The second race of the season for the National Flying Club took place from Messac on the 18th July. It was scheduled to be from Nort-sur-Erdre but on the day before the FCI closed the race point for four days and Messac became an available alternative. The Chief Convoyer reported “The birds at Messac have been liberated at 08.45 hrs in clear sky and cleared immediately with variable light winds up through the Cherbourg peninsula veering light west in the channel with a strength of 9 to 12mph. Once in the UK we have a south west wind which should push the birds through some showers and more persistent rain in the north which will slowly break up as the day goes by. Good luck all”
The first birds were recorded in the Portsmouth area after 4 hours 22 minutes, with the overall winner flying 5 hours and 6 minutes to the loft of Paul Arnold in Sutton, South London for a distance of 255 miles.
Paul has raced his Staf Van Reet family to a small back garden loft since the early 1990’s and enjoyed the sprint racing scene for many years. He would regularly get his team drop together winning right up to Combine level and large Open races.
“The Van Reets were difficult to beat back then” he said “and although I tried to find something better, nothing could touch them” but after many years of close breeding within his loft, they began to lose their spark and be a couple of minutes off the pace. His brother encouraged him to try a cross so they went to see Derek Nichols at Premier Stud which was then situated in Hull. They got on very well and after listening to their requirements Derek had advised them to try the Gaston Van de Wouwer pigeons. The following young bird season there was a Combine race, with a clear blue sky and a fresh east head wind. Malik & Khan won the Combine that day and Pauls first bird was a cross Van Reet/Van de Wouwer just a few yards per minute behind them, but as the old family of Van Reets came they looked very tired and as Paul knew there was nothing wrong with the health, he realised he had found the cross to go into his line, so they went back to Premier Stud for a few more to breed from. Years ago sprint racing was all he was interested in but he now realises that this cross has given his birds something else, and taken them to another level.
It was from around 2014 that he really began to enjoy his racing again and although he raced in the Classics, he has only just re-joined the National Flying Club. He had been 16th and 27th Open in the first race from Fougéres and sent them back to the second race with confidence. On the day he had seen the Portsmouth pigeons being verified on the leader board and estimated the time he required a bird home to beat them. He positioned himself in a shady spot and sat with flirt bird in hand when he saw two birds coming directly from the south a few minutes before expected. One of them flew as hard as possible right to the loft and trapped immediately with the other circling around before continuing its homeward journey to another fancier. Normally Paul would have been on edge all day but he said for some surreal reason, he calmly verified his first bird even though it was a good few minutes ahead of the expected time and when he went top of the leader board, he knew he could be beaten by birds flying further up into north London and Essex. He waited for his other three birds but his wife was checking regularly when all of a sudden she called out “we have been beaten” and his heart sank “here we go, second again” he thought, but when he realised it was a bird in Crewe, with the wind against and pockets of rain from the midlands northwards, they were not surprised to see it disappear as a mistake and happily they held the top position throughout the rest of the day. “You have to have everything in your favour and that little bit of luck to win the National Flying Club” he stated “it’s a heart stopping moment every time you refresh the website”
As previously stated, Paul keeps a small team of around 16 widowhood cocks, which in order to keep them happy and content, he likes to overwinter all his birds coupled. They moult slower, are calmer and they are allowed to perch on the front ledge of the box, with very few eggs appearing. Then about the middle of December he will part them for about three weeks before opening the boxes and allowing them to run together again in the first week of January. “They all just go back together nicely” he said “there is very little fighting over boxes and the fertility is around 90%” He does not like to rear any young birds from his race cocks though and puts pots eggs under them before splitting them after they sit them out. They are then on widowhood until training begins when he will put the hens back whilst taking the cocks twice per day at a distance of 20 miles, so when the federation races begin, they are pretty much switched on the system.
This season during the lockdown, with the nice weather we experienced, the cocks were given an open hole all morning every day and they really enjoyed themselves he said. “They would be off for 20 minutes and return from every direction playing in the sky and it was a joy to watch them” once racing was allowed by the RPRA, he just put the hens back with them and trained twice per day as usual up to the first Federation race.
The sire of the National winner is a Van Reet from his old line and the dam is a Gaston Van de Wouwer from Derek Nichols. The blue widowhood cock is 4 years old so he will now be retired to the stock loft to pass on his genes and let the younger blood come through to race in his box. He is named “True Faith” giving reference to the loss of a family member just a couple of years ago. Paul has been overwhelmed with the calls of congratulations he has received and would like to thank all who have taken the time to do so. He also added his personal thanks to the NFC and congratulate all the section winners.
First section A was Mr R Shapland & Son with a chequer pied roundabout hen bred from their no 1 stock cock via Simon Hughes of A&S Hughes which has been a consistent hen scoring high positions on several occasions. This was her third channel race and each time she has been closer and closer and now 9th Open 1st section A. They are over the moon, the birds arrived in immaculate condition and were a credit to the NFC team.
Second place went to Dave Bridger of Littlehampton who timed a 2 year old Blue hen which is flown on Dave's own version of widowhood where both cocks and hens are flown. This hen had previously had three inland races this year with her only other channel race this year being from Fougeres with the NFC. Her breeding is from his own long established strain of birds being from a granddaughter of 'Devious' who was the only bird on the day from Bordeaux bred down from Brian Shephard's 'Legend' the first winner of an international in the UK, when crossed into an Andreas Drapa hen from his good friend Jim Whitehead of Durham. She returned in excellent condition a credit to the convoyers and NFC transport. Dave gave his congratulations to Paul Arnold, the winner of the race by a convincing margin.
Third was Mick Skidmore who said he felt privileged to be asked to write a few words on the pigeon that was 23rd Open, 3rd Section A from Messac. “The pigeon is from my Busscharet Family. His sire was 10th Open, 1st Section A, NFC from Cholet. The Dam was 35th Open, Section A, NFC from Fougeres”.
Forth section was Mr & Mrs Brian Wall who had two yearling cocks come together and another one not far behind taking 9th section. They had a very good race getting all 15 birds back on the day and as usual all in excellent condition. “Well done the winner” said Brian.
The winners of Section B, Darren Eade and Family had a fantastic race with their team of “Harry” based family of yearlings and very nearly pulling off the big one, heading the leader board for some time, and finished 1st, 2nd and 4th section, 3rd, 7th and 21st open. This is what Darren had to say “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mr Arnold and Mr Inkley on breaking my heart, only joking Lads, very well done, also congratulations to all section winners and hats off to the convoyers for another job well done. The returns were great and the birds were in just as good nick on their return as they were when I sent them. My 1st section, 3rd open is from a replacement Son of Foxy Lady which Peter Fox gave me when unfortunately, a basket of my stock birds escaped, thank you Peter Fox for your generosity. The dam is the daughter of Harry bought at Stuart Wilcox De Duif Auctions in Blackpool 2015.
My 2nd section 7th Open is from “This Time” a son of Harry that has now bred 1st, 2nd, 5th,7th and 10th section in National and Classic racing since my restart last year with Young Birds. The mother is a hen bought from Ivo Renders clearance sale on Pipa. She won 2nd National Argenton, 22,712 birds and was 2nd fasted from 35,844b, these birds are definitely bred for these big races. Good luck to every one for the rest of the season and stay safe”.
Third was Jason Ross, a previous winner of 1st national who has enjoyed a good season this year and has had numerous previous national positions.
Fifth was Nick Wilson with a hen out of his good Vandenabeele stock hen, she has bred a fed winner and winners with 3 different cocks.
Stuart Laws in Poole won first section C with M A & S C King in Blandford Forum second.
Third section was R Dibben with a Vandenabeele pigeon which also came 4th in the National Fougeres race a few weeks ago, hopefully an up and coming star. Congratulations to the winner of the national and all section winners he said.
Forth place went to Mr & Mrs L Cowley in Grimstone and fifth were M & M Wiffen. Mick said "The pigeon I timed is a three year old blue chequer widowhood cock. I have named him Dibben after my pal Ray Dibben who bred him. His dam is a granddaughter of my good blue cock, who was 2nd section Saintes and 3rd section Tarbes and one of my best pigeons from Scot Storrie's Jim Biss x Supercrack lines. Dibben has been my most consistent pigeon this year."
First was Alan Phillips with a yearling blue hen bred from a Daniel Hockin cock, of the Koopman's Cannibal lines, paired to a Vandenabelle hen from Andy Hodge. She flew NFC Fougeres 2 weeks earlier and had lost her cock and was sent this time just pairing up again.
Second was Richard Goodier with a small to medium yearling chequer hen raced on the roundabout system, she was given her cock the night before basketing and was give some straw in her bowl for a bit of motivation, Her Sire is a Direct son off "Splendid Bolt" and her Dam carries the best P & D Stud Van Den Bulck lines , "Sagan" , "Blauwe Pitbull 776" , "Kittel" & "Goede Roede". Richard also won 7th section D with a chequer cock and was 1st section D in the young bird NFC race last year, his breeding is Vandenabeele with his grand Dam being 1st section D, 2nd Open NFC Saintes and Sire was 1st section D NFC Saintes. Congratulations to Alan Philips on a well deserved section win.
Third was Rod Wilson who bought this cock as a young bird at the breeder buyer sale. It was 3rd b/buyer from Chale and last year 10th section from Fougeres winning £312.00 pools. He'd been sitting 10 days on eggs and like all Rod's birds on natural system. He was bred by a very good local flyer Mr Henry Franks and is out of his Vandenabeele stock.
Forth was B & S Parkhouse, Brian also known as Ringo, timed 3 birds in the section and are all bred from his Andy Cridland's stock birds purchased from Stuart Treharne of Nantyglo. Andy bred Ringo 12 last year, of which 8 have flown the 2 nationals this year. The stock birds are direct from Stuart’s NFC and BICC winners. In fifth place John & Gill McClements timed a cheq pied yearling cock, sent on roundabout. As a young bird he won 4th Sect NFC Coutances. This year he flew Falaise and Fougeres. His grandsire is 'New Park Danaher', 1st Open Cholet 2018 and dam is daughter of 'New Park Lily' 3rd Sect, 3rd Open NFC Messac 2019 & 3rd Sect, 6th Open Messac 2018.
First section E was overall race winner Paul Arnold with a Van Reet from his old line and the dam is a Gaston Van de Wouwer from Derek Nichols. The blue widowhood cock is 4 years old so he will now be retired to the stock loft to pass on his genes and let the younger blood come through to race in his box. He is named “True Faith” giving reference to the loss of a family member just a couple of years ago. Paul has been overwhelmed with the calls of congratulations he has received and would like to thank all who have taken the time to do so. He also added his personal thanks to the NFC and congratulate all the section winners.
For 2nd section and 2nd Open G Inkley, timed a fantastic hen called “Rathens Gina” who has previously scored 50th Open NFC Coutances 2017, 71st Open NFC Sigogne 2018, 31st Open BICC Cholet 2019, 1st Section 22nd Open NFC Sigogne 2019, 23rd Open NFC Fougeres 2020 and now 2nd Section 2nd open NFC Messac 2020. She is nest mate of “Rathens Bobbi Mac” 1st Open NFC Coutances 2017 and her sire was bred by Peter Fox, Syndicate Lofts from a son of “Kanon” & “Carmen” with her dam also being bred by Peter Fox out of “Nito” and “Devil Women” daughter of “The Young Couple” Gary would like to thank the convoying team on the excellent condition of the birds and he would also like to congratulate Paul Arnold and all the section winners.
The elusive John Haynes was 3rd and 4th section and has at last succumbed to a photo.
Fifth was Roger Lowe who sent 30 of which 17 were yearlings having their first trip across the channel. He said that the weather didn’t look too good first thing so he was surprised to hear the birds were up, but it turned out nice when the birds arrived. His first bird was a yearling first timer widowhood cock bred from “Blue Diamond” a 1st Federation winning son of “My Little Diamond” when paired with “Ruby” a gift bird from Mark Gilbert and is a granddaughter of Vandenabeele “Rudy” when paired to Marcel Aelbrechts “BAK17”. She is dam to many good birds including “The 846” winner of many prizes with the best being 2nd section 3rd open NFC Coutances. Roger would also like to congratulate all the winners and well done the NFC for another good race.
First section F were Mr & Mrs P Kenny & Family who timed a Dark cheq cock flown on widowhood. He was bred by Chris and Jane Howes of Devizes and is one of six young birds that they exchanged in 2019. His Dam is “Lady J”, who was 1st open Fourgeres BBC and 3rd open Coutances CSCFC. she is a granddaughter of “Stumpy”, who was Ace pigeon all NFC races 2012. Their section F winner from Fougeres was a Blue Pied hen sent sitting 10 day old eggs. Bred by Steve & Yvette Harris & daughter of Portchester she is a full sister to the cock bird that was 1st section 4th open Messac BBC 2020. The sire is a Herman Ceusters cock when paired to J&J Meeder hen and she is a granddaughter to his pigeon called “Maximus”. The hen is one of 6 young birds that they also exchanged with Steve Harris in 2019.
Second and fifth place from Messac was J & P Parker, of Reading with S & D Abery, also in Reading Third. Fifth was Mr & Mrs P Kenny & Family with their second pigeon.
First section G was C & J Howse, who would like to congratulate all the winners. They timed a hen sent sitting 8 day eggs bred by Paul Kenny which was one of a Kit of six young birds they exchanged last year. Racing as a young bird in 2019 she won 1st Open Thames Messac and is of Gaby Vanndebelle breeding. Paul also won section F in this race and ironically it was one that they bred for him, a son of their BBC national winner “Lady J”.
In second place was Paul Weems of Chippenham with Stuart Wilcox in third with a yearling widowhood cock who has a few prizes to name and flew the 2019 young bird National. He is bred down from four of top breeders with the sire being a son of “Albi”, which was bred by Albert Derwa and was purchased in the Golden Duif Auction. He is a direct son of “De Zoon” winner of 9 x 1st and 1st National Ace WENC, when paired to a full sister of “Paulien” 1st Nat Ace KBDB. Albi was paired to “Beau” and she was a gift from Frans Zwols and is his number one breeding hen being direct from the “King of Rekkem” 1st NPO Rekkem 19,409b, 2nd Boxtel 11,887b, 7th Duffel 8866b, 22nd Boxtel 9525b, 19th Arras7781b. The dam is bred from “Amigo”, bred by Rik Hermans a direct son of “Friendship” 1st Nat Chateauroux 44,314 birds and 1st Souppes 6134 birds and “Blue Diamond”, another direct daughter of Albert Derwa's “De Zoon”. The birds of Alberts are real tryers and have flown very well over the channel since they were introduced. The cocks are flown on traditional widowhood and are fed on Koopman and Verkerk mixes from Beyers supplemented with corn from Countrywide.
Fourth section was Miroslaw Chwedoruk fromWhitcombe and fifth was R & J Whiteside in Abbots Leigh.
First section H was N & J Callaghan with the same bird which scored in the previous NFC race from Fougeres, raced on the widowhood system.
Second was H M The Queen, raced by Peter Farrow, Loft Manager. The pigeon is a 2018 Kavangha Buschaert hen bird bred from stock pigeons donated to The royal lofts by Les Coles of Millom Cumbria. She was 174th open and 12 section H in this years NFC Fourges race and in the Nort-sur-Erdre she was 2 section H and 17th open out of 5097 birds.
Third was Kevin Cousins with a two year old Van-Elsaker Cock. He’s been consistent all season with the M11 club and was also 15th section from Fougeres.
David Downing form Newmarket was fourth a two year old widowhood cock of Hardy Kruger bloodlines bred down from his Black Power blood lines, originally obtained from Premier lofts and latterly directs from Hardy. This was the first time this cock has shown having always been consistent but not in the front from the inland races.
In fifth was A Smith from Little Harroden.
In section I Astbury & Horton took the top spot and also forth with the winner being the same bird that was 3rd section in the last race from Fougeres.
The 4th section placed bird was Harry's favourite and Geeloger through Derek Rooney of Warrington's pigeons which are similar bloodlines to 1st pigeon. The photo shows the partners Paul Astbury and Les Horton and Paul's son, Daniel who is also Les's Grandson.
In second, third and fifth places was Fougeres section winner Tim Atkin from Rugby with his pigeon being from a good pair he accquired from Ivo Renders and Bart Van Oeckel. Its brother also won 2nd section 7th Open on same day in the MNFC race.
The third section pigeon was another Bart Van Oeckel bird being from a direct son of the famous F16 when paired to a granddaughter of Black Diamond.
Fifth section is a hen from a son of Friendship bred and raced by Rik Hermans when paired to a daughter of “Foxy Lady”via Syndicate Lofts. Tim has high hopes for this pair and the Foxy lady blood lines in general.
First section J was Wes Whitehouse with a hen bird that has won this year alone 1st Fed Carentan 1080b, 2nd Amal 3744b, as well as 1st sect 81st Open NFC Messac. Her sire is a grandson of Donkere Leo bred by Mick Collins and has bred many top birds, with the dam being a granddaughter of Outlaw and Dutch Master.
In second place was Mr & Mrs G W Kirkland with a Blue Pied cock which is a combination of old Snake lines bred from a daughter of Snake crossed with Danile Aeren long distance pigeons, which have great staying power out to 687 miles. He came on line and finished like a Rocket and they have high hopes for him as he is only a yearling, in what was a difficult race for this area. Medication is kept to a minimum with Yellow drops on the corn.
Third were 2019 NFC Champion of Champions loft R Stokes & Son, from Cleobury Mortimer, with Louis Yemm from Chesterton forth. Wes Whitehouse timed a second bird for fifth place.
Section K winner Peter Hagland timed a Pied Cock which has been a consistent pigeon over the channel when it has been 400 mile plus. He was one of two he fancied in the race and he had a very good day as he had 17 out of 25 return that day. The day was made even better as he had clocked his 18th section winner in national racing. “If I get another 2 section winners to take my total to 20 before I kick my cloggs I’ll be happy” he said. The sire is a Brugemann from Hall & Hibbert with the dam being a Battenburgh stock hen.
Second was Mr & Mrs W Foulstone who would like to congratulate Pete Hagland on his 1st section winner. Their “21 Cock” has been a consistent pigeon with his sire being the good eyed cock bred by Clive Yates out of his Tours national winner. The dam is a Eric Hofman from our friend Frank Howard.
Richard Turner & John Wheatcroft, were third with Ron & Nigel Dennett forth. Their pigeon was a two-year old widowhood hen of the Peter Van Osch breed. These pigeons have been very good for Ron and Nigel at the distance. Fifth section K is Radford & Parkin with a four-year old widowhood hen gifted to them from Graham Jones. Don was telling me this hen has been very consistent for them over the years and has had six channel prizes for them and always seems to come for them when the race is hard.
First section L was Mr.D.C.Leake in Congleton with G Bowyer from Congleton second. Third was another Congleton flyer K & M Cliffe and forth was Gerry Clements with a two year old blue De Graeve Van Geert widowhood cock. His sire is “son Ronaldinho” 1st National Limoges 9,672 birds and he is sire of 2 x 1st section winners. The dam is “Pink & Green” dam of 1st Portland and sister to “606” 5 x 500 miles on the day incl “Down Pour” 1st section L only bird of the day, plus 4th section from Fougeres. Fifth was top NFC winning loft Roger Sutton from Congleton.
In section N M Anderson & Sons have had a great season to date and in this Massac race they were 1st, 2nd and 5th.
Third was Tony Lyons of Middlesbrough who kept up his recent good form and timed a two year old Denney hen to win 3rd Section N.
Fourth Section were John & Steven Best of Stockton timing a 5yo Blue Cock who is no stranger to the Section N roll of honour list with previous wins of 2nd, 5th, 9th & 11th section positions.
First section were Joe & Brian Fitzsimmons and it was Brian who said the following “The pigeon we clocked from Messac NFC race was a 5 year old Cheq hen. Timing her in at 21-56 flying 13hrs 11 mins has provided us with the biggest thrill of our career. To think birds were scarce in Lancashire and for her to come on home was amazing feeling. She was home bred with the sire a De Weert Red cock from Andy Gregson in Preston. Andy reported a young bird of ours and when I went to pick it up I bought 2 red cocks from him. The dam is a mealy hen from Joe Murphy of Scotland. The breeding is King of the Faroes through the Strang brothers’ pigeons which they gifted to Joe's son Kevin J Murphy. This pair wouldn't pair up at first so our cheq hen was a late bred and was too young to race so Dad said he was going to play with her. Everywhere mam and dad went shopping the cheq hen went, Carlisle, Gretna, Annan on the north and Barrow, Lancaster and Preston on the south. She was well schooled. As a yearling again she wasn’t raced but received the same training even travelling south on bus trips and north with club mate Liam Dobson who was working in Dumfries on the new hospital. As a two year old she was flown to Stafford and put away to mature. At three year old she flew the whole program with Copeland NW then switched into the Cumbria combine programme. She had about 10 races over 200 miles including the coast 3 times. Last year as a 4 year old she was raced with Copeland NW for some time on the wing and competed with the Cumbria combine from Carentan and was on the west Cumbria amal sheet. Two weeks later into Fougeres again she was in on the night to be 18th Amal and homed in torrential rain. Two weeks later she went to Messac when there was only one bird on the night into Barrow. She was our 3rd bird next day again on the Amal sheet. This year she flew all races to Cheltenham (which was a Monday race), left a week and into Messac. Her condition was terrific when she homed and she had plenty left which is a credit to the NFC convoyer. Congratulations to Paul Arnold on a super win”
Second was Alan Graham & Co and Gavin Graham reports “First can we say congratulations to our good friends Joe and Brian Fitzsimmons on winning the section and timing a very brave bird given the conditions in the north west of the country on Saturday. Our own bird can’t have been far away and was timed at 05:40. He’s a 2 year old widowhood cock having his second channel race having previously been 1st fed 11th combine Messac last year (only yearling on either Messac combine sheet) A full sister to this cock actually won the local Copeland club for our good friend Ian Wood from Portland on the same weekend in a very testing race. He’s bred from a son of Mark Bulleds “Legacy” and a home bred hen who is from a son of big smithy when big smithy was paired to a daughter of Starlight and Southfield Melissa. And a daughter of Wingdown when Wingdown was paired to a daughter of Legacy.
Third was Les Blacklock and Sons who clocked a 5 year old mealy hen at 9.30 on the second day. This hen was 8th Cumbria Combine from Fougeres last year and is of Louella Faroes breeding. She is half sister to Les’ good barless mealy hen which was 1st Cumbria Combine for Les. The Mealy hen was sent to this race on a seven day old youngster and had been the first bird to the loft from the Cheltenham race the week before basketing. My thanks to Richard Hodgson for helping to compile the section O report once again.
Helping in section P, Kevin Foster sent me the following “Once again, Section P gave a good account of themselves from this race point, although not quite as spectacular as the previous race when first and second open came from this section. In at First section and provisionally 8th Open is the inform loft of V Belcher and his son Tony of Plumstead. Tony is doing a very good job of getting the partnership name in amongst the leading pigeons for national racing this year, this time getting a yearling hen that had continued some good form as a young bird. The sire is from Gaston Van de Wouver x Big smithy lines while the dam is a Muckin Fagic hen. The parents are one of several pairs bought in from James Parker. Well done Tony, another good race with two more in at 4th and 7th.
At second section is the ever consistent Bruce McAllister following on from a blinding race with the MNFC the week before. This is what Bruce had to say about his recent national race "I sent 10 hens on roundabout to this race. My 2nd sect 49th Open is a two year old chequer hen. 2 weeks before Messac she was 2nd sect 3rd Open in the Midland National from Caratan, so obviously she is quite special. She is from a Hardy Kruger cock out of Orlando and a daughter of Black Power. The mother is a daughter of Southfield Treble from Mark Gilbert. I found it a difficult race with still two of my top hens away. Photo of me and my Granddaughter Bella.” Well done Bruce, another top performance.
Third and sixth section is the partnership of P Jackson & son Lee, with both pigeons making the top 100 of the Open result. here is what Lee told me about the race “Hi Kevin , holding first and second arrival from Messac my first pigeon a grand daughter of my Fougeres national winners The Outlaw cock she has work consistent the sickening thing she had been down for a drink turning up with pond weed on her feet bless her! 1.49 seconds behind my first arrival I had two drop together My second pigeon was my first pigeon from Fougeres last national who is being flown celibate but is now showing admiration to one of my channel COCKS one to watch in the coming weeks she is Down through the JOS THONE lines of the famous breeding cock SARS crossed into my Old Van Loon lines of Pretty Boy. My third pigeon being bred down again from the famous breeding cock of JOS THONE Sumo and my Hitman lines. I sent 24 to the race being 6 short on the night and now only have 2 short. The pigeons are raced on a jealousy system and fed on a good quality Vanrobeays racing mixture. looking forward to the next race. A nice bonus was the news that Paul Kelly 3rd Open BICC Pau Gran sire is bred by us happy days on a good weekend well done paul! “ Well done Lee, no doubt getting ready for the any age races coming up.
After a difficult first race from Fougeres, the second race of the year from Messac saw a decline in entries, with 10 Cornish Fanciers in Section Q sending 91 birds. Once again, the weather conditions on the day did not favour the Cornish birds and a difficult race ensued. Leading the way with 1stSection Q, was the V & D Harvey of St Buryan. Always good to speak to Duncan and he firstly sent his congratulations to the Open Winner and Section Winners on their performance. Duncan timed his yearling blue cheq widowhood cock to record 1087.03ypm, and considering Duncan’s loft location way down to the west of the County, this lovely young cock, now named Penberth Breakaway for his exploits, was way out on his own, being some 150ypm clear of the second bird in the Section. He is a blend of top class distance lines, typical of Duncan’s breeding, being bred down Duncan’s old Crammond and Langstaff, and Albert Padfield’s Wim Muller lines on both sides of the pedigree. The sire was the winner of the L.C Shannon Trophy from NFC Cherlot, while the dam contained lines that had won the L.C Shannon Trophy from NFC Ancenis, 4th Open NFC Guernsey YB National as well as 1st Section 40th Open NFC San Sebastian, winning the C Pollard and Son Trophy. This cock was has had five races this year up to 140 miles and was prepared using various Gem Racing Mixtures. Duncan nurtures his bloodlines like fine wines, and every now and then he gets a real beauty! Well done mate a great performance on the day.
In 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th Section Q, was the partnership of Team Luscombe and Wright. After their fantastic performance from Fougeres, they once again has an absolute field day with their team of widowhood cocks and hens timing eleven pigeons on the day. Their first timer in 2nd Section Q was a yearling blue bar hen recording 937.35ypm. This hen is a granddaughter of Padfield’s Blue Badge (BICC Certificate of Merit Winner, including 2nd BICC Barcelona) and Padfield’s Iron Lady (4x Barcelona) who flew Fougeres two weeks earlier. In 3rd Section Q was a yearling blue chequer cock recording 825.77ypm. This is a grandson of Padfield’s Jack (Welsh SRN Meritorious Award Winner) and De Cas (1st International Barcelona Ace Pigeon 2009 – 2010) that was also timed previously from Fougeres. In 4th Section Q, was a yearling blue chequer cock recording 812.86ypm. This was a grandson of Padfield’s Jack (Welsh SRN Meritorious Award Winner) and Padfield’s St. Vincent (1st BICC St. Vincent). This cock was having her first channel race due to the fact that he returned injured from an earlier training race.
In 5th Section Q was a yearling blue bar cock recording 766.58ypm. This bird was bred from a Stuart Wilcox Frans Zwols cock when paired to a daughter of Padfield’s Iron Lady (4x Barcelona) and again this one was previously timed from Fougeres. Also timing good pigeons were Alan and Daniel Mitchell, Perry Liddle and Harry Searle. It was indeed a tough days racing with several lofts failing to time in on the day. Well done to all members who managed to time, good luck at Pau, the photo shows Duncan Harvey and his winning pigeon “Penberth Breakaway”.
Better late than never here is a belated Section Q report on the Fougeres race. Following the restrictions that gripped the nation during the coronavirus lockdown, the eagerly awaited first race of the year attracted an entry of 187 birds sent by 17 fanciers in Section Q. As race day dawned, the strong westerly wind meant that it would be a battle of the fittest, with only the bold and the brave making it home by nightfall down into the South West of the Country. As the race unfolded, it became evident that it was a really hard day for the Cornish, with only ten percent of our entry making it to their homes on the day. In these testing conditions, the day belonged to Team Luscombe and Wright, ( Lee Luscombe, and Steve and Lesley Wright of the House of Aarden) who had an absolutely fabulous day with their team of widowhood cocks and hens. Flying to their racing loft at Lee’s house in Roche, they timed birds to win 8 of the first 10 positions in the Section, taking 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. Leading the way with 1st Section Q, they timed a yearling blue w/f pied hen to record 813.12ypm. This hen is a first cross, being from a son of the HOA’s Padfield’s Invincible and Jelle Baby when paired to a Frans Zwols hen that was bred by Stuart Wilcox. The partnership’s birds have been flying really well all year and have been regularly leading the way in the Cornwall Classic Club and I understand that this particularly hen has been ultra-consistent being in their first batch every week. It is always a good indicator of the merit of the performance when a particular bird is out on her own and this little hen was 22 minutes clear of the partnership’s next timer after which their birds fairly tumbled in.
In 2nd Section Q was a yearling blue cheq w/f, double grandson of Padfield’s St Vincent, recording 777.20ypm.
In 4th Section Q was a yearling dark cheq W/F hen, bred from a son of Padfield’s Invincible when paired to a daughter of Padfield’s Kaysie, recording 675.84ypm. In 5thSection Q was a yearling dark cheq hen, a double granddaughter of Padfield’s Jack, recording 666.98ypm. Splitting the Team Luscombe and Wright timers was Andrew Haydon of Bude, who timed his 3yo blue cheq Busschaert cock for 3rd Section Q. Andy, a local Gamekeeper, explained that he likes to keep them happy at home, and his timer was flying to a large youngster. This cock bird has been a real consistent performer, being a winner of numerous prizes in the Bude Club last year. Congratulations to Team Luscombe and Wright, a fantastic team performance on a difficult day. Considering the ancestry of their team, a performance that I am sure would even have made Dave and Vince proud. My thanks to Ian Johnson and Perry Liddle for their continued support in compiling these section Q reports.
First place in section W were Preece Bros & Son who said they were pleased to time three dark yearling round about hens in good time to take first, third and fifth section of which all three had a night out in the difficult first NFC race. The first hen is a Cooper Deweerdt x a hen we had on loan from our good friend Jason Lovell of the multi National winning partnership of Clayton bros + Lovell, and carrying all their best bloodlines. The second hen is out of their race team from their old channel family crossed with A Hyatt family Vandenbeele. The third hen is a daughter of their BICC winner “Gwasted Polly” being mainly Deweerdt of G Cooper and A Gregson blood. They sent 15 had 12 on the day and the other 3 next day.
Second section was Stuart Treharne from Nantyglo with D Jones in Wrexham forth. Sixth was J I & C Millward with a five year-old Blue Hen who has won many prizes at club level. She has been in the top five of the Wrexham Federation on two occasions against 2,000 pigeons. She was also 192nd section NW in the MNFC, flying against 2190 pigeons from Carentan, two weeks ago and is bred from the best of the Marcel Demeester family.
As you may well know the last race of the season from Fougeres has been cancelled and we look forward the Pau Grand National and Young Bird National in September along with the Old Hens race. It has been a very unusual year so far with the Covid restrictions to negotiate with difficult decisions having to be taken with the best of intentions to continue to ensure the NFC is successful in all aspects of our sport.