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The National Flying Club Grand National race from Pau took place on the 31st of July after being liberated at 06.15 hrs UK time in a light South West wind, gusting to 10 mph. The air temperature was 21 degrees and humidity 74%. There were variable winds on route but mainly south so although the forecast was for much higher temperatures later in the day, it was felt that the southerly winds would assist the 2700 birds taking part. The National Flying Club had also agreed to convoy the Central Southern Classic and the British Barcelona Club with a joint liberation, and as Mr Ian Evans, Chief Executive of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, is very keen to encourage more joint liberations in future, he and the RPRA Development Officer, Richard Chambers decided to award £1000 to the race, split equally over three distance zones, with the title of “Pau Masters” being awarded to the joint overall winner.
Recording a winning velocity of 1144 yard per minute, Mark Gilbert is now the undisputed holder of this title, as his recent record breaking performances at marathon races has been nothing short of outstanding and now he can add the National Flying Club Pau Grand National to add to his list of achievements, along with the added bonus of RPRA UK Masters winner of the joint liberation of three major clubs.
It is no secret that Mark has set himself the goal of winning the Barcelona International, which is 716 miles to his loft in Windsor and as an aid for selecting his 2021 team, he decided to send 50 yearlings bred out of his very best marathon bloodlines to the National Flying Club Grand National from Pau, 562 miles, which is considered by all his peers to be the very best race in the UK to win. This is rarely an easy race and it would help to identify his future Barcelona candidates, plus it has been a life long dream for Mark to win the NFC Pau Grand National and with the Covid 19 restrictions earlier in the year, circumstances meant that the Barcelona International race would take place on the same day, so to compete in both of the very best long distance races in the UK and Europe was certainly a day to look forward to.
The high temperatures the pigeons experienced during the race took its toll on the entry of 2700b and after 13 hours 47 minutes, just one brave pigeon appeared on the leader board for the 2018 Tarbes Grand National loft of Wearn Bros & Neilson flying 531 miles. Just under an hour later Mark saw a pigeon approaching from the south which flew straight to the trap in the fading light, to record a time of 14 hours 25 minutes flying 562 miles on the hottest day of the year so far and still just a yearling, bred for the task and acquired from a fortuitous misunderstanding.
A couple of years ago Mark had asked a friend in Holland to try to acquire young birds from a fancier called Cees Van Heartem in Terborg, who he had noticed had been putting up some very good Barcelona performances. In 2017 the race was arduous, and he achieved 7th and 12th International so Mark wanted to buy youngsters out of those very pigeons, his friend made contact and a price was agreed. When the youngsters were ready and the payment due, Mark questioned that they were indeed out of the seventh and twelfth international pigeons “No” came the reply “Cees van der Laan had third and fifth International”. He had gone to the wrong fancier, there had been a misunderstanding and they were not from the birds Mark had wanted. He was then presented with a dilemma and as his agent had taken delivery of the two youngsters, he decided to buy them to save any future problems and they were put into the breeding loft, paired together with only one pair of youngsters taken from them to race. Now named “Southfield King” the Pau Grand National winner is one of those youngsters.
The Barcelona International was also liberated on the 31st July and again due to the heat, no birds were recorded at all in Europe on the day, but on the second day Mark did get one, winning first Open BICC and 128th International, but that’s a story for one of my colleagues to tell. “Well done Mark Gilbert” on winning the Pau Grand National and the Barcelona UK National on the same day with “Southfield King” and “Southfield Gold Lady”, there is only one dream left for you now and you certainly know how to make your dreams come true. “Grand Master” comes to mind and at the time of writing this article, Mark has 14 of his yearlings on the result and a further 6 had returned to my knowledge giving him a very promising prospect for the Barcelona International 2021.
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.
Once again, I travelled down the leafy Kent lanes overlooking the Stockbury Valley in the North Downs, to visit the loft of Colin Fagg and his partner Linda Nicholas to report on their second National Flying Club win. The first time was in 2013 when they won 1st Open NFC Messac and on the 6th July, after a two day holdover they put up a fantastic performance against 9960b by winning 1st Open NFC from Fougéres in a fresh north west wind which made for a good testing day.
Colin Fagg and his partner Linda Nicholas
For the last 18 years they have lived close to “Queensdown Warrens”, an area which once fed the ancient Royal household and is now run as a nature reserve by the Kent Trust. Rare wildflowers including Spider Orchids cohabit the bank sides with many other species including Adders, which are often seen around the partners premises from which they run a very successful pigeon supplies business along with their own extensive range of racing lofts.
Fagg and Nicholas Racing Lofts
In 2004 Colin visited Lier market for the first time as the designated driver of a club outing. He was not really interested in buying any pigeons, but one dark chequer cock stuck his head over the top of a basket and caught his eye. “It must have been the most expensive youngster in Lier Market” said Colin “but what a pigeon he turned out to be” and for his birthday present Linda had made contact with the breeder, Frans Laeremans to order 10 more youngsters from him. A friendly relationship developed, and his birds quickly made a positive affect on their results.
Of the ten youngsters they bought, seven made it through the young bird programme of which four had won their club including a 1st Federation. The following season more birds were ordered and so it went on for the next few years. A red cock bird bred in 2007 made his mark by winning 7st club including 1st Federation plus a 1st Combine and Colin later discovered that Frans Laeremans and Andrea Drapper regularly exchanged pigeons with the red cock being a grandson down from “Ronaldo”, a top racing bird for Drapper. He also raced a very good Laermans hen which had won the Kent Invicta Combine from Westbay and subsequently, in they were paired together.
In 2016 they bred a chequer hen which won two channel races in the club and was awarded “Bird of the Year” in 2019 and this year she was paired early in the season to rear two youngsters which were passed on to a club mate. She would then have normally been separated to race on widowhood, but as the Covid 19 situation unfolded racing seemed very unlikely to happen, so she was left paired with her partner and as Colin and Linda were shielding for several weeks they were resigned to not racing this season at all. But as the restriction on racing was lifted and the club headquarters made every precaution possible, they decided to race but continue with the hens on natural.
The club race a week before the NFC Fougéres turned out to be a very fast velocity and their 2016 hen was second club whilst very keen to her nest with 3 day old eggs. The following week sitting 10 days on eggs she was still very tight on her nest, so she was basketed for the National and came to win although as she is a shy trapper, she took her time to come in. After verifying, Colin does not like to know how the race is going, his nerves get to him and Linda said “it’s the only thing he does not want to know” but he was delighted to hear they had once again won the biggest club in the country.
1st Open 2020 NFC Open Trapping
Frans Laeremans has now sold all his pigeons but Colin is happy with the team of birds he has built over recent years and as it was their youngest granddaughters birthday on marking day, the hen proudly shares her name “Devyn” and I would like to congratulate them once again along with a special thank you to Linda for my three large slices of Lemon Drizzle cake, to tide me over on the journey home. I ate the lot before reaching the Dartford crossing!
As I write this report, marking for the next race from Nort-sur-Erdre is just a few days away. With the Covid affected season as it is, the NFC races are now just two weeks apart and club secretary Sid Barkel has been working very hard on the Fougéres final result with entries for the next race coming in. It is going to be a busy few weeks with Nort-sur-Erdre being just as quickly followed on by race marking for the Pau Grand National which I am happy to say is also being liberated with the Central Southern Classic and the British Barcelona Club, yet another example of large clubs collaborating with mutual benefits.
The Fougéres race final result has now been published and the section report shows a true reflection. I am always very aware that the provisional result of any race is mainly based on a first bird only, with others timed that may affect the final result so the report below is correct and up to date.
First Section A was Brian Wall with a two year old cheq cock which has been one of first birds back to loft in this seasons racing. He is bred from winning race birds retired to the stock loft. Brian would like to congratulate all the winners and commented that as usual, his birds came back in great condition considering a two day holdover.
Second sect was Mr R Shapland & Son who wrote “She is a yearling blue hen bred direct out of our number 1 widowhood cock "54" who himself has won countless first prizes. These lines are from our very best Simon Hughes stock of A&S Hughes and our stock acquired from our good friend who is sadly no longer with us, Alf Clout. For her preparation she was given the first few inland races with the federation and then sent to her first ever channel race being St Philbert with the BICC. The team returned in fantastic condition so we were confident to send them back on Thursday morning with the NFC and she didn't let us down. The birds returned in fantastic condition and are an absolute credit to all the hard work of the NFC team”
Mr & Mrs May & Son were third sect with a yearling cock raced on roundabout widowhood. He had been given some preparation racing along the coast in the local federations, being on the drop on multiple occasions but this was his first time across the channel. He is bred from one of their top racers “Black Panther” who is winner of: 2nd Federation 1521B (BBLM), 4th Federation 1278B (BBLM), 11th Federation 643B, 21st Federation 1580B. “Black Panther” is also a direct son of super sire “Spiderman” (Son of “Rossi” and “Spinneke”) who is (grand)sire to over 150 x 1st winners. The dam is a full sister to one of their top racers Champion “652” winner of: RPRA Southern Region Sprint Award 2017, 1st Federation 927B, 1st Amal 1783B, 2nd Federation 1985B (BBLM), 4th Federation 889B (BBLM), 22nd Federation 838B , 29th Federation 1692B. Champion “652” is also sire to winners of: 1st Federation 1272B, 1st Federation 890B, 1st Federation 844B, 2nd Federation 3553B (BBLM). Champion “652” is a grandson of super sire “Spiderman” and Danny Van Dyck’s “Kanon”.
Fourth were D & K Jones, with a cock out of “Dad’s Lad” winner of 1st Open NFC Messac 2012 and his nest sister came to win 1st Section A 20th Open Messac in 2018. Their birds are raced on the roundabout system with the hens going out between 7-8 in the morning Cocks going out between 5-6 in the evening.
Fifth sect was Simon Ferguson in Brighton with a pigeon from the lines of Danny van Dyke Kanon, Eddy Janssen Di Capio and Jan Hooymans Harry as a yearling very constant across water which I’m only interested in flying, this season he got sent to Falase BICC and come back with half its wing flights missing which I found quite upsetting as had hopes for him! kept flying him out around home when i was basketing for fougeres i looked at his wing and it looked ok so i thought to myself you got to go and really pleased i made that decision! He came back full of himself, he is going to next race and if he returns im hoping to send him with whatever else returns to Pau Grand National, I absolutely love pigeon racing and in the short time I’ve been racing have met some really nice people and made some fantastic friends
As well as collating the section B report, Bill Edwards also runs the Southampton marking station and sent me the following important updated information; “We have had very good feedback on the use of Portchester Football Club in place of Sarisbury Green for the Southampton Marking Station for the National Flying Club. With this in mind we will be using the Portchester Football Club at Wicor Recreation Ground as the marking Station for the remainder of the 2020 season, starting with the Pau race in which we will also be taking the Central Southern Classic and the British Barcelona Club. All three organisations will be jointly marking at Portchester Football Club and Members will be able to duplicate National Birds into the other clubs at a reduced fee. For the Pau Race Marking we will be starting slightly later than the previous two races starting at 12 noon through to 16:30 and we will again operate a timed marking time system that has worked so well in the first couple of races. Contact Bill Edwards on 07917886665 or email “ Well done Bill, you have had the largest number of pigeons to mark these past two races.
First and forth section from Fougéres was K & J Zerafa who said “Firstly we would like to congratulate the overall winner Fagg & Nicholas and also all of the Section winners. Also, a congratulations must go to Micky Watts, who appears to have won 2nd National two weeks on the bounce, fantastic flying! Our first pigeon to arrive is a yearling latebred cock which is raced on the roundabout system. He was lightly trained as a youngster and only raced once. This year he has been raced in the local club and was sent to his first channel race with the BICC from Falaise, when he came 592nd Open against 7,441b. He was rested for a week before being sent to the BBC Messac race last weekend, in which he was 2nd Section 11th Open against 2,266b. He was then sent straight back to Fougeres with the NFC where he’s provisionally 1st Section 3rd Open against 9,594b. His sire is a pigeon we purchased from Stuart Treharne of Nantyglo, being out of his two BICC winners from 2014 when they were paired together. The dam is bred from our old family of birds, herself being the winner of 3 x 1st Federation and dam to 13th Open BBC Fougeres in 2018, for Mark Gower of Fordingbridge. Looking at the provisional result, we have a few more that will feature with potentially 6 birds finishing in the top 1% of the entry (prov 3rd, 24th, 66th, 75th, 81st & 87th Open), so we are extremely happy with the way the birds came. We entered 28 pigeons into this race and had 24 return in good condition, which given the extra two days in the basket, was a real credit to the convoying team. Thanks to all involved in the organisation and execution of this race. Team Zerafa”
Second was Mr & Mrs D Waterhouse who are now racing from their new location, having moved house in 2019. Dave would like to congratulate the winner of the Fourgéres national race for putting up a great performance, and thank George Appleton of Manchester who has bred them 6 babies every year for the last 4 years, this is one of last years babies. The cock they timed in was one of six entries that were broken off from the old house, raced unpaired and fed on Van Robaeys no39 mixture. Timing five from six sent Dave is very happy with his national result from their national race at the new address. “I would also like to thank all involved in organising the race as all mine returned in fantastic condition. A big thank you to Bill Edwards and all the team at Southampton marking station for a safe and well organised basketing system.” Said Dave.
Third were B & L Scutt, “Firstly congratulations to the winner and the section winners, particularly fellow club mates K&J Zerafa on provisionally 1st Section B, 3rd Open, top flying. We are delighted to record provisionally 3rd Section B, 5th Open NFC. Our Pigeon is a yearling Blue Pied hen raced on Widowhood, although she is one of those hens that’s very rank and looks at other hens in the loft. Previously she had flown all but two of the young bird races last year with the Solent Fed. This year she has flown all four Solent Fed Inland races scoring one or two minor club positions without being a standout performer but has always been consistent for us. Her Sire is bred through our Louis Cooreman bloodlines which we have had for many years that have won 1st Solent Fed right out to 400 miles+ for us. Her Dam is a Vandenabeele bred from our good cock ‘89’ who has previously won 2x 1st Solent Fed plus many more top positions, again this line has also won right out to 400 miles+ for us including 1st Fed, 1st Section, 10th Open CSCFC Bergerac. So, it’s fair to say this hen is a combination of our best two all-round bloodlines. At the time of writing this we have 13/16 of our entries home. We must also say thanks as always to fellow club mates Mick Fuller and Alfie Wheatcroft who take all our National and Classic entries to the marking stations for us. Lastly well done to all those involved in delivering this race on what has been a very strange and difficult year for all.”
Wearn Bros 1 & Neilson in ransdean were 5th section.
A fantastic result for Ray Dibben taking 1st, 3rd and 4th in section C but sadly no information was forthcoming.
Second to him was Chris Lake who said “Firstly l would like to congratulate the winner and the section winners. My 2nd section winner is a yearling blue chequer cock, having had two inland races and flown on widowhood, this is his first channel race. He is bred from my Janssen family of pigeons. His sire was 25th Open British Barcelona Club Fougeres last year. I would like to congratulate my club mate Ray Dibben on being 1st section C and thank him again for looking after my birds when I was away in America for a week in February.
Previous National winner Stuart Laws was fifth.
Tony Churchill won 1st Section D and Tony's first bird is a multiple performer in the NFC, as he has already won 2nd Section and 3rd section Sigogne, his sire was bought from Lier market and bred by Frans Cees, with his dam being Van Dyke cross J & D Staddon. All Tony's birds are raced on the Widowhood system.
Second were M/M P Pym & R Pym with a bird which is bred from Paul's 1st Open NFC Blue Cock 'Hannah's Boy' and 2nd Open NFC from Celtic Lass of Cornwall. Paul considers himself lucky to get 17 home from 19 sent, all in good nick and would like to say well done to Tony Churchill for winning Section D.
In third place Ken Sluman, said his bird was raced lightly as a young bird and used as a widowhood hen in 2018 before being put back on the road this year. She showed some promise on inland racing so Ken decided to send her to Fougeres with the NFC, this was her first channel race and returned in perfect condition. Her sire being a Louella Jan Aarden down from 'Invincible Spirit' lines when paired to a Tom Sherwood De-Klak.
Fourth was Richard Goodier and Richard's bird is a Vandenabeele x Jos Thone with which has several wins to its credit, she is raced on the roundabout system and is fed on Versa Laga corns.
In fifth place was Simon Cordery with a Kenny Ware x R Goodier bred bird which was 4th section YB National in 2018, she was also raced on the roundabout system.
From left to right Tony Churchill, Richard Goodier and Simon Cordery Sect D Fougeres
First Section E was Roger Lowe with his two year old widowhood cock RED DEVIL which is one of his best racing cocks being winner of many Prizes. In the previous weeks race from Wadebridge he won 1st club 4th fed 2212b and his best performance to date is 14th open BICC national 3453birds. His sire is FAST AS LIGHTNING winner of 1st BBC national Fougéres by 25 minutes. RED DEVIL is also half brother to FAST RED winner of 1st BBC national two seasons ago. FAST AS LIGHTNING is bred from a pure Janssen x Lou Wouters blood lines. Dam of RED DEVIL is SHE A STAR winner of 1st E section 11th open NFC young bird national 3752birds 2016 being a direct daughter of MY LITTLE DIAMOND winner of 1st NFC National in her one and only race ever being a pure De Klak “I didn’t expect to do so well as the wind was totally against me so I was well pleased. Sending 38 birds mainly yearlings having their first channel race having 22 home on the day and a further 6 the next morning it turned out to be a very good race for me. Well done to all concerned for looking after the birds so well after a two day old over.”
Mark Gilbert was second and fifth and the sire of his first bird is a grandson of the World famous Harry bred by J Hooymans, when a son of Harry was paired to Southfield 139 1st National BBC Messac 2015 4th Open NFC Cholet and 10th Open NFC Messac. 139 is a Daughter of Southfield Star 2nd Open NFC Saintes 4128 birds dropped with the winner, 2nd BBO Fed 2419 birds. Dam of 944 is a Daughter of Rolex, 1st Sect 14th Open NFC Saintes and 1st Sect 1st Open NFC Saintes x Daughter of Ramos a top performance Son of Che via Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp x a Daughter of Harry.
Third section was Mr & Mrs P J Wells in Dunstable and forth was J F Haynes of Maidenhead. Very illusive is our John.
Mr & Mrs Paul Kenny & Family topped the section into Wantage as well as taking forth position too. Second and fifth was J & P Parker from Beenham with Mark & Shane Rostron taking third place
Section G was won by N J Goss in Devizes, with C & J Howse taking second and forth. Top flyer Nigel Templar was there again in third place with R & J Whiteside in fifth.
Top of section H was Danny Pullman with his hen called Ruby which was bred from War Horse, so named because of his temprement around the loft. The dam is out of a Belgian pigeon bought at Doncaster show which turned out to be a good investment as she has bred club, fed and section winners. Ruby also has Sapin X Supercrack lines blood from his friend John Haverly. Danny would like to congratulate the winners of the race and the sections including his federations chairman Mr Peter Wells, fed secretary Mr Eric and Gary and Glen Corkett for having a great day both in the NFC and the Midlands National. “I wish you and every National flying member a good season in these unprecedented times.” said Danny.
Second were Mr & Mrs Challis with a homebred Vandenabeele out of stock pigeons purchased from Mr Bryan Shipley. Lightly raced inland with a number of places within the M11 Club including 3rd from Purpeck the week before the Fougeres race. This was their first NFC race and the hens first attempt from a French liberation point.
Third place went to Mr & Mrs I Raper. The parents of their bird were loaned to them by my good friend Geoff Hannigan of Warrington. The sire is a Walter Docx off the direct pigeons, the originals that John Kirk of Warrington aka Captain Kirk, brought in from Belgium . The first four arrivals were bred off the same pair. Geoff always said that “you won’t go wrong with these pigeons “.
Fourth were C Crick & Son with a yearling widowhood cock bred by Nigel Templar and subsequently nicknamed ‘Nigel’. He has previously won 2 club races as a young bird along with taking 1st section H, 35th open in the young bird national last year.
Fifth was N & J Callaghan with a two year old cock flown on the widowhood system and bred down from a bird that flew well from Tarbes paired to the g/daughter of a Cannon national winner. He doesn’t race in a local club but just sends his birds as trainers and then races in the NFC. He has 18 cocks which are all middle/long distance.
I was happy to see local fancier Tim Atkin topping section I with a 3 year old hen bred from a son off Propere 10 via Syndicate lofts, paired to a daughter from Minerva by Rik Hermans. This pair have bred multiple top 10 Fed positions including 10 x 1st. She has flown Channel several times but obviously this is her best performance. It was Tims 1st NFC race so he was very pleased with his results as he had a few more soon after her. He was also fourth section but less pleased with the returns, too many empty perches with up to a third missing.
Second and third was Astbury & Horton, with his first pigeon a Harry x Geeloger via Derek Rooney and his second bird is also a Harry Geeloger x Dutchmaster and Rocket lines through Jack Walker via syndicate lofts.
Fifth was Lourens Londt who had a good race with his Geoff Kirkland pigeons.
Martin Williams was 1st Section J with a roundabout yearling hen that went to the NFC young bird race. She has flown well this year in the West of England Combine, being in his first batch every week. After having lots of blow homes, this race became a test of the fittest. Her breeding is his Roodhooft x Sablon, her sire is a son of the famous Jean, winner of 1st from 28,000 birds, for Wade Bros of Durham. Martin had two other birds taking 3rd and 7th Section.
Second was Pete Barlow who said “Congratulations to all winners and Martin on his section success, my pigeon was purchased at Glos & Dist breeder/buyer from Graham Clift, however it didn't get to that race as it was badly hawked the week before. As a yearling she was 1st club 4th fed Messac ,97th open CSCFC Coutances, 71st open NFC old hens Coutances and she now has a 2nd section NFC to her credit. Her breeding is Gerritt, Gouden Vieugal, Southfield Dream and Perpignan 06. Many thanks to Graham for taking the birds to the marking station. Returns on the day were 12/15 all in good condition after a two day holdover”
Fourth was K P & M Fitzpatrick of Tewkesbury with fifth going to Adams Bros from Longdon near Stoke On Trent.
Chris Gibson won section K and Chris's Sec K winner is a super yearling hen named "Darcey" having only her 5th race of her life, and this being her first middle distance race at a distance of 360 miles. This super hen is line bred to one of Chris's top hens "27" who was only raced as a young birds winning 1st Fed, 7th Fed, 9th Fed, 1st Gold Ring £800 and then going onto cause controversy in the MNFC YB Race from Carentan when she won 1st NE Sec but 20 mins later was transferred into the North Section and finished a very respectable 31st Open MNFC approx 6,000b. "27" has since gone on to be the Dam of 2x1st Fed plus other top 10 Fed positions and 2nd North Sec 7th Open NMCC Messac 396 miles. She is also G/Dam to 1st Fed winners and many, many club winners. "27" is a daughter of Chris's No1 breeding cock "Young Anton" Sire of 15x1st Federation and G/Sire and G/G/Sire to many more Fed and club winners and top 10 Fed positions.
Having always been a sprinter at heart it was in 2017 when Chris decided to progress to National racing having won all there is to be won at Federation level, his sole aim now is the NFC which suits his long shifts at work which allow very little time with the birds with the birds having to be worked with at different times of day due to the awkwardness of the shift pattern. Chris had waited three long years for his first NFC race, which turned out to be a good one, although the lack of experience in his small team of hens showed with only 9 home from 17 entered. Having said that a lot of the northern lofts had heavy losses following to two day holdover and tough conditions for the lads up north flying 360+ miles. It really is a race of it's own up there.
Second were Richard Turner & John Wheatcroft with a blue hen which has been a great pigeon a previous 1st federation winner at channel and 1st Open Northern Classic and 1st Open YND Combine. She is a Widowhood hen and is from stock Richard and his good friend Jimmy Hampson own together and is out off two direct Comb J & J Kaman pigeons From Holland.
Third were C & E Lee, who had a great days racing being third section in the MNFC from Carentan too. His Fougeres NFC pigeon is bred from a Willy Thas sire being a grandson off his dad’s old De Hollinder blood lines, and the dam is Mr & Mrs Wright blood lines being a son off their good national hen.
Fourth were Mr & Mrs W Foulstone in Worksop with J.Castello & Family fifth. John tells me his pigeon was a 2014 widowhood cock which has already had 4 x 1sts to his credit and many minor prizes as well as topping the Fed. He is a Herman Ceuster x Van Den Beele which was bought by John from Chris Vasey.
Great to see Campbell Bros.& Son taking toop spot in the mighty section L with a two year old cheq cock bred from direct Chris Hebberecht Belgium which had been raced on inland program prior to sending the national.
Second was Bob & Brian Smith from Ingleholme with a blue hen having her second channel race this year after previously being 20th section 234th open from Falaise 331 miles with the BICC on the 13th of June. This 2-year-old has always been a consistent bird being a winner of 1st club 2nd fed 3rd combine Fougeres,1st club 7th fed Bath. She is bred from the best of their best stock being a granddaughter of Hughie on the sire's side and a great-granddaughter of Hughie on the dam's side with the sire of their "51" 1st open MNFC Carentan also featuring in her breeding. She was also double-banked into Eccles 2 bird club and the Lancashire Yorkshire 4 bird championship club winning the Eccles 2 bird no result for the other as yet.
Third Section L is Committee member Gerry Clements with a 3 year old cheq cock sent on widowhood. He has National performances throughout with tried & tested performance breeding on all sides of generations of breeding. His sire was 20th section - 74th open NFC Fougeres, brother to 12th section / 20th open NFC Fougeres and the dam 4th section / 70th open NFC Coutances. G-son *“Saints cock” 2nd section - 144th open NFC Saintes, 10th section - 318th NFC Saintes, 100th Open BICC Falaise, 34th sec - 298th open NFC Poitiers, 61st open National Fougéres 8,932b, 8th Eccles 2bird. The saints cock is half-brother “Daniella” 1st National Picaville. G-Son “Heat Wave” Bird of the year National flying club sect L, 1st sec - 19th open NFC Saintes, 36th sec - 80th open NFC Cholet, 30th sec - 206th open NFC Messac, 11th sec - 297th open NFC Messac, 16th sec - 366th open NFC Cholet. Forth was John Winstanley with a blue yearling hen raced on the roundabout system having her first visit to France. A consistent young bird being the first bird back from Portland. Her breeding is breeding is 3/4 Curtis, Wall & Lunt, 1/4 Syndicate Lofts.
Fifth was Pimlott Bros from Southport.
John & Steven Best of Stockton topped Section N and won 1st, 4th & 9th Section N. Their Section topper is a three year old hen through their Syndicate Lofts birds. Bob McKie of Blackhall Mill won 3rd & 7th Section with a three-year-old Van Hee cock raced celibate this season and was bred by Ken Buchanan SNRPC. This cock is enjoying his 3rd National spin having previously scored minor positions.
Second and fifth section was M Anderson & Sons.
Bob McKie won 3rd and 7th Section N.
Bob McKie with Nick Adshead.
Taking 1st section O is the now familiar name of Kendal fancier Bruce Blamire. The other familiar thing about this win is the bird, GB14Z 93985. Just type this birds details into the search engine on the NFC results section to see that this DeWeerdt Cock has now won 4 x 1st Section O, 2 x 3rd Sect O 69th Open, 240th open and now this result flying 414 miles on an exceptionally difficult day for pigeon racing into the North West of England. Bruce has again been very poorly of late but still manages to get his birds into top class condition. All I can say is look out for the rest of 2020.
In 2nd section was another Kendal loft of M & J Sephton who timed their 3 year old hen into Kendal after flying 419 miles and fifteen hours and forty two minutes on the wing. Jims bird was flying natural and sitting eggs due to hatch on the day of the race. She is a Karel Boeckx cross Joe Dorning Lambrecht and has previously been 1st from Caranten and 2nd from Fougeres in the Milnthorpe club. The dam of this bird was 1th section 75th open MNFC from 8903 birds and the dams sister was 1st section 178th open Fougeres from 8219 birds so the winning ways are certainly in the bloodlines.
Mr Consistent Dave Travis once again made the result taking 3rd, 4th and 5th Section. Dave sent twenty to the race and so far has twelve back home with six birds on the result. Daves first bird was 1st section O last year from Signone being the only bird in the section in race time at 604 miles. His second and third pigeons also has previous with the second bird being 5th section from Cholet and the third bird being 3rd section Messac and 7th Section Cholet. All three birds are cocks and are Daves Cowood Southwell/Crowder/Invincible Spirit breed that has flown so well for him recently. Daves fourth and fifth pigeons were yearlings so a bit of hope there for the future for Dave.
Overall National winners Fagg & Nicholas would like to thank Kevin Foster for taking the trouble to verify their bird on the winning day.
They were featured in the winners report and just in front of Micky Watts who took his second 2nd place in a National race in just two weekends. His hen is bred by Mark Evans of M & D. Evans and is a direct daughter from 2 x 1st National winners. Her sire is “Shadow’s Image” Bred by Mark Evans, raced by Micky Watts, winner of 1st Section 149 members/1,453 birds, 1st Open BICC National Tours 482 members. He is also father & grandfather to 1st 3,245 birds, 1st 2,122 birds, 1st 2,893 birds, 2nd 2,851 birds, 2nd 1,675 birds, 4th 1,098 birds, plus many club prizes. “Shadow’s Image” is a direct son from “Bob De Batt” - SUPER BREEDER, father to several winners including 3 x 1st National winners,. “Bob De Batt” was the last direct son from “Champion Shadow” when paired to his own granddaughter “Golden Black” Dam of Micky’s 2nd Open winner is “Lady Lucas” Bred by Mark Evans, raced by Micky Watts, winner of 1st NFC Nat. Old Hens Guernsey 2015 and then six days later won 2nd BICC Nat. Old Hens Guernsey when she dropped with the winner and was beaten on the trap. Almost winner of 2 x 1st Nat. wins in six days. She is a direct daughter from “Blue Excellence” x Mark’s No1. Breeding Hen at that time “National Carrie” She was sent sitting on 4 day old eggs and if you’ve taken time to read the breeding of this pigeon you cant help but agree that its destined to be a national winner!
In at 3rd section P and provisionally 6th Open is V Belcher & son. This is the late Vic Belcher and his son Tony, who is making a very good job of appearing in BICC and NFC leader boards in recent years. Tony timed a yearling Blue roundabout cock of Rudi de Sar x The Machine lines. Only a small pigeon but already showed some previous form when second bird from Falaise. Tony plans to send him to the next NFC race.
At 4th section and provisionally 16th open is D Wilton & son which is Robbie and son Andrew, here’s what Andrew said “our timer is a yearling cock flown on the widowhood system it was his first Chanel race of the year. He is 50% our old Jansen line and 50% Heremans Ceusters. His sire is a son of a pigeon called Bobby Blue winner of 7x1sts 5x1st fed when racing and sire of our double London North Road Combine winner Double Up. The dam is 100% Heremans Ceusters and is a daughter of a direct son of Rossi we had at stock that was sire and grand sire of a lot of winners and top performers at club fed and combine level. Fifth were Gladwin Jarvis & Family.
Team Luscombe & Wright had a great race in section Q winning 1st, 2nd, 4th & 5th with a hen off a Son of Padfield's Invincible + Jelle Baby and her dam Stuart Wilcox bred Frans Zwol.
Second was a blue cheq white flight cock being a double grandson of Padfield St.Vincent, third bird was out of a son of Padfield's Invincible and Daughter of Champion Kaysie, with the forth bird being a double granddaughter of Champion Jack.
Splitting them for third section was Mr A P Haydon from Bude.
D Jones,Woodfields of Wrexham won 1st, 2nd and 3rd Section W with Preece Bros & Son, Abertillery forth and J & P.Webber also of Abertillery in fifth place.