath & West Show, which includes a prestigious Poultry Club of Great Britain Championship.

“We’re all qualified judges, which is unique in itself,” says Derek. “We’ve often exhibited at the Bath & West Show, and have been selling poultry on the site for the past three years after the two-day poultry show has ended, but judging together will be very exciting.”

With nearly 500 birds at the show, choosing a winner will be no mean feat. So what will the team be looking for in their supreme champion bird? “The most important thing is that the bird is true to type,” says Derek. “You want a good fit bird that is healthy and shining, and presented well by the exhibitor.”

The Wakeham family keep about 2,000 birds at Sign of the Owls Bird and Pet Centre, Ugborough, Devon, breeding rare and pure breed poultry and waterfowl for specialist keepers.

“It’s important to preserve rare and pure breeds,” says Derek. “We’re members of the Rare Breeds Poultry Club and the Poultry Club of Great Britain – we feel it’s vital to keep the standards of each breed up.”

MORE: See www.bathandwest.com

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