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A DUTCH CLUB IS FOUNDED IN NORTH AMERICA


by Roy Schell

The success of Dutch bantams throughout the United States and Canada has to be attributed to the small group of individuals who envisioned that these beautiful little birds could and would one day be bred and popularized by the fanciers of North America. These individuals led to the establishment of the American Dutch Bantam Society in August of 1986. The charter membership of the club consisted of forty members throughout the continent who were primarily interested in the success of a new breed being established in the fancy. The charter membership was headed by Mr. Jack Fugate of Tennessee who was the President Pro-Tem for the group. Mr. Bob Bassett of Florida served as Secretary-Treasurer of the group. Only a few of the original forty charter members were actually breeders of Dutch bantams, most of the group were simply well respected breeders in the fancy who were supportive and interested in the establishment and success of a new breed on the horizon. As the years have passed, most of the membership of today consists of specific Dutch breeders who are interested in the active breeding and promotion of the breed.

Prior to the establishment of the club, a description of the dutch bird was included in the Bantam Standard of the American Bantam Association. The pre-existing standard description in the standard referred to the birds as "black breasted reds" and "blue breasted reds". It was the opinion of the initial breeders and club members that the description was in error and in need of correction. In March of 1987, a qualifying meet was held in Dalton, Georgia for the purpose of establishing a clarification of the color description of the breed. The purpose of the event was to establish a color description clarification to read "light browns" and "blue light browns". The meet did establish that the standard description would be changed and in February of 1988 the ABA Board of Directors officially voted to make changes in the standard and this vote was so amended in the fall issue of the ABA Quarterly Bulletin of 1988 on pages 14 and 15.

The ADBS has also held several other club events that are of significant historical interest:

1. An APA qualifying meet was held in Dalton, Georgia in October of 1991 for the purpose of adding Light Brown and Silver varieties to the Standard of Perfection of APA. Previous to this meet there were no recognized varieties of Dutch bantam included in the standard. The meet had 142 Dutch bantams shown in the two colors and the breed and two varieties were added to the standard in 1992 by a vote of the Board of APA.

2. An APA qualifying meet was held in Tucson, Arizona in 1993 for the inclusion of the Blue Light Brown variety to be added to the Standard of Perfection. This, the third variety of Dutch to be added to the standard of APA was completed by a vote of the Board in February of 1994.

3. In 1992 and 1993, color portraits were painted by the renowed poultry artist, Mr Aaron Hamilton of New Mexico, for upcoming revisions of the standards of APA and ABA in the colors of Light Brown, Silver, and Blue Light Brown. Separate paintings were done for the male and female of each of these varieties. Six members paid for the paintings, and photographed copies of the finished products were sent to both national organizations for inclusions into their future prints. The paintings were then sent to their member owners.

4. Several proposals were made to both APA and ABA in 1995 and 1996 concerning corrections to several wording descriptions of stipple color and ground color of the birds in their standards. Dusty Miller and Roy Schell did about two years of research into the genetics of stipple and ground colors and discovered that both of the standards are using incorrect wording references in their descriptions of all of the stippled varieties of birds included in the standards. Research did conclude that the errors of wording descriptions had only taken place after the revisions of the original standard descriptions in the early 1900's.

5. In 1996, Mrs. Jean Robocker of Montana visited the Dutch club of Holland on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary celebration of their club. As a representative from the American Dutch club, she presented several of their members with a club gift, emblem, and club shirt from the American club membership. She also was able to visit many of the homes of the top breeders of Dutch bantams while in Holland. This was the third trip that Mrs. Robocker has made to Holland to visit and study the Dutch bantams at their more prestigious shows where Dutch bantams are shown in rather large numbers. Mrs. Robocker will again be making a trip to Holland in Jan. of 1999 to view and do some vital research into the breeding and proper standard descriptions of the Cream Light Brown variety.

6. In 1990, the American Dutch Bantam club membership approved a club Constitution by vote of the membership. By the adoption of the Constitution the club was able to elect their first set of officers. The club also adopted a club emblem that would serve as the official club insignia.

Though the American Dutch Bantam Society is a very young and growing group of members, their short time in existence has led to some eventful accomplisments. The membership presently stands at just under one hundred active members located in most every state and province. Club interest remains high and the goals of promotion, education, improving type and color, and good communication remain high on the list to the present.


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