by Luka Kapac [Click Here for PDF Version]
Back in 2010 Nino Bugeja, President of the CNTU, wrote a proposal or rather a suggestion for the NTU council to consider, via Davey Warrener, a long time and well respected member of that union, to perhaps amend Rule 13 to read only Tipplers be flown in NTU competitions. Nino had shown me this letter and I thought it to be a slam dunk especially considering the NTU, the oldest and well respected Tippler club, would be all over it, so to speak. Well the proposal was defeated by a vast majority of the members present. The lack of concern was quite a surprise to me personally in light of the current confusion of what a Tippler is with the Pakistani and Indian birds also being referred to as such in many media. Some NTU council members even remarked that there was no standard for the Flying Tippler.
Well I thought about this statement long and hard concluding the assessment is somewhat incorrect. I always believed a tippler fancier could pick out a genuine Tippler from a fake if he had to go by look alone. There are certain characteristics that can only be found in tipplers. I also believed that we, the Tippler fanciers, have a similar ideal of what a tippler should look like and this being evident by just looking at the different strains we posses today. Certainly there are slight differences as with any breed, but in general, the overall look and conformation is not too far apart. That said, I made it my assignment over the last six months to find as much evidence and proof that a standard, if only in our heads, does exist.
I was going to provide factual evidence to disprove the blanket statement which had no regard or afterthought as to consequence of the words and vote result. So off I went in search for something concrete to back up my theory. Right away I found something that told me I was on the right track. A testimonial from an old NTU yearbook dated 1937 by no less than a NTU member which described the English Flying Tippler as I always thought them to be. Well now I was absolutely sure. Mr Powall, the author of the article, described the Tippler beautifully and correctly.
This first piece of evidence gave me inspiration that I was in fact correct and on the right track. I kept digging and found yet another piece of treasure from the Pigeon Review, 1980 providing a number of sketches showing the typical Flying Tippler standard presented as best as we can determine in the 1960s. By looking at the sketches it confirmed that tipplers did have a standard even if it wasn’t well known. The birds on the sketches look similar to the very birds I own myself as well as the birds I have seen in various lofts and photos posted on numerous forums. Now I was really onto something and definitely confident those making the statement really had no basis to make such an assumption other than a convenient excuse not to bother with such a proposal because it came outside of their protected domain.
I was satisfied with what I managed to find and thought, good enough! Well low and behold I stumbled onto the Holy Grail (APJ,1971) that described the Flying Tippler standard in complete detail and approved by a reputable association. I have provided this document for your consideration so you can make up your own mind whether there is a standard for the English Flying Tippler, or not. Now before some critics decide to pounce and say it is the show Tippler please do not engage your bias ahead of definitive fact. This is a standard for showing the Flying Tippler which is completely different from showing the Show Tippler. We are talking about how to judge a Flying Tippler in a show and not a show Tippler, an entirely different breed. In fact, I do believe the NTU holds annual shows of its own where it judges Flying Tipplers bred by the NTU membership with NTU club rings. Thus, I ask myself….how is it that we can have a Flying Tippler show and not a standard?
In a few short months I was able to find written testimonials by actual fanciers, sketches of the same and finally the actual documentation to back up my rhetoric. I am sure more is out there if I kept digging but for me it is not necessary. I have all the evidence needed to back up my statement – there is absolutely a standard for the Flying Tippler. Sure performance is key, but with some parameter as to its authenticity of long ago. So what did I hope to accomplish by this evidence? Not to embarrass or harass anyone to submission but to show that the Tippler does have a standard and we should be proud and privileged to still have that standard to work with. For unless we maintain some sort of order the very country that developed the breed will not recognize its own masterpiece in a few short years. Luka Kapac