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Re: [Iris-talk] Thornbird Info.

From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>

> From: "Earnest Royal" <royal2@wk.net>
> In 1997 there were 975 judges in the U.S. and 23 listed in other parts of
> the world. For a total of 998 judges. 
> Thornbird received 102 votes
> 	runners up
> Supreme Sultan received 69 votes
> Conjuration received 53 votes
> Something to think about, if most of the judges are that divided on being
> able to select the Best Iris # 1 for any year. What is going to happen in
> the future with ever more Iris to choose from?


Let us review a bit of recent Dykes Medal history in order to put these
observations by Earnest in perspective. Prior to 1994 eligibility for the
Dykes Medal was limited to a pool of recent TB Award of Merit (AM) winners.
In 1993, under this system, Edith Wolford won the DM with 113 votes
(runner-up was Breakers with 39 votes). In 1994 the eligible pool of
candidates for the Dykes Medal was changed to consist of the special Medal
winners in each class of iris for the past three years. Since the special
medal for TBs (Wister Medal) was first awarded in 1993, Silverado, the
recipient, was the only TB on the Dykes ballot in '94, and received 211
votes (runner-up was Bumblebee Deelite (MTB) with 49 votes). In the
following 2 years the same situation persisted - the previous year's Wister
Medallist was the only TB on the Dykes ballot and won the DM by a
substantial margin. In 1995 it was Honky Tonk Blues with 194 votes
(Bumblebee Deelite was again runner-up with 102 votes); in 1996 Before The
Storm won with 151 votes (the Harold Stassen of Dykes candidates, Bumblebee
Deelite was once again runner-up with 95 votes). After Thornbird had won
the Wister Medal in 1996, the AIS Board of Directors decided that the two
runners-up for the Wister Medal should also be included on the Dykes ballot
for 1997and that 3 Wister Medals should be awarded per year in the future.
There was some concern at the time that this move was a deliberate effort
to undermine Thornbird's chances for winning the DM (see the Archives).
With three TB's on the Dykes ballot in 1997 the results were as listed by
Earnest above. In 1998 with multiple TBs on the ballot, Conjuration won
with 105 votes, and in 1999 Hello Darkness won with 113 votes.

There is no question that with multiple TBs on the Dykes ballot there is a
greater scattering of the votes than there was when only one TB appeared on
the ballot. However, in no circumstances can it be expected that with 40 or
more names to choose from on the ballot, as is the case with the Dykes
Medal, that the winner will receive anything approaching a majority of the

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2)

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