A POULTRY expert has returned from a trip to Australia which saw him dodging a cyclone and royalty.
Chris Parker, the chairman of the Ribble Valley Poultry Society, was invited to judge at the prestigious Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Chris, 67, from Ribchester, judged two breeds, Rosecomb and Sebright, at last month’s show — the largest in the country.
He chose a black cockerel Rosecomb as his pick for the ‘supreme champion bird in show’ which it went on to win.
After the show, Chris was presented with a miniature cricket bat signed by all the judges and Australia batsman Phil Hughes.
He was then invited to meet the governor of New South Wales at Government House, a stone’s throw away from Sydney Opera House.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the royal show and Government House a few days after Chris. Along with his wife Susan, 67, Chris then travelled to Cairns two days later than expected, narrowly dodging a cyclone that had ripped through the city for the previous three days.
Father-of-two Chris, who lives in Chesterbrook, said: “The whole trip was like a dream.
“I was given such a great reception when I was there and I enjoyed myself a lot. It was great that my pick was chosen to be best in show and we were very lucky to miss that cyclone.
“I can’t believe that William and Kate were only a few days behind me and visited the same places.
“It was a huge honour for me to be asked and I hope I’m invited back soon.
“I also gave a seminar about Sebrights during the show which I enjoyed a lot.
“We enjoyed our time after the show which we treated as a little holiday.”
Chris, who was born in Blackburn, joined the Ribble Valley branch of The Poultry Club in 1965, five years after it formed.
He served as the president of The Poultry Club of Great Britain from 2010 to 2012 and has helped to organise the Ribble Valley society’s annual show in Clitheroe.