The final race of the season for the National Flying Club took place on the 6th September from Coutances when the Chief Convoyer Mr Dom McCoy, liberated 4500 young birds and old hens at 8.00 hrs into a light North West wind in sunny conditions. Race Advisor Steve White said that the winds on the line of flight up to Cherbourg were light North West and once the birds were heading into the Channel the visibility was 16 miles, with North West winds at 15mph gusting to 19mph. The UK was dry with the odd shower around in the West and generally winds are West North West. They had a fantastic sky at lib point, all the birds cleared in three minutes and left site together. The Committee would like to thank all the Convoying team and Race Advisor for their excellent care of the NFC pigeons during the 2020 season.
One of the systems used in preparation for the Young bird races by some fanciers begins late in the previous year, with breeding taking place immediately after the moult at the end of November. Lighting is provided for the stock birds in order for them to rear strong, robust babies which are weaned into their own loft in January and go straight on to natural daylight hours. This then provides the ideal conditions for them to behave like darkness youngsters, without having to close down the lofts to restrict daylight during April until June. They will moult out their body feathers completely but retain their flight feathers. After the longest day the lights are put on to continue the “day light hours” which effectually extends the summertime period for the birds and their hormones stay at a heightened level. This can be capitalised upon by racing them against those who have not considered or practised this method and great team performances can be achieved.
One such fancier who has prepared his young bird team in this way is John Cowlin of Hullbridge, winner of this year’s National Flying Club young bird race, and his birds have responded in style. With careful consideration and a lot of road training he managed to achieve a team performance second to none by having eight of his thirty entries come together to record velocities that were all faster than the next loft in the result, thereby winning the first eight positions. He and his father Rob have worked on those young birds for nearly 10 months, in the hope that when the day comes to race them in the National, all the stars will be in alignment for them to capitalise on the conditions. North West winds and a fair racing day would give them the best opportunity in the part of the country where they live and that is exactly what they got.
I am led to believe that winning the first eight positions in the National Flying Club is a new club record and I also think John Cowlin still holds the record for the youngest ever winner of the National Flying Club, when he won 1st Open in 2008 flying completely on his own at 20 years of age and John has also won the British International Championship Club in 2017. Another interesting fact is that his partner in the pigeon stud Formula 1 Lofts, John Gladwin will take the next three positions with the same Frans Zwols bloodlines and fellow club mates followed shortly after with their birds, which will mean the first 13 positions in the National Flying Club will be with their birds and the bird which will be 14th is a Formula 1 lofts Frans Zwols cross. To give credit where it is due, Frans Zwols in the UK have been at least 43 times in the first 2 places at National, Combine or Amal levels since 2017 and members of the Hullbridge club have won 3 x 1st Nationals and 5 x2nd Nationals in 2020.
I asked John how he had trained his birds leading up to the race and he said he had given them a 50 mile chuck on the Monday, 30 miles on Tuesday and 38 miles from Battle on Wednesday before basketing them on Thursday for the race. They had been allowed together to go through the nesting process for the young bird races with the BICC and NFC but as things transpired, he had to be flexible with his plans. In his own words; “They say patience is a virtue and in this case it is very true, I had my young birds ready for the first BICC Y/B race but with the weather forecast as it was for that weekend, I decided not send them and wait for the second BICC Y/B race. Once again, the weather did not look great, so I decided to send some old hens and just my Gold Ring youngsters and waited for yet another week hoping for a better forecast for the NFC race. When the time came the weather forecast looked like the best flying day we have had all season, so I decided to send my full team of young birds. I thought that timing of around 12:20 to 12:30 would be a very good pigeon on the day, so at 12:12 when I saw 8 pigeons coming off line and heading straight to my loft, diving for the loft like rockets, I was dazed for a second or two thinking “what are these coming in a flock”. I soon realised they were NFC pigeons as they hit the trap and they were so full of themselves; a couple of the cocks were fighting each other as they went through the trap. I could not believe it when I checked my ETS clock, I had 8 young birds come together, All Formula 1 lofts Frans Zwols and all clocked within 17 seconds. I verified and when I saw I was top of the provisional result I realised that anyone of which could have been the winner”.
First on the clock is from a cock which raced for his partner, Gladwin & Jarvis in Formula 1 lofts, winning a few positions before being stopped for stock as he is direct from “D’Artagian” and his full sister “Dream Girl 200” these are the last brother and sister bred the same way as Frans Zwol famous 3 Musketeers. The dam of the winner being a child of “Brother Frans”. “D’Artagain” is now responsible for an amazing 9 x 1st at National, Amal and Combine level. Second on the clock just 2 seconds later is a direct child of the “Amal Cock” which won 1st and 4th Amal against 4,000+ birds and the dam is “Guernsey Princess” daughter of the “Dream Pair” which won 1st and 3rd Open BICC for John in 2017 as well as 5th section NFC in the 3 channel races she had before going to stock. This pair also bred “Theresa Boy” which won 1st BBC National in 2018 for Gladwin & Jarvis. The third bird recorded on the clock and just another two seconds further back is a pencil cock which is direct from “006” who in turn is bred from “Sun Star”, the winner of 1st National Morlincourt and the dam is a 2019 bred direct daughter of “Amor” and “Tip Top Goldmine”. Both of which have already bred National winners.
Forth was another pencil cock which is another grandchild of “Amor” only this time when he was paired to the “Queen of Reekem”. The sire of this pigeon is a child of “Sky Runner” winner of 47 prizes for Frans Zwols, when paired to “Tip Top 076” one of the best daughters of “Tip Top Junior” being responsible for over 30 winners. The fifth bird home is another cock, bred from a son of “Bold Eagle” when paired to “Argon 052” and the dam is a good racing daughter before going to stock of “Sea Eagle” and “Fransje”. In sixth place we have a direct daughter of the new wonder breeder “Dream Maker” who in only three breeding seasons is responsible for 2nd & 3rd Open National, 8 other top 10 Open National positions, plus 6 other results in the top 30 of National results, along with Club & Federation winners. She in turn is bred from “D’Aratgian 065” and “Tip Top 076”. Sire of the fifth pigeon is a direct son of the “Prince of Reekem” and “Sweet Princess” who is also Granddam of 1st open Agen 531 miles. Seventh on the clock is a direct daughter of “The Dream Pair” consisting of the “Prince of Rekkem” and “Dreamy”. The Dream Pair are responsible for four 1st National winners for four different people also 2nd, 4th and 5th national winners. The last of the eight loft mates is another hen which is bred from “Tip Top Star” which is the last son of “Tip Top Junior” when he was paired to “Dream Maker”, the dam being “N63” a ex racer that won five 1sts and now a top breeder of many good racers, she in turn is from “D’artagain 065” and “Tip Top 076”.
His partner in Formula 1 Lofts John Gladwin came along whilst I was there, and I asked if he enjoyed the race and also about the parents of his birds. He said that having chatted with John Cowlin before the birds were due and having two very experienced fanciers visiting him for the day to watch the race. They had come up with an eta of 12:15 for a super pigeon. So just after noon he sat near the loft to wait and three or four minutes later, he noticed two birds in the distance racing like mad to the loft. He knew these would be good pigeons by the way they were racing to the loft and just as those two landed he saw two more heading his way and both of these started to fold, however one was not his and it ended up making his third pigeon lose a few seconds on trapping. After clocking, the first person he spoke to was John Cowlin but upon hearing his time and how many he had come together he thought perhaps his race was not as good as he thought. It was later when the NFC website leader board was updated, that he realised John Cowlin was winning the race and he was in second place provisionally, knowing that he was really 9th at best. His first timer is the same way bred as John Cowlin 4th pigeon being a grandchild of “Amor” when paired to the “Queen of Reekem”. The sire being from “Sky Runner” winner of 47 prizes for Frans Zwols when paired to “Tip Top 076” one of the best daughters of “Tip Top Junior” being responsible for over 30 winners. His second bird is from “A03” an ex racer which had won inland and scored a few times before being put to stock, having bred winners for others and being direct from “Sky Runner” and “Tip Top 076”. The dam is a yearling hen bred for stock from “Theresa Boy” his 2018 young bird National winner and “My little Darling” one of the best race hens he had ever raced. His third pigeon is from a pair of yearlings which were bred especially for stock, the sire being from “Grandads Dream” his 2015 Thurso Combine winner from 514 miles and the dam being “Tip Top Tora” his 2019 BICC Agen winner that was also 56th open International 22,000+ birds. The dam is very inbred to “Micky boy 716” being bred from “Mr Consistent” who is a son of “Amor” and inbred “Micky boy 716” when paired to his own dam.
A fantastic achievement with descendants of the Frans Zwols housed at Formula 1 Lofts and I make no apologies for listing them in detail here, especially when the Old Hens winner Micky Watts told me that his winning hen is also of the same bloodlines. His first pigeon is a yearling hen which has previously scored both inland and in the BICC. Her breeding is 50% Formula 1 lofts Frans Zwols with a pigeon from Rob Shelds and was bred by his good friend Lee Bastone. The dam is a full sister to the sire of John Cowlin Young bird winner being from “D’Artagain” and “Dream Girl 200” and her sire from Rob is Leo Heremans from his “Better than Bolt” lines. Micky as always has been knocking on the door all season having already won 2nd open NFC and 2nd open BICC and is provisionally 4th open in the Young bird race. His first young bird in the race is also a Formula 1 Lofts Frans Zwols, being bred from a child of “Amor” and a child of “Rekkem 083” and “Tip Top Devil”. Rekkem 083 is sire of the Amal cock, the Amal cock being sire of John Cowlin 2nd pigeon. “Tip Top Devil” is a daughter of “Tip Top Junior” and “Dream Maker”.
Winning his thirteenth National on this occasion, Micky has won many with his Old Hens over the years and has perfected his system. The birds are widowhood hens for the first half of the season, being left at home for his Widowhood cocks to race back to. Once the cocks are finished for the season he puts the hens in the young bird section to train them with the youngsters and when they will go to nest for the chosen races later in the season. He has named his latest winner “Porn Star” which was a nick name for fellow Hullbridge member Frank Alonso who sadly passed away after a tragic accident in Malta earlier this year, whilst visiting family at the young age of 51.
John Cowlin has also called his bird “The Maltese Falcon” in memory of the same great friend and fancier. The Hullbridge Club has everything pigeon racing should be about, it has a good social club with great facilities, plus the competition is at its very best which encourages each and every one of them to continually look for improvements, whilst retaining a comradery which is obviously uplifting to their souls. It is a special club made more so by their mutual respect of each other and love of the pigeon sport. I have included a photo of the third National winner of the year in Hullbridge Tony Buckfield, who won the BICC from Falaise and was there to congratulate John and Micky. I like visiting them and I have done so many times whilst reporting on their numerous National wins in recent years, I think I should apply for Honorary membership.
The final race of the season for the National Flying Club took place from Coutances on Saturday the 5th of September and was a combined race of young bird and old hens. Sponsored by The House of Aarden Stud and Carrs Natural Pigeon Supplements a total of £14356.20 was paid out in prize money and pools with £9737.73 for the young birds and £4618.47 going to the old hens. Chief Convoyer Dom McCoy liberated 3403 young birds and 1041 old hens at 8:00am into a light North West wind. Club Charman Paul Naum decided to send two transporters to keep the numbers down to 22 birds per crate, which ensured the birds were held in optimum conditions and I have had may pleasing reports of the great condition of the returning birds. For some areas of the country the north west wind made for a very testing race and due recognition goes to those on the western side who still recorded good returns. Paul Naum standing down as I/C in Bridgewater after many years running the station, Bill Edwards is also standing down as I/C for the Southampton marking station which is now based in Porchester. Justin Bernard is taking over for Bill although a replacement is still to come forward for the Bridgewater station.
Justin Bernard Sect B NFC learning the ropes with Pat Harris
My personal thanks go to all those who took the time to send me their details and the many photographs, it really makes a diffract to my reports and there are those special people who have gone a stage further and help compile the report for their section. I hope to see you all at the NFC presentation evening due to be held in March 2021.
Daryll Luxford of Horley clocked at 11.54 to record his second 1st section win with an inbred young hen weaned May bred from a pair via Nigel Llewellyn of Southampton. Sire is down from Nigels old Van de Espt “Five Pound cock” with the dam also being Van de Espt with just one Tournier introduction in 1989. They also bred Daryll’s third arrival which was from an earlier round in March. With the birds not being pu ton the darkness system the main concern was the moult, but after having had three previous races and the National being their last race of the season he is now carrying 49 young birds over to 2021. Daryll would like to congratulate the two Johns (Formula one lofts) on such a fantastic team performance and thanks to Guy and Matt Mullen and Peter Gretton for their help training his young bird team this year.
Second was F Hall & Daughters in Worthing with a blue chequer pied hen out of a granddaughter of “Foxgrove Black Knight” 1st open NFC Alencon the sire being a great grandson of “New Laureatt”.
Third was M & J.Barton in Brighton who would like to congratulate all the race and section winners of the Y.B. and O.B. Coutances National with a big thank you to our National Committee members for getting our racing "on the go" in this unprecedented season. Their pigeon is bred out of a pair of birds acquired with good friends Simon Ferguson and Paul Gent as a syndicate and purchased from Darren Ede of Southampton from the lines of Rik Hermans “Beautifly Double Silver” and “Friendship” on the sires side, and “Cow Girl” and “Golden Samantha” on the dams side. Their pigeon was sent paired to two hens in his box at the same time and “last but not least a big thank you to my silent partner Sue who gets all the late comers in when I'm not around” Well done Melv.
Fourth was Martin Watson with a cock which had had just one race from Blandford prior to the National and was bred by Melvin Shepherd of Lancing out of his Darran McFadden stock.
John May from Hambrook was fifth section
as well as first and fourth in the old hens race.
Second was Dave Roberts with a two year old hen sent feeding a 15 day old youngster having her second race of the season. She is a Frans Zwols which is normally used as a widowhood hen.
Third was Tony Baughen with a hen that goes back to the Honeysuckle Janssens that he acquired when he first moved to Liphook. She was lucky to get to the race as Tony had put her partner in the basket by mistake but decided to take one last look in the loft before sending them off to the race, a quick swap and off she went.
David Wells, also from Liphook came fifth with a Busschaert hen bred by Pat Harris which was 74th Open in the CSCFC and was his only entry into the National.
Bill Edwards is relinquishing the duty of I/C of Southampton (Portchester) marking station and sent the following “I would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to my fantastic team of helpers during my tenure. My main duty has been to keep them refreshed and I am very grateful to the happy marking family that is; Clare and Martin Norman, Elvin Booth, Freddie Smith, Dave Harris, Roger Barrs, Barrie Smith, Pat Harris, George Willet, Kevin Zerafa, Tom Powers and anyone else that has chipped in. Justin Bernard is taking over the hot seat and helped out at the last marking to get a feel for the job” On behalf of the NFC Committee and all the Members who have used your marking station Bill, I would like to thank you for your dedication over recent years, the club stands on the shoulders of members like yourself who are willing to take the reins and you are a credit to the sport. Darren Ede and Family had a great result by winning the first three positions in the section and as requested he sent me a few words “Firstly I’d like to congratulate my good friends John & Debbie Cowlin & John & Theresa Gladwin on their incredible result which is brilliant. Well that tops off a fantastic NFC season for myself & my team of yearlings & young birds. My 1st section winner is a son of a top Dutch cock I bought called “The Teletext” which was 5th, 5th, 6th & 6th NPO against massive competition. He is also father of “Teletext Beauty” 23rd Open in the final of this years SAMDPR, winning me Around $5000. The mother of is a beautiful daughter of one of the best racing hens I’ve been lucky enough to handle “Foxy Lady” which was paired to “Propere Rik”. I bought this hen at Stuart Wilcox Syndicate Lofts sale in Doncaster which was money well spent as she has also bred “Lone Survivor” 45th in the final of this seasons SAMDPR race. Lone Survivor was also the 5th International HS Ace Pigeon winning just under $18,000. My second bird is from a son of “Harry” which is now responsible for 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 7th & 10th Section in National & Classic racing since restarting on my own with young birds last year. The mother is a daughter of “Licensed To Thrill” the Champion Racer and Breeder from Robert Pugh and this hen is already mother to 2nd Welsh South East National for Brett Jones.
In third section is a daughter of “The Charity Pair” direct from M& D Evans birds and superbly bred. Mark kindly donated these for a Facebook Auction to raise funds for a local Football team, well done Mark and lastly I would like to thank JC”.
Fourth section was Tony Darling in Southampton who would like to thank the NFC for all the work they put in. He has only had a couple of old bird races due to being in and out of hospital for a year. This was his first young bird race of the season and would like to thank Asa Williams, Jon Gerrard and Rob Jones for their help. Rob has assisted by keeping slots on the transporter for training his birds and Tony extends his thanks to Bill Edwards.
Fifth was Colin Edwards from Romsey with a Ponderosa Van Loon and “Porsche Blond” crossed with a gift bird from Gerry Francis. His darkened blue cock was having his third trip to Coutances and was previously 10th section in the BBC.
First section in the old hens race was Barry Robertson with a Van Reet bred by his good friend Keith Arnold and was sent sitting a 10 day old youngster.
Second and third was Cyril Hallet with a three year old blue w/f hen feeding 10 day youngster, which was also 3rd Sect B 64th open Coutances O/H in 2019. He clocked a blue chequer yearling hen 2 minutes later also feeding 10 day youngster for third spot. Both were bred by the Sunderland partnership of Armstrong Shergold Johnson & Moon and Cyril would like to congratulate club mate Barry Robertson on winning 1st Section B.
Fourth was Lee Kruger from Winchester with a hen having her second channel race having previously scored 12th section in the CSCFC two week prior to the NFC race. She was bred by Simon Alexander of Crewe and is raced on Natural, returning to a new nest box with 3 day old eggs.
Fifth section old hens was Mick Johnson in Southsea with a Norbert Ally Cock crossed Ivan Lowden Hen. She was raced on widowhood paired to a cock he rescued from Southsea Caravan park after Norbert had lost him racing as a YB and he transferred it to Mick.
1st Section C Young Bird is John Halstead of Gillingham North Dorset with a chequer pied Jellema hen bred from two yearlings. She had mated with another hen and was sitting for 5 days at basketing. Flown on the darkness system she had previously been to 3 races with the Dorset Fed but had not troubled the leaders, and this was her first trip across the Channel.
The next four positions were taken by a great team performance put up by Neville and Diane Spracklen of Dorchester who would like to congratulate all the winners. They had entered 18 birds but their cocks were heavy in the moult so they decided to leave them at home and sent just 10 hens, of which they timed seven on the day and one arrived on Sunday. Their first bird was a DeKlak crossed Van Loon sire which was on loan from their good friend Bob kirby of Honiton. The dam is a granddaughter of Roger Lowes “My Little Diamond”. The next three were Jan Hoogland crosses which are new birds for them and have done very well including winning the federation. They would like to thank Paul Pym and his team for the fantastic way they run the Kingsteinton marking station and wish Paul the very best of health in the future.
Danny Lanahan won the section in the old hens race and also took the fourth spot
with John Halstead second, with a chequer yearling Jellema cross hen feeding a 10 day old baby. This hen was also 2nd West Section four days earlier from the BICC Falaise race and provisionally 15th Open and her nest mate flew 14 hours from Bordeaux in July taking 37th Open BBC from 1030b. Third was Ray Dibben from Poole with a yearling Vandenabelle hen bred from his race team. The parents were gifted to Ray by local fanciers with the cock being from Rod Muspratt and the hen from Tony Stevens.
Mike Staddon from Crewkerne came fifth.
First and second section was D & R Elliot from Exeter who won with a dark chequer cock followed into the loft by a mealy cock. Being new members of the Devon, Cornwall & West Somerset Club, they bred a small team of young birds from a new family of pigeons flown naturally and lightly raced before going to Carentan with the NFC. They are grateful to family member Mr S Grose of Exeter for helping to set them up. Third and fourth section was R Goodier & Sons from Marsh Green with a Vandenabeele x Thone hen flown on the darkness system. Her sire had won 4 x 1st Federations and her dam being a daughter of 1st section D , 2nd Open NFC Sainties. Their second bird for fourth section was a red cock, also flown on the darkness system, which was racing to 10 day eggs , all birds where fed on Versele-Laga Gerry Plus and Superstar. Fifth section in the young birds was Cordery & Roast from Exeter who also won the first section in the old hens race with a pure Leen Boar hen purchased in a kit of six babies from Tumley Lofts which was sent sitting 10 day old eggs and has been a very consistent for them.
Second was Tony Churchill from Sidmouth who is a consistent performer in the National races. He timed a natural hen which had also won first section last year and was sent sitting eggs. She was bought at a breeder buyer and bred by Richard Goodier from his Vandenebelle x Thone lines.
Richard Goodier 3rd & 4th YB and Tony Churchill 2nd OB
Third was Steve Hopper from South Bent in Devon with a 2018 late bred he bred himself out of a white Grizzle cock given to him by Rodney Cheek of Ivybridge the previous year. The dam is a blue bar bred by four times NFC winner Andrew Mabin. First flown as a yearling in 2019, she won second club in her first ever race arriving with the winning club bird, flying 80 miles from Blandford, against 1079 birds taking 113th position with the Devon South Road Federation. What a great start for Steve with that being his first pigeon race having joined the Kingsteignton IFC that year. The following week she flew Lyndhurst, 101 miles coming 125th Fed from 1156b followed by Chale on the I.O.W winning 2nd Club 66th DSRF against 928. In mid-May the bird failed to return from Salisbury but arrived back at the loft on the 1st June, she was fine, albeit a little thin and was kept back as a breeding bird for the 2020 old bird season but began training with his youngsters from mid-July. On the 23rd August she was sent as a trainer to the Lyndhurst YB race of around 100 miles and was the second bird to return home before being basketed for the 2020 NFC Coutances old hens and young bird race. Steve sent four OB’s and four YB’s, a distance of 143 miles and flying into a N/NW wind. She arrived home at 12.49 hrs having spent 4hrs 49min on the wing taking 3rd section D which was a pleasing result. Fourth section was NFC Chairman Paul Naum with a two year old Ko Nipius hen which comes down from a long line of winners. Paul has been racing and breeding their family of Ko Nipius, for over 40 years now, having raced them in Somerset the past 32 years. The Ko Nipius foundation stock are from George Hilson of Bury, Lancashire “One of the best distance race fanciers we have ever come across” said Paul “Thank you George for your knowledge over the years...a true mate”.
She did not have any training as a young bird or yearling, and was put on the road earlier this year. She trained from 10 miles then 30 miles; followed by three races with the DCWSCFC which proved challenging, but were an excellent learning curve for her. She was well prepared for the NFC race, sitting a nest of two 10 day old youngsters and was in excellent form. She fared well, arrived in good condition, recovering quickly to take up her nest again, a gutsy little hen. Paul would like to say “Congratulations to all Section winners of this combined race, Old Hens and Young Birds”.
Simon Cordery 1st Sect D NFC Coutances OH
Fifth was Richard Goodier & Sons with a Vandenabeele x Jos Thone hen, her dam being 1st Section, 2nd Open NFC Sainties and her Sire is a son of 4th Open NFC Cholet.
First section E was Alan & Gary Young from Selsdon with a mealy hen which was send just pairing to a cock. Her sire is a grandson of “The Jan” of Leo Heremans and her dam was 15th Open National for them last year, bred from “Kittel” and “Pitbull” bloodlines.
Second was S B Frost in Redhill, Surrey with a tick eyed blue hen bred down from GB10R44230 which was 1st club, 1st Surrey Federation, 1st SMT Combine from Messac winning the club by an hour and 10 minutes.
Third in the young bird was Mark Gilbert who also won 1st Sect 2nd Open in the old hens race with a hen which was certainly bred for the job in hand being a direct daughter of “Rolex”, winner of 1st Open NFC Saintes 2015 and 1st Section A 14th Open NFC Saintes 2014 for Crammond & Langstaff from their ultra successful Bosua x Van Osch bloodlines. Her dam is another extremely well bred hen being a daughter of Roger Lowe’s “Main Man” winner of 2nd & 3rd Open NFC Saintes and a direct son of “My Little Diamond” winner of 1st Open NFC Guernsey when “Main Man” was paired to a daughter of Jan Hooymans “Roney”, a full brother of The world famous “Harry”. Mark Gilbert had a great race, also taking third section Old Hens. Fourth in the young birds was K Wise, Isleworth with “De172” bred from a son of “Golden Gaby” x daughter of “Shadow Fax” from the world famous “Shadow Saffron”. The dam is bred by Peter Fox, Syndicate Lofts from “Propere 10” when paired onto “Jean Genie”. Fifth section was Steven Buckle from Northwood who flys in the Boxmore Club with his Janssen pigeons. His youngster had already taken cards in the club as well as flying with the BICC.
Second section in the Old Hens race was Phillip Gomes in Welwyn with a two year old Frans Zwols hen bred from stock purchased from W. Donachie of Kingsway lofts. In the early season she was a widowhood hen which was then paired to a young cock and given two training races to the coast before being sent to Coutances.
K. Wise took the fourth spot with fifth going to Danny Seedwell in Feltham. He timed a yearling hen sent racing to an eight day old youngster which was bred by Malic and khan of Ace Lofts. Her sire is “Nelson” a son of one of their top stock cocks “Ace Euro” when paired to their good racing hen “Number 64” who has had multiple national positions. Her Dam was a trial pairing when their main stock cock “Tipsy” was paired to his own daughter “Zarella” and the trial is showing good promise, as the nest mate to this hen has also had two 1st prizes this year for me. This hen was also provisionally 8th central section 21st Open BICC Falaise the week before and he would like to thank the boys for breeding her and congratulate both the NFC winners on their fantastic performances and all the section winners.
Section F was dominated by a fantastic performance put up by J & P Parker of JPS Lofts in Reading. They timed their first bird two minutes clear of the next ten which came together and went on to take nine of the top ten in the section, with Sharman & Wells splitting them in seventh place. Initially placed on the darkness this was followed by the lights and they were trained up to 30 miles on a regular basis. They sent 30 and by mid afternoon they had 24 of them home so felt that they had a successful race all being considered and were happy with the result.
They also won 1st section in the old hens race with all birds being bred from their direct Steffan Lambrechts. Second and third section old hens was Leon Hall from Headington who would like to congratulate all the winners.
He had two birds drop together with the first being a breeder buyer pigeon bought in 2015, from top canterbury flyers Mr and Mrs Derek and Margaret Adams, bred down off there combine cock, She has already bred him card winners and although they trapped together his second bird was a Hardy Kruger bred by Premier Racing Stud. This bird was gifted by his good friend Eammon Kelly and both pigeons were fed on a mixture of Vanrobaeys corn. Fourth was B Sherman & Steve Wells, from Littlemore and they too would like to congratulate all the winners.
They timed hen from a grandson of “Forest Gump” x a inbred granddaughter of “Donkere Simons” Freladenhofen & sons. They also timed a Marcel Sangers bird for 7th section young birds off Camphuis cock with the dam being from Stipa bred from the “Super Breeder” x “Royal Princess”. Mr & Mrs C Brown from Hungerford was fifth section old hens.
First and second section G was Thomasz Fedyk in Melksham who is over the moon with his seasons racing. Two weeks prior to the NFC race he was 2nd sect CSCFC from Coutances and just one week before he was 1st Sect Falaise in the BICC “I'm very proud of what my young bird team achieved this season. My first pigeon is Mealy cock bred by Steve Slade, from his best hen “Julie” Champion Classic 2017 and his nest mate achieved 2nd NW Section in the Classic Race from Coutances 2 weeks ago. My second section pigeon, blue bar cock is home bred. The sire is the son of “Steven G” Champion Classic 2015 and “Megan”, as well as nest mate of “Curtis” 1st National YB Coutances BBC from Steve Slade. The dam is from my friend Stanislaw Szklarz, from Poland. I would like to congratulate all the winners and say thanks to everyone for taking care of the pigeons”.
Third was Paul and Treasa Panting with their bird called “The Birthday Girl” which arrived home just as the birthday party for Treasa was about to begin. The pigeon is bred down from Crammond and Langstaffs Heremans-Ceusters via the late great Ernie Smith of Swindon. Fourth was G D Hancock in Devises with a dark chequer cock having his first race over the channel and sent driving his hen to nest. He has been a consistant racer having scored 2nd club twice being beaten by loft mates. He sent just two young birds and got them both which were bred from birds gifted to him by Tommy Burns when he returned to live in Northern Ireland. Fifth was Adrian Bishop from Bristol. First in the old hens race was R & J Whiteside who had never sent in the NFC old hens race before so they were delighted to win the section.
Their winning pigeon is a Heremams-Ceusters yearling having it’s first race across the channel and was sired by a grandson of “New Euro” which has bred many winners for them with the dam being an inbred granddaughter of the famous “Rossi”. Being a home bred hen she was left for two years to mature and bred a Federation winner in her first nest. Their next pigeon to take third section was from a direct son of “Beauty Harry”, another top breeder for them and the dam was from a direct daughter of “Roodoogje” Koen Minderhoud and she is a top class hen. They sent a photo showing Roger, the brother of late friend Alan who they all miss, and Roger comes to help with the birds every weekend without fail. His partner Julie who works hard on the lofts with him and their little niece Summer and the dog Zeb who keeps them all on their toes. Second section was S & S Whittle with a little blue hen bred from Syndicate Lofts pigeons. She had three training races before the NFC race all with the Bristol Federation, and was sent sitting 10 days on eggs.
Fourth and fifth was S Moseley from Bishopsworth with Alan & Dave Collins in Bristol sixth. Alan has had a fractured leg since the beginning of June, and his brother Dave has other commitments as well as a hernia, so Alans daughter and her partner have been looking after the birds and training. They have had really good results overall and are thoroughly enjoying their experience with the birds.
Dave Downing from Newmarket had two hens drop together to record 1st and 2nd Section H. The first bird over the pad was a Hardy Kruger bred from a direct pair purchased from Premier Stud with the sire being out of “Ribery” and the dam “Vialli” x “Messi”. Dave first introduced these Krugers in 2014 from Premier lofts and supplemented these more recently with directs from Hardy Kruger himself and they now form more than three-quarters of his racing team which are producing the goods for him. The second timer though was one of his original Vandenabeeles that he has raced since 2001. The sire is a yearling great-grandson of “Golden Gaby” which won the M11 club as a young bird and also scored this year as a yearling. The dam is a 13 year old ex-stock hen, that was that to be barren so he used her as a widowhood hen but she produced a last pair of eggs and hatched one of which resulted in 2nd section winner. This hen has been the dam and granddam of many winners and is bred from an original pair purchased from Heslop and Evans, being from the best “Benetton” and “Shadow” bloodlines, which have been responsible for 20+ winners for Dave. Dave’s young bird team have performed very well this season to date, winning all the local club races he has competed in. The previous week in a strong NNE wind he won his local club race having 13 drop together from which he selected his entry for this NFC race. He sent to Coutances with a lot of confidence as he felt his previous race really tightened up the team after the delayed season due to the COVID restrictions. Dave also recorded two further entries, both Hardy Kruger’s, to be provisionally 8th and 12th Section H plus winning the club race from Blandford, he had what he called “the near perfect day”.
Third and fourth was Terry Roughton from Wisbech who has had a fantastic season winning the MNFC young bird race from Chale a couple of weeks previous.
Fifth was John Black with a chequer cock bred fro a Southwell sire from Jimmy Bauress and the dam being one of his best racing hens which won 1st Section Agen BICC and flown 750 miles from Barcelona.
David Albon was sixth section with a blue pied cock bred from a pair bought from Mike Turner of Alconbury when he sold up last year. The dam won 2nd section from Tarbes in 2019 and the sire won the section from Narbonne in 2019 for Mike Turner.
Another 2020 MNFC winner from Vire was Jack Ramm who also won the section in the old hens race with one of his Janssens via Chris Smith of Chesterfield. Second and third was Brian Clarke in Stotford with N & J Callaghan from Great Shelford fourth with a Southwell hen paired to a stock cock and sent over due on hatching. Fifth was Deller & Pettitt in Chesterton with a mealy pied Busschaert x Janssen which has been lightly raced since an injury in 2018, so only had two club races before the NFC Coutances. The next loft on the result was Michael Saint who followed in his grandfathers footsteps as a 10 year old boy in 1977. He always found it fascinating to hear about racing from France and he fell in love with the Dordin strain which he bought from Derek Lawton of Crewe. His hen goes back to Derek's "Le Producer' and 'Niamh' lines. She was a latebred last year but has excelled this year having already flown NFC Fougeres and Messac. This time, she was feeding her first ever 10 day old baby. He recently purchased some stock from the bereavement sale of Geoff Jones, a good fancier with Biss and Dordin lines and he hopes to time in from Tarbes one day.
Having a great young bird season is Shaun McDonough who timed four birds to take the first three positions and fifth. All the birds timed were bred for him by UK Pipa Agent, Pieter Oberholster, with the 1st section winner being a blue hen which was also 4th section 9th Open British Barcelona Club National the previous week, which was also from Coutances, when he won 1,2,8,9,10,11,12,13 Open National BBC. She was sent to this one sitting a small youngster and is from the bloodlines of “Golden Prince” x “Rudy”. The 2nd section was 3rd section again after loft mates 8th open BBC National the week before and is another blue hen sent sitting eggs with her breeding being Gaby Vandenabeele.
Third section was 7th sect 12th open BBC the week prior and is a blue cock which was sitting eggs when he was basketed for the race, he is a Gaby x Pieter’s own “Stuff of Legends” line. Fifth sect is a blue hen who the week before in the BBC won 5th sect 10th open national and was also sitting when basketed, she is inbred to “Golden Prince” from a son & daughter pairing. Mr & Mrs Roy Stretton split Shaun taking fourth place. In the old hens race R M Taylor won first and fourth place with Gary Carter second with a two year old hen bred from a brother and sister pairing which has Padfields “Blue Badge” on the sires side and the dam being a gift fromgood friend Mick Groves. Gary would like to thank the NFC for the way the birds are cared for and the condition they come back in as it was a testing day for most.
Steve Redfern and Family were next taking third place with his only entry. He sent a widowhood hen off Pete Wightman “Malster” of Burton, who let him have her at the beginning of the year when he and his father ceased racing. She is a 2 year old Van El sacker bred by Andrew Hitchock in Windsor, which he broke out and has raced steady for him without being in the clock as Pete did not race her as a yearling and she is lovely quiet pigeon, which has become one of his favourite pigeons in the loft. When she timed he assumed she must have been a late club bird as she came like a train from the North West.
Steve Walton was next who timed two hens to finish fifth and eighth section with both being sent sitting 12 days on eggs. His first hen was a two year old Marijke Vink based bird and arrived home with damaged flights, which is a bit of a mystery with his second bird out of a pair on loan from Malcolm Manders and J & G Dutton. His returns were good having 9 out of 10 home on the day and the last on the Sunday morning.
First section was J & B Oakley with Ben being a proud new father who said “Our section win rounded off a good couple of weeks for us with the birth of my son and young fancier George. The cock that won the section was only having his third race due to a late start with youngsters in the Federation and then a couple of races being cancelled although he was 3rd club 7th Federation the week before his section win. Bred from a son of GWP Macaloneys super hen “Black Caviar” when paired to a direct daughter of Ian Wheatley's “Red King” he is certainly bred in the purple and has not disappointed. He has shown what a big heart he has on a very tough day flying up into the north west”. Well done to both and our congratulations to Ben, we wish little George all the very best.
Second, fourth and fifth was Wade Davies from Cleobury Mortimer with a Heremans-Ceusters cross, “Nieuwe Olympiade”/”Jackpot”/”Olympiade 003” lines. Bred by a very good friend Tad Truszkowsk who has bred him some top pigeons in the last few years, getting high national positions so a big thank you to him. His fourth section was also bred by Tad through the Van Lint lines on the dams side with the sire off D R Williams, Marijke Vink lines. Fifth section was bred by his brother Duane Arthur, from Williams and Wilks partnership on the sires side and Len Turfords De Klak on the hens side who are very good flyers in there own right, thanks also go to them. Third section young birds was Dave Harris from Newport, Shropshire. He sent a photo showing Kyle holding “Captain 73” their first bird which is through their old Soontjen family on the sire’s side, and a daughter from Paul Stobbs “Stobbs Star” and “Red Emperor” of Soderlund & Maddison on the dams side. The father had been on loan to our good friend Graham “Captain” Bailey who sadly passed away at the end of last year, having already paired up and this cock being spare, they were sat in a sale at Blackpool when the mother came up to be sold, not to miss an opportunity she was purchased. The pair have bred four young birds that have all flown consistent through the young bird programme, and her sister was timed the previous weekend from Countances in the BBC after a two day holdover. Dave is holding the second bird they timed on the day, again through their Evans and Walker based Soontjens, they timed three in good time on what turned out to be a difficult day.
In the old hens race R Gelder & Son from Coseley were first and second section with Preece Brothers in Cleobury Mortimer third. Fourth was J & R McLatchie of Harriseahead with a yearling blue hen bred down from “Euro Diamond” crossed Leo Van Rijn. She only had two races this year out to 112 miles and was sent feeding a two day old baby. They would like to congratulate all the winners. Fifth section was C Gough in Shrewabury with a yearling sent feeding a small youngster. She had won a 1st Club from the channel earlier this year and was his first bird from Messac 2 with the NFC.
John Woods from Barnsley won the section with a young hen racing to the perch, although John suggested it may have been looking at a young cock. She had been trained and raced down to Upper Hayfield and is a Vandenabelle crossed Figo line. Second was my fellow committee member Kevin Heeley in partnership with Dave Allen. Their pigeon was bred down from “The Blues Brothers” via Mr & Mrs D Allen and although it was a difficult race they had 21 of their young birds home on the day followed by another 7 on the Sunday and they now have 31 out of the 41 sent.
Third and fifth place went to Jon Walker in Scunthorpe who is pictured with his two grandsons Jacob & Joseph holding the pigeon which is a granddaughter of his 1st Open MNFC Bordeaux winner. He too had a good race getting 9 birds home on the day and after topping the section 13 times in the MNFC he is now concentrating more on the National Flying Club.
Fourth section was Michael McGrath in Leeds. First in the old hens was Steven Light from Conisbrough with second place being won by Mr & Mrs Dave Allen in Apperknowle. Dave writes “My first hen is a daughter of “Top Box” who in turn is one of the “Blues Brothers” who have 36 x 1st prizes between them and are basically “Van Reets”. When Staf held his clearance sale at Doncaster, the star pigeon was a bird that was the second best sprinter in the whole of Belgium that year and I was seriously thinking of purchasing the bird, but Staf convinced me to buy his brother as he was the better breeder of the two. I paired him to a daughter of “National 1” which Philip Herbots purchased from Karel Schellens, who was a relation of Staf Van Reet and “National 1” had won 1st Open Bourges National for Schellens. He is one of the best purchases that Herbots has ever made and he has bought a few over the years and most of my present day loft carries the blood lines of these pigeons. The other three I timed are of similar breeding, having entered 9 I got 8 on the day and the other one next morning. All 9 pigeons are yearlings so I have something to look forward to next year. It turned out a good day for these bloodlines as over at the other loft, where I am in partnership with Kevin Heeley, I breed twenty for that loft every year and some of the first pigeons recorded in the race were of the “Blues Brothers” lines”. Third section was Kev Kingston over in Cottingham who sent a yearling which has been a very consistant bird for him, having won three 1st as a young bird along with minor prize cards, taking good positions in the Yorkshire Middle Route Combine, was runner up to the Humbers Trophy winner and always in the top five to his loft, she provisionally won 2nd Sect 15th Open with the BICC from Falaise. On the day they experienced a heavy shower and Kev said to his grandson Louie “we will be lucky to get one today” and just at the same moment she went straight through the loft doors to re-join her 10 day old youngster soaking wet.
Fourth was John McCall in Tinshill who sent 8 hens, timing 7 within an hour of his first. She is from a son of Mark Bulleds “Ghost” x “Charlotte” a daughter of Johns good hen “Eileen”. His second bird was also from the “Ghost” cock when paired to on of his own hens. John said all the hens have been consistent and is looking forward to racing with the NFC next season.
Fifth section old hens was Peter Hagland from Harworth near Doncaster.
Eric Taylor in Crewe won the section who would like to congratulate all the winners. He timed a hen of Gerald Delaney stock which was put on to the road quite late in the season and only had three races prior to the NFC with the furthest being Bath.
The MNFC Catrentan race winner, Peter Hardman was second with a dark chequer hen sent showing to her cock.
Third was Gerry Clements in Audenshaw with a youngster bred out of a consistent performer in the NFC and a son of “Section L Bird of the Year” “Heatwave”. The dam is a daughter of “Saintes Cock” another top performer in the NFC for Gerry and one of his top breeders when paired to the “Albrecht Hen” which is herself a dam of consistent winners.
Steve Jones from Preston timed a chequer hen flying to the perch out of a cock of Hugo Battenburg x Rob Roy fro the North East, when paired to a daughter of “Big Smithy” x “Witpen 100” whichis a direct daughter of “Snelle Jelle”. Mr.D.C.Leake of Congleton was fifth. In the old hens race Tim Webster in Chorley had a great day taking 1st, 2nd, 4th & 5th section. He had 8 form his 13 sent on the day flying 325 miles with his first bird being a Gabby x Brockamp which is a sister to lot of his best birds including g2nd MNFC Tours. They are all out of one cock he calls “The Pencil Breeder” which is an inbred grandson of the “Kolonel”. The Brockamp side is down from a son of “Euro Diamond” which is the grandsire of two 1st National and now 1st Section L. His second bird is a two year old Sablon, a family which have also done very well for him. They are all down from one cock he owned called “Snoopy” which was a son of “Blauwe Prince” His third bird clocked is a mix of Gabby, Sablon and Brockamp out of the race team. He also bred Graham Marskells two birds timed and Ronnie Wilsons second bird was bred by Tim. He kept the old hens going as he felt with the late start to the season they had not had the preparation needed for their races, so had not had the chance to prove themselves in the National. They had all previously scored as yearlings over the channel and were sent sitting small youngsters. Third was Ronnie Wilson & Iddon also in Chorley with a Van Den Braune hen sent sitting 10 days on eggs from a family he has had since 2010. The partnership has had similar lines of there family being 1st section L - 7th open in 2016, 6th 30th open young birds.
Dave McSween & Jim Sexton of Sunderland topped Section N, timing the only bird in the section on the day, at 9-25pm, having 11hours 25 minutes on the wing for the 402 miles. Both parents were bred by Nick Adshead and are closely related to the famous “Millie” and “Patience”. Their second bird for 3rd section is from a sire which won Sec N from the same race last year and his granddam won Sec N from the same race in 2016. Both parents are from their long established UNC distance lines and descendants of the famous “Wearside Lass” and “Lionheart”.
R & K Dodds of Hexham timed three young birds, all Southwells, to take 2nd, 4th & 5th Section N flying a staggering 410 miles. Well done to both lofts on these young bird performances at the distance. These two results put Section N, in the North East of England on the national map of distance racing and a true incentive for any fancier in the region wanting to take up the challenge of real National distance racing.
The old hens result John & Steven Best of Stockton timed seven birds, flying 381 miles to take the first 7 section positions. Provisionally the first 5 are in the first 100 of the Open result, which is an outstanding achievement with old birds at this time of the year. Their section winner is through John Crehan’s old bloodlines through Rip & Mystique. Their 2nd & 3rd birds through a son of “Starlight” and a daughter of “Farmer George”.
Section P dominated the open result with several top performances most of which have been mentioned in the winners report on John Cowlin.
Suffice to say well done to all Formula 1 Lofts with their team of Frans Zwols. Timing good pigeons in the section was previous National winners Dave Heywood and son Gary of Laindon, who have excelled with young birds and old birds. On this occasion Dave told me that they timed a Daughter off their hen “Dissy” which was second BICC Guernsey bred by Formula 1 lofts and the sire is a grandson of “Harry”. Winners of the first National Flying Club race in 2020 Colin Fagg and Linda Nicholas at Sittingbourne timed a good young bird bred from a direct Win de Troy, when paired to a direct Dirk Vervoort hen. This pair bred son Adams 3rd Open BICC winner also a Cosmo fed winner. In the old bird race Micky Watts won 1st Open yet again with his team of hens and was also 5th & 6th Section.
Colin Fagg and Linda Nicholas were second and fourth with their first bird being a yearling hen that scored 23rd Open BBC Bordeaux early in the year. She is bred from a direct “Menne and daughters cock that Linda brought Colin 10 years ago the dam is one he brought from Nigel Langstaff and is a granddaughter of the “New Laureatt”, this pair had bred them a fed winner last year from Exeter. Third section was Mr and Mrs Alan Truelove from Canterburywho said “GB19B19929 Blue hen is a direct Marc Capelle pigeon which is a daughter of a son of “Blue Mirakel” when paired to a daughter of “Lightning”. She had never raced until this year due to being bred for stock, but after losing her cock she was put in with the young birds and trained with them. She has been consistent and was sent to the race sitting overdue eggs and came back in good condition”.
Mr and Mrs Robert Hume from Rochford. timed a good yearling hen sent sitting 14 days which is bred from the “Merlin Pair” lines of Wall Lunt and Green and has always been consistent with this her best performance to date.
Dave and Gary Heywood 6th Sect P NFC Coutances OH
Perry Liddle sent me the following report on section Q “The promise of west in the wind and therefore a tough race for youngsters flying into Cornwall meant a relatively low entry from Section Q, with only 4 fanciers sending 39 birds to NFC Coutances. Leading the way with 1st Section Q, 317th Open was Ross Watson of Penzance, who timed his beautiful blue chequer hen, now named “Lamorna Rose”, to record 389ypm, the only bird in race time. Ross explained that her sire was bred from stock that was loaned a few years ago from the Angwin Family. These lines, originating from the loft of D. Black of N. Ireland, are hard distance lines founded on birds that had made the double channel crossing from France into N. Ireland. Her dam, was bred by the Taylor Brothers of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, being a daughter of Champion Japie (the double St Vincent National winner), when he was paired to a daughter of Red Rising Sun and Dutch Princess, from the best of their Hagen Brothers lines. I could not have been more pleased for anybody, because Ross is not only a great supporter of long distancing racing into Cornwall, but also one of the life’s real gentlemen. In the past he timed a yearling to be 2nd Open NFC Pau, as well as winning 2nd, 3rd and 4th Open NFC St Malo with youngsters. So it was particularly saddening to hear that Ross, who had a heart by-pass operation a few years ago, has been diagnosed with Pigeon Fancier’s Lung and must therefore give up Pigeon Racing. Knowing that the young bird national was to be his last ever race, Ross lovingly prepared his young bird team for one last roll of the dice at Coutances. In preparation, “Lamorna Rose” received two 12 mile training tosses, followed by three short races with the Cornish Combine, twice from Okehampton and then Exeter, approximately 100 miles. Ross spoke of how pigeon breeding and racing is a game of hope, we buy the best bloodlines, we pair them together, and we hope that we obtain that elusive champion. Therefore, it is heart-warming, that in his last ever race, Ross may have found that elusive future long distance champion in “Lamorna Rose”. Ross told me that he believes NFC Pau could only be won into Cornwall by a yearling, something that would throw caution to the wind, and risk everything to make it home. He also said that he has generously given away all of his birds to his good friends, so the dream lives on! The challenge for the new owner of Lamorna Rose, is to break her out, and provided she stays safe, to prepare her for a crack at the Pau National as a yearling. I would love to think that next year, I can write about “Lamorna Rose” being clocked from NFC Pau…watch this space. Hearty congratulations to Ross on behalf of the Cornish Fancy, we wish him well in the future, and hope that he keeps in touch with his very many friends”.
William's bros son and Burgham of Tredegar clocked a young bird blue cock his sire was bred by Mark Sparey of his top racing cock “Rhiw Parc Tomos”. Hen was off our top racing cock “Georgetown Daniel” this cock won 1st National Bergerac 500miles WSRNFC 2nd National Tarbes 600miles WSRNFC and topped fed WNRF Saintes 430 miles the hen he was paired to is the red hen dam of 1st BICC Alencon and granddam of lots of winners. The young cock as scored from Chale 17th Welsh Open. Mark Sparey was second with Ray Nichols, Son & Grandson third with a blue Staff Van Reet hen which is currently provisional 9th Welsh South Road National Coutances and she was provisional 4th East Sect 6th Welsh South Road National the previous from Eastbourne.
Fourth were Preece Bros & Son from Abertillery. In the old hens race D Jones in Wrexham took the first four positions with Hughes and Hughes from Trefnant fifth.